Hearn Defends Derek Chisora Matchmaking Criticism

Boxing Scene

Eddie Hearn believes there is still a lot left in the tank of veteran heavyweight Derek Chisora.

Hearn, the head of Matchroom Boxing, thinks Chisora can continue to land coveted main event slots if he produces an impressive win in his next fight against veteran Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev. Their 12-rounder takes place at the O2 Arena in London on July 9.

For many, the fight represents the end of the line for the battle-tested, 38-year-old Chisora, a fan favorite who has seldom shied away from brawls but who has also incurred plenty of damage over the years.  

Indeed, Hearn was roundly criticized for making seemingly callous comments after Chisora (32-12, 23 KOs) dropped a punishing points defeat at the hands of Joseph Parker in their heavyweight rematch in December. After the fight, Hearn expressed optimism for a fight between Chisora and power puncher Deontay Wilder, which did not find favor with the boxing public given how Chisora looked. There were calls for Chisora to retire after the Parker fight.

Hearn batted away that particular criticism. While Hearn understands that Chisora’s best days are behind him, he believes his longtime charge can continue to be a main event attraction if he notches a win in his next outing. Chisora lost a decision to Pulev (29-2, 14 KOs) in 2016.

“But what happens if Chisora knocks out Pulev?” Hearn told Boxing Social. “Do you not think that he deserves a big fight? It depends. People around Derek Chisora knows where he’s at. He’s training well, he’s sparring well. He’s healthy. He wants these fights.”

Hearn added, “You wouldn’t moan about Wilder and Pulev, would you? You wouldn’t moan about any of those guys.”

Hearn, however, noted that if Chisora continues to lose, the likelihood of seeing him headline major cards will likely stop. Chisora’s last three fights were all losses, twice to Parker and unified heavyweight champion Oleksandr Usyk in 2020.

“Sooner or later you’re going to have to make a call, if he keeps on getting beat,” Hearn said. “Like if he gets beat to Pulev, even we would turn around and say, ‘Derek you can’t headline again, because you can’t get in those kinds of fights anymore.’

“So he knows the pressure’s on in this fight. But what he’ll always bring is entertainment. And that’s what you look for especially in a big heavyweight fight like this.” 

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