Monday, September 30, 2013
Saunders, Chisora at Copper again
By Dan Rafael
Billy Joe Saunders, the British and Commonwealth middleweight champion, and heavyweight Dereck Chisora co-headlined the first pro boxing card at the Copper Box Arena -- a facility used for the 2012 London Olympics -- on Sept. 21.
The card was a success, with Saunders retaining his belts by decision against John Ryder and Chisora stopping Edmund Gerber in the fifth round to win the vacant European title.
Saunders and Chisora will be back to co-headline the second card at the arena on Nov. 30. Neither fighter has an opponent yet, but both will defend their belts.
Chisora (18-4, 12 KOs), who lost a world title challenge by lopsided decision to Vitali Klitschko in 2012, hopes to use his European title to help him land either a rematch with titleholder Vitali (unlikely) or a shot at world champion Wladimir Klitschko (not out of the realm of possibility). Wladimir, of course, would have to retain his title against Alexander Povetkin on Saturday in Moscow, where Chisora plans to be ringside.
"I said that I would be destroying these guys from now on, and that's what I've done in my last two fights," Chisora said. "The fans and media know what I can do. This is the new 'Del Boy' and this time I'm on the road to win the world heavyweight title. I love fighting at the Copper Box Arena, and this is my new home. Whoever I have in front of me on Nov. 30 is getting destroyed."
Saunders (19-0, 10 KOs) has won all three of his fights so far in 2013 and hopes to close out the year 4-0 with another defense.
"To say this year has been the best of my career would be an understatement," said Saunders, a 2008 British Olympian. "I couldn't have wished for a better one, but it's only going to get better and better. I'm producing the best boxing of my career. I've defended my British and Commonwealth titles, I've beaten two unbeaten fighters in [Gary] O'Sullivan and Ryder. I'm still unbeaten and I've won the Best Young Boxer of the Year award [from the British writers]. But the year isn't over yet."