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Dereck Chisora struggling for sparring partners ahead of Oleksandr Usyk clash

Anthony Cocks

Australian-based boxing journalist Anthony Cocks has been covering the sport for over 15 years for various print and online publications. He refuses to believe that Roberto Duran ever lost to Tommy Hearns and says that Jeff Fenech would destroy Chuck Norris, Bruce Lee and Muhammad Ali on the same night.

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Dereck Chisora 32-9 (23) is struggling to get sparring partners to replicate the style of former undisputed cruiserweight champion Oleksandr Usyk 17-0 (13).

The heavyweight duo will meet at the O2 Arena in London on May 23.

“I want to thank Oleksandr for taking this fight. I am fighting one of the best fighters out there,” Chisora said.

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“The guy knows how to box and I can’t get sparring partners who can box like him. I will chuck whatever I can chuck. I want to take his golden ticket and I want to take what he has and make it mine.

“I think the way he wins this fight is by knocking me out but that is not going to happen because I am going to keep coming. I am so chuffed for this fight.

“The guy has good foot movement and If I box his way he is going to win it. I just need to land a couple of punches to slow him down and it is going to be an exciting fight… I will step in them ropes, bite down on the gumshield and catch this man.”

Chisora’s manager David Haye believes the delay in the fight taking place will work in his fighter’s favour.

“I think this has worked in Dereck’s favour, the fight being pushed back, as it has given him an opportunity over the six-month period to consistently train,” Haye said.

“We’re not talking training so he will be burnt out come fight night but periodic training. We are working on his engine, his punch quality and week by week he has improved. He has looked so good that we had to give him a vacation!

“He has done his first spar and we now have ourselves a situation with an exceptional Cruiserweight, perhaps even the best ever moving into a division where he hasn’t done anything yet. He touched on it as an amateur, but that is long range and about boxing skills.

“Dereck isn’t going to try and outbox Usyk, he is going to drag him into a dogfight from the first bell. I feel he is brave enough to hold his feet because he feels he is significantly better than Dereck but he is going to be in there with a completely different animal.

“Sometimes skills can be overridden by size, heart and desire. I don’t feel that Usyk has been in a rough fight which he will be in on May 23rd. We are going to cause a massive upset and I feel that Usyk has miscalculated Dereck heading into this fight.

“Who would have thought that Dereck would have been in the ring with a pound-for-pound king in Usyk a couple of years back? Usyk does not realise what Dereck is about! His coach will not allow him in sparring to do what Dereck will be doing to him with 10oz gloves on. This will be a special fight.”

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