The chief support to Dillian Whytes Interim WBC Heavyweight title fight with Columbian Oscar Rivas is Dereck â€˜Del Boyâ€™ Chisoraâ€™s scheduled 10 rounder with former world title challenger Artur Szpilka of Poland.
Both fighters are in need of a big win to get them back into contention. Chisora has only a lacklustre 10 round pointâ€™s win over German Senad Gashi since he suffered a heavy 11th round knockout defeat to Whyte in December 2018. Szpilka has two 10 round decision wins over trial horse Dominick Guinn and fellow countryman Mariusz Wach since losing to Adam Kownacki, and before that, to Deontay Wilder in a 2016 challenge for the Alabama natives WBC crown, Szpilka was knocked out by a spectacular right hand in the 9th round.
Whoever wins will get a lifeline to fringe world-class, and as we have seen with Andy Ruiz Jr, that can mean being in the right place at the right time.
Chisora has a total of nine losses on his ledger but it can be argued that each and every one was at world level. In 2012 he went the distance with then WBC ruler Vitali Klitschko, a feat that only Kevin Johnson and Shannon Briggs managed in Vitaliâ€™s 12 WBC defences.
The only big names in Del Boyâ€™s win column have come against former world title challengers Danny Williams and Carlos Takam and a then unbeaten Malik Scott. His losses abroad to Robert Helenius and Kubrat Pulev drew some condemnation of the judges scoring, but generally, at top-level, the Finchley man has lost more than he has won.
Without the 4 round loss to fellow Pole Kownacki, Szpilka might have been the betting favourite against Chisora following the Whyte Ko, but the nature of Kownackiâ€™s win left the feeling that Szpilka no longer possess either the mental or physical toughness needed to perform at this level. What we do know is that Chisora will test Szpilka early and if he is found wanting, he will be in for a painful night.
The big question this fight poses is who has the most left at this stage of their career and I think that is Chisora.
Szpilka does have the option of boxing a cagey southpaw strategy, he has shown good lateral movement and boxing skills in the past, but Chisora is so adept at cutting the ring down on opponents I cannot see that style working well past 5 or 6 rounds for the 30-year-old Pole. Instead, I think Szpilka will be dragged into the kind of war, we have seen him do well in, in the past. Another factor is Chisoraâ€™s overhand right which will make Szpilkaâ€™s southpaw stance more of an advantage, providing Dereck can get the Pole moving to his left.
Home advantage will never be anything but an advantage and seeing that Chisora will be having his 5th straight outing at the O2 Arena, he will be in his home from home venue.
Prediction: I see Chisora stopping Szpilka in 8-10 rounds.