Dereck Chisora continued on his quest for another crack at the world heavyweight championship Saturday night with a third round stoppage over a spirited opponent in Ondrej Pala, at the Copper Box arena, London.
Chisora, who now improves to 19-4 (13, KO's), puts himself right back into the mix for world honours after successfully defending his WBO International crown. The Zimbabwe-born Londoner has had a triumphant year, which has seen him rebound from his knock-out defeat to fellow Brit David Haye last year, with four victories in 2013 – all of which inside the distance.
“Del Boy's” latest conquest however was not without moments of adversary, with the Czech challenger asking questions of Chisora early. Round 1 saw Pala doing a decent job of neutralising Chisora's aggressiveness by tying his man up when in the trenches. Winging shots, Pala connecting with a whipping left hook to punctuate the round.
Pala came right to the centre of the ring at the start of the second and landed again with the left hand. A monster hook sent Chisora onto the ropes, forcing him onto the retreat while he cleared his head. The champion recovered quickly though and pushed his opponent onto the back foot with constant pressure.
The tide turned however in the third round. Pala, seemingly ahead in the fight, was hurt by clubbing combinations from the Finchly man, landing round Pala's guard. The Czech heavyweight stumbled into the turn-buckle, turning his back in the process – giving the referee no choice but to wave the fight off. It may have seemed a soft stoppage on the surface, but when a fighter shows they're unable to defend themselves the official has to take matters into their own hands.
Chisora it now appears to be finally taking his career seriously, dropping weight like it's out of fashion. Now sporting a much leaner frame, Chisora came into Saturday night's fight at a trim 235 lb's. A stark contrast to his padded, flabby exterior we've become used to seeing him under.
A title shot looks promising now for Del Boy in 2014, however with Tyson Fury yet to announce a replacement opponent for his original February date with David Haye – could potentially offer Chisora a chance to step in and avenge the defeat he suffered at the hands of Fury two years ago. Chisora was visibly far from being in shape for the fight back in 2011, yet still had Fury hurt. The new, refined, motivated Dereck Chisora we saw this weekend would certainly provide a tougher test for the undefeated Fury, if given the shot.
Also in action, making a successful transition from domestic to European level, was Enfield pressure fighter Frank Buglioni. The “Wise Guy” picked up the WBO's vacant European title in stopping the stubborn Stepan Horvath in the 8th round.
Horvath, only with one defeat to his name, frustrated Buglioni by maintaining a tight guard and landing shots of his own. They did little to silence Buglioni's boisterous fan base however, nor did they dishearten the Londoner as he continued to cut the ring off, winning the majority of the rounds.
Faced with a tricky opponent, Buglioni did what elite fighters should do at this level – stopping the show with a perfectly placed left hook to the body that sat Horvath down in the 8th. Still grimacing with pain, the Czech fighter rose to his feet only for Buglioni to land another crashing body shot to end the bout.
Am impressive win for Buglioni, and his second consecutive stoppage at the Copper Box. He'll likely look to defend his new European title a few times now, before thinking about stepping up to world level.
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