Monday, December 18

14 Fights, is That Too Early For Dereck Chisora?

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Dereck Chisora is set to face Wladamir Klitschko in a fight being sold as part of “Gr8 Britain v The World” by Sky as part of their Sky Box Office night of boxing which features fights in Liverpool (to celebrate Frank Warrens 30 years in boxing), American (Khan v Maidana) and this fight in Germany. Rather than doing a fully fledged preview like so many others I’m going to just look at what current fighters have achieved in their 15th fight. Although I can’t personally see Chisora posing any sort of a threat at all, in fact I’ll go one further, I see Wlad’s jab using his head like a speed ball bouncing hard accurate jabs off the head of a fighter so ludicrously out of his depth that the WBO and IBF should be ashamed to allow the fight to go ahead.

Floyd Mayweather (then 14-0 with 12KO’s) fought his 15th fight against the 8-1 Miguel Melo. Mayweather would extend his unbeaten run by stopping Melo in the 3rd round and would become world champion 7 months later by defeating Genaro Hernandez. Mayweather was 17-0 when he faced Hernandez though was also a very well respected and skilled amateur fighter who had gone to the 1996 Olympics. Of course Mayweather has gone on to record a sparkling career with some amazing wins and multiple title victories.

Manny Pacquiao (then 13-1 with 5KO’s) fought against Bert Batiller who was 10-1-2 and stopped Batiller in the 4th round, it was the first time Batiller had ever been stopped and signalled the start of end of his career as he went on to record just 1 more win before retiring 11-7-2. Pacquiao would fight for 2 and a half years before getting his first world title fight in December 1998 by which point his record read 23-1 as he faced Chatchai Sasakul for the WBC Flyweight title. Since then his rise…and rise….and rise has been something special.

Wladamir Klitschko (14-0 with 13KO’s) fought against Ladislav Husarik who was 4-13-1 (and ended his career 7-32-1). Klitschko would stop Husarik in the 3rd round yet it wasn’t until he was 34-1 that Klitschko himself would get a world title fight and defeat Chris Byrd for the WBO Heavyweight title. The dominance of the Brothers K since then however has been excellent to watch from a technical stand point (even if it’s not been the most exciting at times).

Bernard Hopkins (13-1 with 11KO’s) Hopkins faced David McCluskey (10-22-2 at the time and 20-73-6-1 when he retired) and stopped him (in either the 5th or the 7th, sources are contradictory here). Hopkins would get his first title fight when he was 22-1 and lose to Roy Jones Jr in a battle for the IBF Middleweight title and it wasn’t until his 3rd title fight (with a record of 26-2-1) that Hopkins actually captured the IBF title and started his reign of domination at Middleweight.

Juan Manuel Marquez (13-1 10KO’s), one of the greatest technical boxers of his generation lost his debut by DQ and then ran off 13 straight wins before his 15th fight. For his 15th contest he faced the 27-15-3 Hector Ulises Chong and scored his 14th straight victory. Marquez would be relatively slow to reach the top with his first title fight coming when he was 29-1 (losing a decision to Freddie Norwood in a clash for the WBA Featherweight title) and it wasn’t until he was 39-2 that he got his second world title fight, that time being victorious. He was 40-2 by the time he was done with Manuel Medina for the IBF Featherweight title.

Sergio Gabriel Martinez (13-0-1 with 5KO’s) then campaigning at Welterweight faced Walter Fabian Saporiti (29-7-2) and scored a 2nd round TKO to continue his rise to the top that now sees him heading the Middleweight division. Although Martinez was a very late bloomer who has only really started to shine in his mid 30’s whats shocking is that he never fought for a “full” world title from one of “the big 4” until very recently. It’s hard to believe but he was 44-2-2 when he walked into the ring to face Kelly Pavlik for the WBO and WBC Middleweight titles. Before then he had won the IBO Light Middleweight title (entering with a 28-1-1 record) and the WBC Interim Light Middleweight title (when he entered with a record of 43-1-1). Wins over Pavlik and Paul Williams have seen him finally getting some rewards for such a long career that was relatively fruitless.

Vitali Klitschko (14-0 14KO’s) the older Klitschko had a perfect KO record when he faced the 5-0 (5) Alben Belinski. The fight promised a KO really and Klitschko delivered stopping his opponent in the 2nd round to continue his streak of KO’s. Vitali would win his first world title, the WBO Heavyweight title in his 25th fight when he beat Herbie Hide in the UK. He would lose that title to Chris Byrd a few fights later due to a damaged shoulder then become a 2 time Heavyweight champion when he beat Corrie Sanders for the WBC belt and despite a forced absence re-establish himself, alongside his brother, as the dominant fighters in the division.

Juan Manuel Lopez (14-0 12KO’s) faced off against Cuauhtemoc Vargas (who was 15-1-1) and scored another stoppage victory needing only rounds to see off the Mexican 15 months later “Juanma” was facing off against the hard punching Daniel Ponce De Leon and fighting in his 22nd fight as a professional. Ponce De Leon was stopped 145 seconds as Lopez won his first world title in explosive fashion and took the WBO Super Bantamweight title. Since then he has continued to build on his reputation as one of the most exciting fighters in the sport and taken a title at featherweight.

Lucian Bute (14-0 14KO’s) the Romanian born Canadian based fighter was rising quickly through the ranks by beating some solid names, he had beaten Kabary Salem in 8 rounds in his 14th fight then took on Donnell Wiggins for fight 15. Wiggins lasted just 2 rounds as Bute defended his NABA title and it was only 18 months later that Bute would win his IBF Super Middleweight title in his 21st professional fight. Bute still holds that title and has defended it 6 times.

Timothy Bradley (14-0 8KO’s) the current holder of the WBO Light Welterweight title scored a 5th round retirement over Martin Ramirez to increase his record to 15-0 (9). Bradley went over to England to face Junior Witter in his first title fight when he entered with a record of 21-0 and took the WBC Lightweight title back home. Now set to face Devon Alexander Bradley has a chance to prove he’s the best in his division though when he had 14 fights he was a relative no one.

As you may recognise, these 10 fighters are the current “pound 4 pound” top 10 from and not the greatest ever fighters as such, but give a good example of where 14 fight fighters can be. For Chisora, it’s unlikely he’ll ever match the achievements of those on this list, and a win would arguably be the biggest shock in Heavyweight title fights since Hasim Rahman stopped Lennox Lewis almost a decade ago.


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