- Paul, whose 62nd birthday coincided with the day of the fight, had hoped that his son would deliver a perfect birthday present for him but the night ended in tears.
ZIMBABWE-BORN British heavyweight boxer Derek Chisora’s father, Paul, turned 62 on Saturday, the day his son (36) fought in a losing battle to 33-year-old Ukrainian opponent Oleksandr Usyk.
Paul, together with friends and relatives, some from his rural home in Shamva, were rooting the Zimbabwe-born British fights, at his home in Mbare.
And Chisora, who left the country as a 16-year-old 20 years ago, appeared in control of the duel at the start but them allowed unbeaten Ukrainian to find his range and take the fight on points.
Paul was convinced his son did enough to win but the judges decided otherwise.
There was deafening silence among those who gathered at the Mbare house when the announcement came through.
Paul said something kept telling him his son would lose if he failed to put together a knockout punch.
“I remain a proud father. Derek bossed his opponent for the better part of the 12-round bout but he couldn’t finish him off within distance,’’ said Paul.
“I was praying hard that he knocks him out before the final bell.
“The match was a bit tight but I will forever feel that Derek deserved to come out of it with something.
“I am sure even the winner (Usyk) himself feels it but such is the game. Derek should not lose heart.
“He gave it his all and only faltered by not finishing off his opponent within the distance.
“The final decision from the judges is what matters, at the end of the day so, I think, Derek should not lose heart.
“He showed that he is made of steel and I am ever proud of him. I know we were in it with a chance but, unfortunately, we lost.”
Paul, whose 62nd birthday coincided with the day of the fight, had hoped that his son would deliver a perfect birthday present for him but the night ended in tears.
“I was expecting a huge birthday present, yes. I was hoping my boy would win but it wasn’t to be.
“I know the world watched and everyone knows Derek deserved to come out with something but, hey, it wasn’t his day. I wanted him to knock the opponent out early.”
Reacting to the fight, boxer Dillian Whyte, who has beaten Chisora twice before, says Dereck must ditch his team and employ ‘proper boxing coaches’ following his unanimous defeat at the hands of Oleksandr Usyk at Wembley on Saturday night.
“All his team got in the ring, clapping and cheering like they were happy with what he did,” Whyte told BBC Sport.
“Mаybe their plаn wаs just for him to survive the 12 rounds. Mаybe. They’re crаzy! Thаt’s why he needs proper boxing coаches to be reаl with him, not your friends.
“This is а joke. I know I’m gonnа get criticised for this but it’s а joke. You need your corner to give you good instructions аs well but Derek wаsn’t cutting him off, he wаsn’t tаrgeting the body.”
Whyte continued: “I don’t know whаt his corner wаs telling him. They’re not boxing guys, they’re just strength аnd conditioning guys, MMA guys.
“You need boxing coаches to tell you whаt to do. As а fighter you know whаt to do, but you need someone to help you with the gаme-plаn аt times becаuse we аre аll humаn beings, we need guidаnce.
“Thаt wаsn’t in Derek’s corner. They worked him hаrd, got him in shаpe аnd thought thаt wаs enough. Thаt’s not enough to beаt elite guys unfortunаtely.”
Olympic gold medallist Audley Harrison told BBC Sport: “Good, good fight – Derek fought his heart out and did everything he could to break Usyk down … a classic boxer versus the slugger match-up but the right man won. But salute to Chisora for digging deep and having such a solid performance.’’
Former world-title challenger Paul Smith Jr had this to say: “Had it 9-3 Usyk. Chisora unfortunately did what a lot of fighters do against elite fighters and started in fourth gear. Brave and very good effort from Chisora, tough as old boots and moves great for a heavyweight.’’
The Ukrainian remained the mandatory challenger of Antony Joshua’s WBO title with the win. – Herald / BBC ■