Derek Chisora beats Kubrat Pulev by split decision as brutal bout goes the distance

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·1 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Derek Chisora (left) was a 112-116, 116-112, 116-114 winner against Kubrat Pulev (Getty Images)
Derek Chisora (left) was a 112-116, 116-112, 116-114 winner against Kubrat Pulev (Getty Images)

As Saturday’s main event at the O2 Arena somehow exceeded expectations, Derek Chisora somehow defied the doubters against Kubrat Pulev.

Taglines for boxing bouts are often contrived and usually superfluous, but for this rematch six years in the making, ‘Total Carnage’ proved fitting. If anything, those in attendance in London probably anticipated a few rounds of total carnage and then a sad, brutal ending to the night and potentially the career of either of these aging heavyweights. But Chisora, 38, and Pulev, 41, raged against the dying of the pugilistic light with stubborn jabs, weltering hooks and ominous overhands as around 7,000 watched on.

After 12 rounds that flowed from one to the next on a cocktail tide of blood and sweat, it was Chisora’s swollen hand that was raised by the referee. The judges’ scorecards read 116-112 to Pulev, 116-112 to Chisora, and 116-114 to the victorious Briton – six years after he had suffered his own split-decision loss to the Bulgarian in Hamburg.

For Chisora, the result and the performance that barely secured it will serve as vindication of his decision to fight on. Fans were wincing during this hellacious contest – though that word seems almost too ‘professional sports’ for a match this gladiatorial – and they will have likely had the same reaction when Chisora called for a clash with Deontay Wilder during his post-fight interview. Chisora said this week that the product he sells is “War”, but his feelings towards retirement suggest that the veteran has become a prisoner of it over time.

Saturday evening might have marked the night for Chisora to escape this sport at long last, regardless of the result, but he remains chained to his gloves.

Full report follows...