Don Charles on ‘Del Boy’ and His Return

With his British licence restored, enigmatic Finchley heavyweight Dereck Chisora can finally commence his rebuilding process this Saturday.
The always captivating and charismatic ‘Del Boy’ returns in an international 10 rounder against Argentina’s decent Hector Alfredo Avila.

(Catch the whole ‘Rule Britannia’ show, headlined by Nathan Cleverly’s mandatory WBO light-heavyweight defence against Robin Krasniqi and also featuring Liam Walsh against Scott Harrison, live and exclusive in the UK on BoxNation, the Channel of Champions from 7pm Saturday evening, Sky Ch.437/Virgin Ch.546).  Join at

With prospective assignments against the likes of old adversary Robert Helenius and British champion David Price already being negotiated, the 29 year old Zimbabwe native knows there is no room for slip-ups.

The man commissioned with steering Chisora clear of mischief and moulding his incontestable talent, is Don Charles, the eloquent Nigerian born trainer who has groomed ‘Del Boy’ since he was a raw teenage novice. Last weekend boxing writer Glynn Evans caught up with him. 

Camp Chisora was very confident and bullish going into the blockbuster with David Haye at Upton Park last July. On reflection, why didn’t the fight go your way? 

I need to be careful how I respond because I certainly don’t want to make any comment that detracts from Mr Haye’s glory.

Dereck needed to be patient. We stressed that throughout our build-up because we knew he’d never faced anyone who was as fast as Mr Haye was likely to be. Dereck knew what he had to do but, unlike David, he didn’t stick to his game plan. He ended up handing the fight on a plate to the other side.
It was our belief that Mr Haye was only good for six rounds. We fully anticipated that he’d storm out and unleash a lot of power shots from the first bell and that’s exactly what he did. Dereck was told to just tuck up while David exploded.

When Dereck stuck to our plan during the first three rounds he performed very well. However, he  then started to get fed up and frustrated. He opened up prematurely, before he was given the green light and David was able to pick him off. Dereck lost his composure and David Haye is too intelligent a boxer to be fighting, if you’re not composed.
But Dereck didn’t take a sustained beating. He took a big shot but finished the fight on his feet with just a second left to go in the round. Had he been allowed back to the corner and given a minute to recuperate…who knows?

Were you able to take any positives out of the event?

Positives? We stressed beforehand that it was a must win fight for us so it was a very sore loss. I’m still sore. Sure, Dereck likes to provide the public with entertainment – which he certainly did – but we didn’t go into the Haye fight to ‘do well’. We went in hell bent on winning. The lessons we learnt for our future is the only positive.

Dereck was commendably gracious in defeat when the battle was done. How badly did the defeat affect him privately?

You have to credit Dereck Chisora. I was surprised how well he took the defeat in the ring on the night. He immediately congratulated David on his victory and I’m very proud that he could behave that way. That showed class and portrayed our sport in a positive light after the unsavoury incidents over in Germany.
But I know Dereck very well and privately, trust me, he’s still hurting. He replays the fight in his head and, more that once after training sessions, he’s been lying down on the gym floor saying: ‘I messed up, I messed up.’ 

He knows he committed a cardinal sin but we can’t dwell on it forever. The fact that Mr Haye hasn’t retired offers us a glimmer of hope for the future. If both keep winning, it’s possible that Dereck might one day get a chance to redeem himself.

Dereck will have been inactive for nine months when he steps inside the ring to resume his career on Saturday evening. Was an extended break essential after the gruelling schedule he’d had in 2011-12?

Absolutely. It was welcomed. But I’ve no regrets about the path we chose to take. The opportunities just kept being offered and you have to seize them. We needed to capitalise on the momentum we were building. It may sound stubborn but I’d not change a thing. We didn’t plan the schedule. It was our destiny. 
The ‘fast track’ most definitely accelerated Dereck’s development as a fighter.

He only had 22 amateur contests and he’s only had 19 professional fights yet look at the experience, respect and popularity he’s gained. Look at the money he’s earned. How many others have achieved what Dereck Chisora has achieved after only 19 fights?

Of course, he would have fought a month ago had the (Rule Britannia) show not been postponed. But he’s fully refreshed and recharged; ready to fight again.

Dereck has always thrived off his swagger. While there were mitigating circumstances to his three other defeats – overweight v Fury, robbed blind v Helenius, lacking experience against Vitali Klitschko – the reverse to Haye was very conclusive and very personal. Might he have lost some of that ‘rude boy’ that was an integral ingredient behind his success in the ring?

I’m probably one of the closest people to Dereck. Yes, I think the emphatic nature of the defeat possibly humbled him a bit. He’s a very sociable, outgoing person who enjoys meeting people, enjoys being ‘out and about’ so I guess that’s natural. But it only took away about 10% of his swagger and he’s only a couple of wins away from getting it back and returning to the same old Dereck Chisora.

Thankfully common sense prevailed and the British Boxing Board of Control recently re-issued Dereck with his license so he can resume his career. 

Stieglitz Gets His Revenge, Helenius and Groves Successful


Robert Stieglitz is the new WBO Super-Middleweight Champion. The 31-year old
won against former titleholder Arthur Abraham in front of 7,000 fans at the
GETEC-Arena in Magdeburg, Germany by TKO in round four. Abraham suffered a
heavy swollen left eye caused by a big right hand in round two which subsequently lead to the early ending of the championship bout.

Stieglitz started the fight very aggressive, forcing his opponent to hide
behind his defense, who followed his usual recipe of picking and choosing
his shots. Although the challenger was more active, it was Abraham who landed the cleaner shots at the beginning. Round two painted the same picture. It was obvious that both men had a game plan before entering the ring and were not willing to let the other one force his own tactics on to the fight. Midway through the second stint the two Germans exchanged some vicious blows. One of these, a heavy right by Stieglitz caused a bad swelling to Abraham´s left eye, which eventually led to the stoppage.

Even though Abraham could hardly see anything, he was not willing to give up
his beloved WBO Crown without a fight and battled through round three, even
landing some good punches toward the end of the round. But right after the
break, the ringside physician took a close look at Abraham´s injury and advised referee Michael Ortega to end the fight, who stopped it immediately.

Right after the fight both men started talking about a third encounter between the two of them. “I am always ready and happy to give Arthur another chance”, said Stieglitz. Abraham agreed with the new champion. “Now the score between us is even. We need a third, all deciding fight.”

Manager Wilfried Sauerland also believes that Abraham vs. Stieglitz III is needed to find out who actually is the best. “Arthur lost because of an unfortunate injury. Therefore common decency would be to have another fight.”

Robert Helenius continued his successful comeback trail after his lengthy spell on the sideline due to a shoulder injury. The “Nordic Nightmare” beat Britain´s Michael Sprott by unanimous decision and still holds his perfect record of 19 wins out of as many fights.

Helenius, the WBO´s number one ranked heavyweight, was in control for most parts of the fight. The Finn kept his opponent at bay with his jab, taking full advantage of his superior height and reach. However, during the first few rounds the 29-year-old did not follow up with his powerful right hand. “My shoulder is completely fine now. The problem was that my right hand started to hurt a little bit,” said Helenius. “It is probably also a mental thing that I didn’t use my right that often.”

However he did start to throw some combinations halfway through the fight
and landed some very good left hooks. Although Sprott did put all on one card during the last stint, it was not enough to seriously trouble the prodigy of coach Ulli Wegner, who cemented his place at the top of the leaderboard of the World Boxing Organization. In the end the judges gave him the fight with scores of 98:93, 97:93 and 98:92.

George Groves once again showed his huge potential. The 24-year-old put on a
classy performance against Baker Barakat from Syria. The British super-middleweight finished off his opponent after two minutes and 20 seconds of round two. A right power punch found its target and sent Barakat tumbling to the floor. He did manage to get back up, but Groves saw his window of opportunity opened and went straight back into attack mode as soon as the referee let the fight continue. Only a few punches later however, the bout was stopped. The man from Syria was not able to defend himself any longer. Groves has now won all of his 18 professional fights and is still on target for a potential word title shot.

(Pictures: Photo Wende)

Groves Added to Abraham-Stieglitz Card

George Groves will fight on Team Sauerland´s big show in Magdeburg, Germany on Saturday.

The unbeaten 24-year-old (17-0, 13 KOs) will take on Baker Barakat (37-13-4, 25 KOs) in an eight-rounder. “We are delighted to have added another highly-talented super-middleweight to the card,” promoter Kalle Sauerland said. “He will impress the crowd with his exciting style, which has given him many KO wins.”
In the main event of the evening, WBO Super-Middleweight Champion Arthur
Abraham faces Robert Stieglitz. Coached by Adam Booth, Groves is ranked second by the IBF and WBO, making it a possibility that he might face either Abraham or Stieglitz in the future.

Groves´ last fight in Germany dates back to November 2009 when he outpointed Kanstantsin Makhankou in Nuremberg.