THIS summer, entertaining heavyweight contender Dereck Chisora could end up fighting either former WBO world heavyweight champion Joseph Parker or the winner of this month’s crossroads ding-dong between Lucas Browne and Dave Allen.
First, Chisora must get past Senad Gashi on April 20 at London’s O2 Arena, but should that go as planned, there are apparently bigger and better fights afoot.
Asked about Chisora-Parker negotiations, Eddie Hearn, promoter of Chisora’s next fight, told Sky Sports: “There has been, and that’s a fight we’re planning for July.
“To be honest with you, I also like the fight between Derek Chisora and the Allen-Browne winner. I think that’s a good fight. If Dave Allen can win that, Allen against Chisora is a great fight.
“They are both in tough fights. This Senad Gashi is not going to be easy for Chisora.
“Chisora is coming back from a knockout defeat. We saw Senad Gashi have a good go against Takam on a week’s notice. He’s had a good eight-nine weeks’ notice for this fight. He’s pumped up for this fight.”
Nobody is saying Gashi will be an easy fight for Chisora, but it’s certainly a fight few expect Chisora to lose. Moreover, given Chisora’s exploits last year – stellar performances against Carlos Takam and Dillian Whyte – it’s important we see him involved again in meaningful fights. The winner of Browne vs. Allen would be a start. Joseph Parker would be even better.
It’s hard to imagine Chris Eubank Jnr ever planting his roots and employing a full-time trainer, but the latest man in the frame is Virgil Hunter, with whom Eubank Jnr is currently working in Oakland, California.
Eubank Jnr has been at Hunter’s gym training alongside Amir Khan, one of Hunter’s fighters, since last Thursday and sounds receptive to the idea of hooking up with the respected coach on a longer-term basis.
“I’ve seen what Virgil has done over the years, but I wanted to see it up close in person and work with him a little bit, just to see how it is,” said Eubank Jnr, last seen beating James DeGale via decision in February.
“It’s just exploring, Virgil’s not my new trainer. I’m just having a little dabble.
“It absolutely could turn into something, but you can never tell how life is going to turn out.”
The 29-year-old added: “Distance is definitely something I’m looking to improve on. I’ve had certain injuries that have forced me to focus on inside fighting.
“I’m now injury-free so I want to get back to distance fighting and learning more about being on the outside. Virgil is a master of those things.
“Looking at his biggest success story, Andre Ward, I can see some similarities in our fight styles.
“He had all that success with him, and I think that would transfer well to my style. That was another reason why I wanted to come and see what he’s about.”
For his last fight against DeGale, Eubank Jr did the bulk of his training alongside another American coach, Nate Vasquez. That partnership seemed to pay dividends on the night but, again, whether it was a long-term fix or not remains to be seen.
Certainly, Hunter, 65, seems interested in getting involved and offering input of his own.
“I don’t know if we will end up working together,” he said. “I don’t know if I can spend two months in the UK training him, but I’ve told him I should be able to answer any questions he may have.
“When he came here, I asked him what he wanted to improve, and he said his jab. I thought his footwork needed to be worked on.
“Whoever taught him, taught him hands first, but it should be feet first.
“Right now, he’s carpet bombing. You have to carpet bomb to soften guys up and then you drop your payload on them. But he’s not using his feet properly to get into position to drop his payload.”
Chris ‘The Carpet Bomber’ Eubank has a certain ring to it. See. Hunter is already adding fresh layers. Soon, Eubank Jnr will be dropping his payload all over the place.