Just tidying up some tidbits from yesterday.
As well as the Derry Mathews joining Queensbury Promotions and Stephen Smith joining Matchroom, the British Boxing Board of Control ordered David Price vs Dereck Chisora for the British title and longtime manager and promoter Frank Maloney has officially announced his retirement.
There will be more to come from both those stories, but brief thoughts below.
Chisora vs Price is a very intriguing domestic heavyweight bout that also carries a few world level implications. It’s a sobering look at how things can change in boxing to consider how the positions of the two have swapped. At the start of the year Price was in the ascendant, coming off a run of impressive knockout victories over the likes of Matt Skelton, Sam Sexton and a bit less impressively Audley Harrison, while preparing his seemingly inevitable rise to the world scene by facing veteran American contender Tony Thompson. Chisora in contrast was persona-non-grate in boxing, stripped of his British licence after his antics with the Klitschko brothers and in post fight conferences, having lost to Vitali and then being knocked out by Haye in their grudge match. It was unclear if he would ever even box again.
Here were are 10 months later and Price needs to rebuild his career following two stoppage losses to Thompson while Chisora is now back on the edges of the world scene having beaten Malik Scott and Edmund Gerber. Chisora’s antics are now less of a millstone around his neck and more of a selling point and while a year ago it was Chisora who looked like he needed such a bout to become relevant, now it’s Price who needs it.
It’s a fantastic bout and one that holds risks for both. Chisora is currently sitting pretty with the European and a minor WBO belt and if he wanted can probably simply knock off a selection of scrubs with pretty records but little talent before lining up a lucrative bout with one of the Klitschkos. Facing Price probably represents a step down in terms of his world ranking and a loss there would force him to start again. As for Price, with two losses in a row and no warm-up bouts, a loss to Chisora… especially if it’s by stoppage… could be the end for him as a boxer, or at least as a boxer anyone cares about and is willing to watch.
The matchup itself is also intruiging. Price appears to be a glass cannon with his frailties in the unpaid ranks repeated in the heavyweights. He hits exceptionally hard and has a good jab followed by a straight right but his defence is lacking and his chin questionable. Chisora in contrast doesn’t quite have Price’s power but has shown an excellent chin, able to soak up shot after shot while grinding opponents down and beating them into submission with draining shots on the inside.
Can Price hurt Chisora before he gets to him? Can he keep Chisora away? Or can Chisora get to Price early and work on those defensive flaws?
I favour Chisora but it’s an excellent bout.
Tangentially related, Maloney retiring evokes some strange feelings. It’s somewhat off-putting to think of a British scene without Maloney but on the other hand he’s basically been retired for the last few years. His only high profile fighter in recent times has been the aforementioned Price and ever since a series of heart attacks he’s never seemed fully focused on boxing. Most famous for his management of Lennox Lewis, Maloney never quite reached those heights as a promoter, generally being in the shadow of Frank Warren. That said, he still developed a number of boxers and took them to world titles… something that should never be scoffed at.
His political views were often controversial (and at times somewhat repugnant) but his reputation within boxing was as one of the “good guys” in a sport which solely lacks them. In truth I’ll probably miss him.
Not his suits though.