Saturday, August 31, 2013
Chisora gets European title shot
By Dan Rafael
Dereck Chisora is hoping a shot at the European title lifts him back closer to world title contention.
The first time former world heavyweight title challenger Dereck Chisora of England fought for the European title, he was badly robbed in a split decision loss in opponent Robert Helenius' home country of Finland in 2011.
Now Chisora has a second chance to win the vacant title. Kubrat Pulev, who outpointed Tony Thompson in a world title eliminator on Aug. 24, has vacated the European title, paving the way for Chisora to face 25-year-old Edmund Gerber (23-1, 14 KOs) of Germany for the belt.
Chisora (17-4, 11 KOs) and Gerber will meet Sept. 21 at Copper Box Arena in London on the card topped by Billy Joe Saunders (18-0, 10 KOs) in a British middleweight title defense against John Ryder (15-0, 9 KOs).
The 29-year-old Chisora lost his shot at a world title in February 2012 via one-sided decision to Vitali Klitschko. Chisora hopes a win over Gerber will put him back in position to get another crack at Vitali's title or at his champion brother Wladimir Klitschko.
"Beating Gerber is another step closer to the Klitschko brothers and nothing is going to stop me winning the European title," Chisora said. "I'm fit, lean and mean and ready to do the business against Gerber, who is a good fighter, but not in my class. I really want do a great job on him, really smash him up and show that I deserve a shot at the Klitschkos.
"The titles are great. Winning the European belt will mean I've won the big three along with the British and Commonwealth, but the world title is the one I want."
After the controversial loss to Helenius, Chisora lost two more fights in a row (against Klitschko and a fifth-round knockout to former titlist David Haye). But Chisora has won two fights in a row as he heads into the showdown with Gerber, including a controversial sixth-round knockout of American Malik Scott on July 20.
Gerber's only loss was a decision to British journeyman Michael Sprott in December, but he won his most recent fight in March.