Derek Chisora is on the verge of a potential world title shot that many would have thought was impossible just 12 months ago, his manager David Haye has claimed.
On December 22, 2018, the veteran heavyweight suffered his ninth professional defeat in a closely contested battle which ended by knockout at the hands of Dillian Whyte.
A large portion of the boxing public speculated this defeat may be the last they would see of Chisora at the top level, however ‘WAR’ has again rebuilt and finds himself in a great place once more.
Having structured Chisora’s three wins this year, manager Haye told talkSPORT’s James Savundra: “He’s in a position now where he’s looking at fighting Oleksandr Usyk and Oleksandr Usyk is looking at fighting him.
“Oleksandr Usyk is the mandatory for the WBO heavyweight title… Whoever wins out of AJ and Ruiz has to relinquish one of the belts, either the WBO or the IBF [Kubrat Pulev is IBF mandatory].
“I believe they’ll relinquish the WBO and, if that is the case, there’s a strong possibility that Derek Chisora could fight Oleksandr Usyk for the vacant WBO title.
“In which case, Derek’s one fight away from becoming the heavyweight champion in the world, doing something so many people would never in a million years believe that he could do…
“It showed people [against Dillian Whyte] that Derek, in actual fact, he can really fight. He really deserves to be at the top level in the heavyweight division.
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“Since that point, he beat Senad Gashi, he’s then had two spectacular knockout victories against Artur Szpilka and David Price where he looked devastating, he looked like an absolute monster.
“That’s the Derek Chisora I believe can win a heavyweight title.
“The old Derek Chisora can’t do that, but the new Derek Chisora, who’s lean and mean and hungry and desperate for victory, can do it.
“He really can raise his game and do something spectacular in the sport.”
Since linking up with Haye, Chisora has revolutionised his training regime in order to have one last crack at the big time.
So much so, that he is currently staying ready for a potential Usyk fight by sparring with Anthony Joshua, even though there is no confirmation of a date yet.
“I like February,” Haye continued, “I spoke to Eddie [Hearn]. Eddie said that Usyk’s people really like the sound of fighting Derek Chisora.
“Derek loves the thought of fighting Oleksandr Usyk. It makes perfect sense. Let’s get that pencilled in for February and we’ve got ourselves a hell of a fight.
“Whether it’s for the title or not, worst ways it’d be for the number one mandatory position, which is a good position to be in.
“Derek’s up for it, yesterday he went to Sheffield and was sparring with Anthony Joshua.
“So that shows, even when he’s not in a training camp, he’s willing to put the headguard on and go out there and trade blows with one of the best.
“He said he sparred great and Anthony Joshua was very thankful for Derek coming there and giving him some good work.
“Hopefully Anthony Joshua can win those titles back off Andy Ruiz Jr and right those wrongs.”