AFTER weeks of being spoilt with mouth-watering title action inside both the ring and octagon, fight fans are faced with the option of two high-profile yet rather unnecessary rematches in the final weekend before the holidays.
In Manchester, former world champion and Tyson Fury teammate Joseph Parker looks to improve upon his split points victory over Dereck Chisora in a fight that has zero implications on the actual heavyweight title picture.
Whilst, going one better, over in Tampa, Florida social media personality Jake Paul rematches former UFC champion Tyron Woodley in a meaningless cash-grab, albeit after Tommy Fury withdrew due to injury.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a hater when it comes to the Paul brothers and their ability to convert their social audience into pay-per-view punters. In fact, I had planned to focus this week’s column on the scheduled Paul-Fury fight.
Two raw novice pros with reputations far greater than their skills set; and Tommy coming from a proud fighting family who’d rather win and not get paid than the other way around. I was fully signed up.
However, I predicted a pedestrian Paul points victory the last time he faced Woodley and see no reason to change my opinion just four months on. Woodley, 39, has returned for another pay day, just like all of Paul’s opponents to date.
So, instead let’s get excited about Parker vs. Delboy part two.
It’s been three-and-a-half years since Parker lost his WBO belt to Anthony Joshua in Cardiff. He balled straight into a points loss to Dillian Whyte four months later, but has won five straight since.
As well as beating Chisora in May, he ALSO started the year with a huge victory over domestic rival Junior Fa back in Auckland. Now aged 29, Parker should be starting to come into his athletic peak. He can ill afford any questions left unanswered this weekend.
For Chisora, well, it’s time for him to once again dig down into his bag of tricks. Despite suffering 11 defeats in his 43-fight career, 37-year-old Chisora has always remained relevant.
— Sky Sports Boxing (@SkySportsBoxing) May 4, 2021
It’s nine years since his failed world title attempt against Vitali Klitschko in Germany, yet he’s maintained his spot in the upper echelons of the division by taking on top contenders year on year.
Losses to David Haye, Tyson Gury, Whyte and Oleksander Usyk were tempered by wins over Malik Scott, Kevin Johnson, Carlos Takam and a resurgent David Price. Like a bad penny, Chisora just keeps popping back up – and fight fans love him for it.
I’d love to see Chisora turn back the clock once more and drag Parker into a dogfight to end the year on a high. But more likely is the Kiwi will stick to his superior boxing and get the job done on all three scorecards this time to leave no doubt.
Keep an eye on the undercard in Manchester too, where both Brits in title action – Lerrone Richards and Jack Cullen – face seriously under-valued opponents in Carlos Gongora and Kevin Lele Sadjo respectively. Both are big punchers.