Via social media, we got word that former world title contender Derek Chisora, a beloved cultural icon of British boxing, will face another former world title challenger, and aging heavyweight veteran in Gerald Washington on the undercard of Anthony Joshua versus Dillian Whyte, on August 12th - which will be shown on DAZN.
The initial reaction is mixed.
Chisora is embodying a fighting spirit that has endeared him to the general public. Though nothing about his style is all that pretty, his recent obsession with Marvin Hagler and Hagler's mentality of 'War' leading into big bouts has given him a cult-icon status in the British boxing scene. Despite losing most of his big fights, Chisora has seen his star grow given the type of performances he puts on and even continues to headline marquee fight dates. One of these fights was a disputed loss to Joseph Parker via a split decision in which many felt he should've been awarded the victory. Prior to that, Chisora gave Oleksandr Usyk an honest fight.
His last fight, a money grab of sorts with Tyson Fury, that most forget happened, which concluded their trilogy and saw Chisora get stopped in the tenth round.
Despite being beloved, has taken a lot of damage. Boxing is not a video game and fighter wear the wounds of war after each fight and damage has consequence. This leads to the biggest question remaining....Chisora is a brawler, and he is now 39-years-old. Should Chisora still be fighting? Deeper than that, and given the warrior spirit that has made him a folk hero is it up to him to determine whether or not he should stop - given that he has never shown retreat in life ever, why would he now in the twilight of his career?
To be fair, Washington occupies the same spot in the sport. As the fight could be billed as a 'fun, old guy fight'. Washington is a veteran, who lost most of his biggest fights, but converted from a former undrafted NFL free agent to a at one-time fringe top-fifteen heavyweight in the world. Now at 41-years-old, Washington is safe-to-say not what he once was. Even more troubling is his record over the last six years, Washington is 2-5 with all five of his losses being stoppages. Chisora is entering the fight 3-5, but has only been stopped once in his recent losses, albeit it is his last fight.
In 2019, Washington did stop Robert Helenius which is a win that holds up - but still, this fight screams of a financial opportunity more than a fight that moves the needle in world-class boxing.
So what gives?
Those who oppose the bout feel that Chisora has taken too much damage and shouldn't fight anymore. On the flip side, those who like the match-up view them as equals in terms of skillet, age, and damage - and view the risk as less than what it could be against a young fighter.
When searching Twitter some of the positive tweets went over the following tropes of offering endearment and encouragement to Chisora upon his return with many believing it is Chisora's last fight and wanting to wish him well for his last bout.
Whereas the negative blowback was far greater with people questioning if anyone wants to see this fight, some wishing Chisora would become a broadcaster and not get hit anymore, as well as passionate pleas for Chisora to retire.
The honest and harsh truth - outside fans who grew up watching both fighters this fight will probably serve as just something that is happening. The big thing is that both fighters enter the ring safely, and exit it in the same condition.