BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Dillian Whyte has a lot more to lose than Dereck Chisora when the pair rematch at Greenwich’s 02 Arena on December 22.
That is the verdict of Matchroom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn, who is staging the heavyweight clash in South London.
Brixton’s Whyte is highly ranked by nearly all the major governing bodies and looks set for an April return with world champion Anthony Joshua if he comes through this month’s bout unscathed – a money-spinner that is likely to be a Wembley sellout.
But Chisora only lost a split decision when the pair produced a slugfest in December 2016.
Since then Whyte has chained together victories over Robert Helenius, Lucas Browne and Joseph Parker to strengthen his claim for another crack at Joshua – the only loss on his 25-bout ledger.
Hearn told IFL TV: “Dillian had that street mentality two years ago – he had just fought for the British title against Ian Lewison and wasn’t really making a lot of money.
Now he is a lot more mature, earned a lot of money and got a lot more to lose in this fight. “Does that change you – take that roughness and edge away from you? It is only natural in some fighters. Some do and some don’t. I don’t believe he has.
“The first fight between them was gruelling, dangerous and violent. I think we’ll get the same thing on December 22.
Both fighters were hurt in the fight – they just traded and traded and traded. I don’t think the fight goes the distance this time.
“After a while, how many flush shots can you take on the chin without getting rendered unconscious?”
A defeat for Whyte would blow apart plans for the Joshua bout.
And Hearn admits his advice would probably have been for the 30-year-old to hang back and wait to see what happens with Joshua and a potential unification showdown with Deontay Wilder.
“I didn’t expect him to do that because he just loves it [fighting],” said Hearn. “Most normal people would have waited but these two are not normal people.
“You watch that first fight between them and think ‘how could you want to do that again?”
The unpredictable Chisora had been dreadful in a failed European title challenge but savagely flattened Carlos Takam in July.
“This fight [Whyte-Chisora] was dead before that,” said Hearn. “You have got to respect Chisora because he is the one who has made this happen again by beating Takam.
“Both of them had career-best wins on July 28 [Whyte outpointing Parker].”
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