Dereck Chisora was ahead on two of the three judges’ scorecards before this happened to him in the 11th round on Saturday night at the O2 Arena in London.
Dillian Whyte fought through fatigue and a persistent opponent to land the thunderous left hook on Chisora’s chin. The referee didn’t bother to count as Chisora lay clearly unconscious on the canvas. In a show of celebration, Whyte let out a yell that was almost as primal as the punch that ended the fight.
This was a rematch of what many regarded as the Fight of the Year in 2016. Whyte won that contest via split decision. Faced with another close call on Saturday, the 30-year-old Brit took the decision out of the judges’ hands. The win improved his record to 25-1 and the KO was his 18th. His only professional loss came in 2015 at the hands of current WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
Whyte wants a rematch with Joshua but may have to wait for Joshua to attempt to unify the titles with WBC champion Deontay Wilder. Joshua has a pre-arranged date at Wembley Stadium on April 13. Joshua would love for Wilder to be his opponent on that day, but if the two sides are unable to come to an agreement, Joshua may have to open up the opportunity of a rematch with Whyte or a title defense against Jarell “Big Baby” Miller.
As for Chisora, he fell to 29-9 with the loss. It was the third time he’s been stopped in his professional career. He was in outstanding shape for the bout and he pushed the pace early on. He held the aforementioned advantage on the scorecards despite being penalized for low blows earlier in the fight.
His relentlessness and body punching seemed to be taxing Whyte, but clearly, he maintained enough strength to launch the Coup de Grace.
Chisora didn’t hurt his stock with the loss, although after suffering a KO of that nature, there are always questions as to whether a fighter’s career should continue. He has been knocked out before, but this was by far the most brutal.
We’ll soon find out what’s next for both Whyte and Chisora in what has suddenly become a very interesting heavyweight division.