Tyson Fury is doing his best to sell an uninspiring matchup.
The heavyweight champion will defend his title on Saturday in a third fight with fading contender Derek Chisora, who is 1-3 in his last four fights and arguably didn’t deserve another shot at a major belt.
Fury spoke about Chisora’s fighting spirit at the final news conference before the fight, which will take place at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London (ESPN+).
“Whoever fights Derek Chisora is in for a f—ing good fight,” Fury said. “That’s what we know. That’s what we prepared for. And he was available and ready to rock n’ roll. He stepped up to the plate, and bang, here we are.
“There’s going to be a throwdown for the fans right before Christmas.”
One frustrating element to the matchup is the other potential opponents for Fury, fellow titleholder Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua.
The fans would love to see Fury take on Usyk for the undisputed championship but Usyk made it clear he wouldn’t be available until next year. And while representatives of Fury and Joshua reportedly had contact, the former champion probably was never serious about risking a third consecutive loss after back-to-back setbacks against Usyk.
Fury wanted a second fight this year while there was still time. And at least from a business standpoint, the popular Chisora made sense even though Fury is about a 16½-1 favorite: The stadium is expected to be full on Saturday.
“I needed to fight this year regardless of who it was,” Fury said. “I love fighting. I always need to fight. I wish I could fight every single month of my life. Derek’s the same. We love to fight. So, if we could fight 12 times next year, that’d be fantastic.”
Meanwhile, the 38-year-old Chisora (33-12, 23 KOs) understands that he won the boxing lottery, with a reported purse of about $4.5 million (compared to $25 million for Fury).
The Londoner lost a clear decision to Usyk in 2020 and back-to-back decisions against former titleholder Joseph Parker in 2020 last year, although the latter two fights were competitive. He rebounded to defeat Kubrat Pulev by a split decision this past July, a victory that kept his career alive.
Chisora lost a wide decision to Fury in 2011 and was stopped in 10 rounds by him in 2014.
“I can’t sit here and try to be more aggressive to Tyson and try to say so many bad words because the man I’m looking at right now is giving me an opportunity when nobody wanted to give me an opportunity,” Chisora said.
“He called me up and he said to me, ‘I want to fight you. I want to give you a big payday.’ And I said, ‘Yes. Let’s make it happen.’ For me to sit here and try to talk s— and say so many bad things about a man who is actually giving me food on the table for my kids, I cannot.”
Saying bad things is left to fans who were hoping for a better matchup.