Derek Chisora faces Kubrat Pulev on July 9 amid his worst form since a total rebuild in 2012.
On the back of getting knocked out badly by David Haye at Upton Park in London, Chisora got nursed back to the top over a series of fights.
Before Haye, “WAR” had lost to Vitali Klitschko and, controversially, in a match-up opposite Robert Helenius.
Derek Chisora form
Many could indeed say that Chisora won the Helenius battle. Therefore, these last three losses mean this latest run is his most shocking.
In 2013, Chisora won five on the spin against lesser opposition before heading into a one-sided rematch with Tyson Fury.
This time, at the age of 38, Chisora isn’t afforded that luxury. He’s straight back in at the deep end against Pulev, and the last thing he needs is another hard fight.
Twelve defeats, seven of which have come since his last loss to Pulev in 2016, tell their own story. But in those previous three, Chisora was completely dominated throughout two and fought tooth and nail in the other.
You’d have to say that something needed to give. Maybe Derek should have hung up his gloves?
But by his own admission, boxing is Chisora’s life, and here he is again fighting with nothing to prove.
Promoter Eddie Hearn, who admitted he considered telling Chisora to step away, will find himself in an awkward position if anything serious happens to the former contender.
“I wanted the biggest fight for Derek Chisora. He is an enigma. After his fight with Joseph Parker, I thought it would be an idea to have a nice or easy win.
“Not on the agenda for Derek Chisora – ‘give me the biggest fight you can find.’ Now we have two great well-known Heavyweights, Derek Chisora and Kubrat Pulev, ready to do battle at The O2 Arena on July 9.”
Hearn had initially agreed on another opponent.
“We agreed to terms with Adam Kownacki, but he decided not to take the fight,” explained the Matchroom boss. “We want to thank Kubrat for jumping in.
“I’m delighted to get this fight over the line. Initially, we worked on some other opponents for Derek, but this fight came out of nowhere, and I absolutely loved it!
“July 9 at the O2 Arena live on DAZN worldwide. This fight is labeled as ‘Total Carnage.’ It wasn’t my idea of a strapline. I just said ‘something like Total Carnage’ because that’s what we’re going to get – whether that’s today or whether that’s fight week.
“We will get a great heavyweight fight at The O2 Arena.
“Derek Chisora is back to his stomping ground after some great fights over the years. Of course, Dillian Whyte, Joseph Parker, Oleksandr Usyk, and a fight with this gentleman to my left a few years ago in Bulgaria, which we’ll talk about.
“We’ve already been debating that fight as well.”
Hearn concluded: “I think the strapline, ‘Total Carnage,’ is absolutely perfect for this fight, in terms of the build-up and in terms of the fight itself.
“Expect the unexpected but expect a thriller at The O2 on July 9. Both men have been longstanding fixtures of the World Heavyweight division, and it’s all or nothing at The O2 for both, as defeat could lead to the end of the road.
“Fans can expect a huge undercard and a brilliant main event for another brilliant event live on DAZN.”
Concerned fans of Chisora can only hope the fight is easy on him either way. Retirement should be the next step, win or lose, before another tougher test calls for Derek.
The views expressed in this article are the opinions of Phil Jay.