Betfair ambassador David Haye reflects on Derek Chisora's knockout win over David Price and looks ahead to what would be a stunning bout with Oleksandr Usyk...
"Usyk is someone who has been making noises about fighting Derek Chisora and that fight could be made."
Best is yet to come for Chisora
I truly believe Derek Chisora's best days are ahead of him. He's a guy that improves in the gym fight by fight. Whether it's cardio, weight training or punches per round in sparring. They all significantly improve in each camp. He has worked with me for his last four bouts and in each of those outings we have seen big improvements. I don't think that's a coincidence.
His last three fights have all been wins and his last two have been career best performances, knocking out the tough and durable Artur Szpilka before dispatching David Price in four rounds. That shows he is a force in the heavyweight division. He won the WBO Inter-Continental title on Saturday. That will really help his WBO rankings and the world championship belt is currently held by Andy Ruiz Jr who defends his title against Anthony Joshua in Saudi Arabia in December.
Usyk fight is very interesting
The winner of that fight will likely then vacate the WBO title and that will allow number one contender Oleksandr Usyk to challenge. Coincidentally, Usyk is someone who has been making noises about fighting Derek Chisora and that fight could be made. Even without a belt on the line it would be a great fight. It would be huge for Derek, but I believe he could win against a man who was the undisputed cruiserweight champion of the world, famously knocking out Tony Bellew.
Few would give Chisora a chance of beating Usyk but he's up for it, as am I. I've seen enough behind the scenes to convince me Derek can beat someone as skilful as Usyk. If Chisora was to beat a man who has achieved everything in boxing it would put him right at the top of the pile. That's the fight I want for Derek next, it's a fight Usyk's people seem very interested in and it's one the fans would love. Derek has already proven he doesn't take a backwards step and comes in all guns blazing. He's getting fitter, stronger and faster. He's looking better in sparring and has a new lease of life.
Can you imagine if the WBO title was on the line and Derek was to become the heavyweight champion? That would be some turnaround in the career of a man who has already lost nine times. It would be quite a story. I have fought Derek and know how good he is. Since that point he has improved significantly. I have assisted in that, bringing in the very best nutritionists, strength and condition experts and boxing coaches. I have done everything to give Chisora the best chance possible of realising his dreams. In 2020 I'm confident he will shock the world.
First class performance
I rated Derek Chisora's performance against David Price as first class. He did exactly what he was asked to do and that was not taking any unnecessary jabs. That was important as we were in with an opponent we knew was 6ft 9inches, had freakishly long arms and was known for having a world class jab. He was an Olympic bronze medallist, so is a master boxer. Derek didn't take one clean jab in the whole four rounds the bout was live and having a fighter sticking to the game plan is what boxing is all about at the highest level.
He proved to me he isn't just going to do his own thing but is smart enough to follow instructions. He understood we had the correct game plan and practised it in sparring and training. We all saw the rewards on Saturday evening at the O2 Arena. It was a fantastic, fan friendly performance that had supporters cheering and singing his name all night long. That was exactly what we wanted to see and hear. Derek Chisora now marches on to bigger and better things.
I like the Oleksandr Usyk fight. It's a match the fans would really love to see. Derek loves the idea of the fight and loves the fact people are already writing him off. He wants to silence the doubters and prove he is the main man on the circuit at the moment. Chisora has won every major belt except the heavyweight championship of the world. In 2020 he's willing to put it all on the line and go for one of those titles. We want to be sure that when he does challenge, he's ready to win the belt.