Vitali Klitschko was able to do enough to fend off a very capable effort from Dereck Chisora today in Germany. After twelve hard fought rounds, the three judges scored the fight 118-110, 118-110 and 119-111. It was more competitive than the scores make it sound as I scored the bout 116-112 for Vitali, which was the same score that Scott Christ at Bad Left Hook had.
Things got strange before the fight when the Klitschko camp wanted Chisora to re-wrap his hands, leading to Chisora losing his mind and threatening to not fight. Once that was resolved it led to a delay getting the fight to start with the fighters not entering the ring until roughly 5:18, when the bout was supposed to start at 4:30. To make matters worse, during the pre-fight rules/staredown, Chisora spit a mouthful of water in Vitali's face.
The early rounds saw Klitschko find some success with straight right hands and the occasional uppercut, but none of his success was able to stop Chisora's constant forward motion. This was a pattern that continued for five rounds as Vitali would land his shots and manage to get away from the forward motion of Chisora without taking much by way of damage other than the occasional cuffing wild right or body shots.
In rounds six, seven and eight it was Chisora who seemed to be taking the fight over. Vitali looked to be a bit tired and Chisora was able to get inside and score effectively. While I had the fight at 77-75 at that point and seemingly within reach for Chisora, the WBC's open scoring for the bout sucked the drama out as it was announced that the scores were 79-74, 79-73 and 79-73 after eight rounds.
Chisora would fade a bit himself, never stopping his stalking, pressure attack but not being able to let his hands go as much as he did during his periods of greatest success. Klitschko was able to pick his way to the final bell and a wide victory on the official scorecards.
It was a solid effort for Chisora who deserves praise for his fighting, if not his behavior. For a heavyweight bout involving the Klitschkos it was plenty entertaining. Chisora also became only the fourth man to get to the scorecards against Vitali, who had scored stoppage wins in 40 of his 43 wins entering the night.
Unfortunately there was a bit more nonsense after the bout as Vitali's brother, Wladimir, got in Chisora's face and a shouting match followed. There were no punches exchanged, only words, but it made sure that the German crowd booed Chisora loudly during his post fight interview.
Make sure you check in at Bad Left Hook for all the fallout from this heavyweight title fight.