Exclusive Interview With Don Charles, Trainer Of Dereck Chisora - “I Can’t Condone What Dereck Did Today, But He Will Beat Vitali Tomorrow”
By James Slater - As fans have surely read by now, today’s pre-fight weigh-in between defending WBC heavyweight king Vitali Klitschko and challenger Dereck Chisora took an unexpected, newsworthy turn, as “Del Boy” decided upon himself to take a full-blooded slap at “Dr. Iron Fist’s” face during the traditional face-to-face.
Many were shocked by the so-called cheap shot, some expected as much from the somewhat zany, far-from-intimidated Chisora. In any case, there is word of a hefty WBC-ruled fine headed Chisora’s way, and Klitschko has vowed to “make him pay for his actions in the ring.”
Make no mistake, today’s weigh-in and it’s subsequent developments have got everyone talking!
But what does Chisora’s trainer, the calm, the professional and the mild-mannered Don Charles have to say about all the goings on? Very kindly taking time out to speak with me direct from Munich earlier today, Don had the following things to say:
James Slater: First of all, Don, thanks so much for your time. When I called before you said you were in the last training session with Del Boy - not giving tactics away at all, but how did that go? Is Dereck firing on all cylinders?
Don Charles: Oh, absolutely. No changes. Training couldn’t have gone any better. Dereck is razor sharp; his weight indicates that - he’s at his lowest in quite a while. After the weigh-in, we went for something to eat, and then we had our final training session. All fighters are different, but we have trained every single day. Dereck’s in better shape than he was for the Helenius fight - mentally he’s in a good place. I know he’s crazy, but that makes him the fighter that he is.
J.S: Everyone is talking about “The Slap” at the weigh-in, as I’m sure you know. First of all, were you shocked when Dereck did that?
D.C: Of course I was! Wouldn’t you be? It was a shock for everybody. Even me! I never dreamt he’d do that. As a matter of fact, I’m still shocked. I lost a lot of nervous energy with the session we just did, but if you’d called me and we’d talked before that, I’d be a whole different person!
J.S: Dereck does his own thing, obviously.
D.C: He does. I’m just his boxing trainer - I don’t train him for madness! I don’t condone what he did. Any fighter of mine, if that happened to them, I’d fully expect a retaliation from my team. So I’m respectful of Vitali, because it really could have kicked off at that weigh-in.
J.S: Please let me clarify, Don - you totally disagree with what your fighter did today? I think some of the fans on this website will be surprised by that!
D.C: Absolutely. One hundred-percent. There are lots of reasons why you can’t do that. There have been scuffles before, with Lennox Lewis and [Hasim] Rahman, and Tyson bit Lewis’s leg, but I can’t remember a direct slap happening before.
J.S: Me neither. But this is what makes Chisora Klitschko’s most dangerous, most unpredictable and most lively challenger since…..
D.C: Since Lennox Lewis!
J.S: You’re right.
D.C: Yes, I definitely second that opinion. I’ve said from day-one: the experts have ridiculed us, but they base their predictions on two-and-two make four. Well, sometimes they make five (laughs). We’re going to do what we rehearsed, what we planned to do, and Dereck will set the pace. Honestly, he is the only fighter capable of beating either of these two pugilists. And I’ve studied the sport; I’m 50-years-old. If anybody can, Del Can. That’s what I say!
J.S: Can I just ask you, you may not know; but I’ve read stuff that says Dereck has been put up in a hotel that is next to a building site and that there is a ton of noise going on and that he can’t get to sleep?
D.C: Of course I know, I’m in the same bloody hotel! It may be some coincidence, but scaffolding was put up and drilling is going on from 7 A.M, and banging and hammering goes on until late at night. It might be a coincidence, as I’ve said, but I don’t think so. But it isn’t the first time, is it? (dirty tactics? Writer’s opinion) Del’s sleep has definitely been distracted. Is this part of why he did what he did today? I don’t know. And as I’ve said, I’m not agreeing with what Del did. But he told me that I haven’t been in his shoes, that the Klitschko brothers have treated him really badly; like a second-rate citizen. All that could have to do with what he did today. Is there nervous tension involved? Of course, as there is with any fighter before a big fight. I wouldn’t put it [the slap] down to just one thing, more a combination of elements. But aside from all this: let me tell you one thing - Vitali is not known for quick starts. I guarantee he will come out firing in the first round tomorrow! And we hope so.
J.S: It’s been great speaking with you, Don - so close to the fight. Can Dereck win on points, or by KO?
D.C: I feel in my blood that we will win; I really do. No, there will be no points in this fight, James! We won’t get any favours tomorrow, and we knew we wouldn’t. A points win was never part of our plan. No, this will not go to points. And I tell you this: Vitali can’t do 12-rounds with Dereck Chisora. So what does that tell you?
J.S: Thanks so much for your time, Sir.
Article posted on 18.02.2012