EXCLUSIVE: ‘I got in trouble, so I dropped the C in my name just in case I went to court!’: Del Boy is back as Dereck Chisora as the heavyweight star kicks off brawling, cigars and his confrontation with Tyson Fury
- Dereck Chisora hopes to get lucky for a third time against Tyson Fury on Saturday
- Chisora lost their first meeting on points before being stopped in the 2014 sequel
- And win, lose or draw, the 38-year-old leaves the arena smoking a cigar
- He also reflected on his childhood where he dropped the C in his name to get around the law
Is Tyson Fury’s world heavyweight title challenger Dereck or Derek Chisora? Does this devout follower of Jesus prefer his name with or without a C? And why has it kept changing?
These may not be the most important questions ahead of Saturday night’s fight at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Not if the two most important letters in the prize ring lexicon are KO, which each combatant promises to inflict on the other. But the answers shed light on how radically life has changed for this man in the 15 years and 45 fights of a heady career.
“I was baptized Dereck and I was as a boy,” he tells Sportsmail. “But after getting into trouble with the law, I dropped the C in case I had to go to court. That makes me say they put the wrong name on the charge sheet, which got me off everything.”
Dereck Chisora (above) has revealed why he removed the C from his name ahead of his showdown with Tyson Fury on Saturday
There were lurid reports of fights, stabbings and shootings, some of which were true, some but not all from his past: “That’s not the case anymore. It’s time to get Dereck back. I prefer it this way now, if you don’t mind.”
The C has returned to Team Chisora’s tracksuits, a symbol of a life wrapped in love, family and tranquility as much as it is still devoted to boxing.
Another C word talks about the transformation in his personal life: cigar. Chisora reflects on how he came to Zimbabwe from birth to fight for England, the WBC world title and £2 million this weekend by lighting up. Cuba’s best of course.
Chisora - who lost their first meeting on points before being stopped in their 2014 sequel – said his name change helped him avoid trouble with the law in his youth
“A Montecristo for the big occasion and the long reflection,” he says. “Cohibas for the smaller smoke, especially for breakfast.”
So how much, how often? “Ten a day,” he says. My wife is going crazy. If she can’t find me at home, she calls me and asks where am I. Outside in the garden. Walking back and forth across the lawn with my cigar. If not, she could see me going to see my friends in my Smart car.”
This giant may not look like your typical family man, but he smiles broadly as he talks about personally redecorating his girls’ bedrooms. Chisora also grins as he considers the magnitude of his task – at 38 against a champion even more frighteningly tall than himself.
Fury will defend his WBC title against Chisora at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
“Tyson is extremely agile for six feet,” he says. “Of course he’s dangerous, we both are. But right now, like him, I’m the best boxer I’ve ever been. We’ve both found that the older you get, the more you understand boxing.
“Technically, the two of us are the best we’ll ever be, even though we’re not as young as we used to be. Tyson is also in his thirties, but he wouldn’t be world champion if he wasn’t technically so good.’
So how will he tackle the job? “With his movement and technique, I can’t expect to beat him on points. But now he goes for the knockout more himself, that gives me more chance to knock him out.’
The only aspect of this occasion that doesn’t amuse him is criticism that Fury chose a friend he beat twice as his warmup for a spring fight against Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight title.
About 60,000 tickets have been pre-sold for Saturday’s fight between Fury and Chisora
“Tyson doesn’t come with me because we’re friends, but because he knows I’m always coming to fight,” he said. Win or lose, there is no doubt that together we will give the fans a great night. We’ve proven that before.’
Surprisingly, Chisora has not seen their two previous fights. A trio of recent defeats brought his record defeats to twelve, but he bounced back to beat former world title challenger Kubrat Pulev.
Chisora is leaner and fitter than any time and he added, “You look good for your age if you keep doing what you love, if your mind is not yet retired but still working.” Even when you retire, you have to keep doing something.
‘I have no regrets. No. Why would I? My children are happy. I love them and my wife and I love boxing win or lose. If it is lost this time, I will collect my money and go home, to be happy with my family, smoking a cigar as I leave the arena. Be happy for me.’