Heavyweight fan-favourite Dereck Chisora returns to the ring for the 45th fight of his storied career this weekend against 41-year-old Kubrat Pulev.
Despite losing three fights on the spin, “War” Chisora is still a mainstay of the Matchroom and DAZN stable with an unrivalled ability to draw a crowd in victory or defeat.
12 losses dampen the record of the 38-year-old – who is refusing to retire despite a long, tough career – and it’s former two-time world champion challenger Pulev who will be next to attempt to force a p45 from the London-based heavyweight.
This is a rematch, of sorts, following on from their 2016 clash in Hamburg for the European heavyweight title.
Pulev won via a split decision six years ago, and has only lost once (to Anthony Joshua in 2020) since.
But much has changed since then and there is a real feeling that tactics could go out of the window on Saturday night, as these pair of veterans commit to trading leather.
Let’s take a closer look at the fight from inside London’s O2 Arena:
Dereck Chisora (32-12, 23KO)
Despite losing 27% of his fights as a professional, Dereck “War” Chisora is still plodding on in his life as a heavyweight.
The 38-year-old is now trading off his personality and ability to embroil himself in slugfests – ones that rarely go his way.
The Londoner has lost his last three fights to Oleksandr Povetkin and Joseph Parker (x2) and runs 7-7 since 2016 when Kubrat Pulev handed him the sixth loss of his career.
But all things considered, Chisora is in the best physical shape of his life.
Long gone are the days where he would turn up to a fight overweight and uninterested and you now get the feeling that Chisora is a live underdog in any fight he enters.
Along with his ability to throw punches for 12 rounds, Chisora’s punch resistance is close to unrivalled in the heavyweight division.
He can take punch after punch and punishment after punishment and keep coming forward.
Whether Chisora has another inspired evening in his locker – like that against Artur Szpilka in 2019 – is yet to be seen, but he should provide plenty of entertainment on the banks of the river Thames regardless.
Kubrat Pulev (29-2, 14KO)
Kubrat Pulev has been pretty inactive in recent years.
The Bulgarian heavyweight has been floating around the top 10 rankings for a majority of the last decade, struggling to get that signature win on his record.
His two defeats have come against world champions in Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko, but it’s hard to pinpoint the best win on the CV of the 41-year-old.
Pulev has a classic upright European style as a heavyweight and can cause plenty of problems with his stiff jab and combination punches.
He has only won by stoppage twice since 2014, so the hardy and robust chin of Chisora will be confident in taking the hottest heat from Pulev’s gloves.
Prediction & Odds
Despite his age and inactivity, Kubrat Pulev is still a very, very capable heavyweight.
He may not excel in one particular area but the Bulgarian ticks just enough boxes to cause Dereck Chisora more problems on Saturday night.
Chisora is pretty one-dimensional in his approach these days: seek and destroy, and Pulev may just be a little too smart to fall into this predictable trap.
We’re expecting Chisora to have some success in this fight but not enough to get the decision over Pulev despite a favourable home crowd in his corner.
Pulev has only ever lost by stoppage to fighters who have a much broader skill set than the big looping overhand rights that Chisora will throw on Saturday.
A points victory for the away fighter looks well priced.
Dereck Chisora v Kubrat Pulev Tips:
- Kubrat Pulev to win at 4/11 with bet365*
- Kubrat Pulev to win by Decision/Technical Decision at 6/5 also with bet365*
* Odds quoted correct at the time of writing. All betting odds are subject to changes.