London heavyweights, Dillian Whyte (25-1) and Dereck Chisora (29-9), produced yet another scintillating fight from The O2 Arena, two years on from their first incredible encounter, which was a fight of the year contender in 2016.
The rematch, live on Sky Sports, followed suit and after what seemed like just 30 seconds of feeling each other out, they went at it and thrilled fight fans from round-one right up to the dramatic finish in round 11 when ‘The Lone Wolf’ connected a hellacious left hook that took ‘Del-boy’ clean off his feet.
Whyte entered the fight holding the No.1 ranking in the WBC and WBO and was involved in a highly competitive, back-and-forth bout, very evenly contested from the opening bell. Chisora was perhaps the more aggressive fighter, but was deducted two points, once for a low blow in the eighth-round and once for an elbow in the 11th-round. Despite the two-point deduction, Chisora was still ahead on two scorecards, 95-94, at the time of the KO. Anthony Joshua, who called the fight ringside for Sky Sports, went face-to-face with Whyte following the bout.
Whyte, 30 from Brixton, has now won both bouts against the Finchley fighter, the first one was a controversial decision that split fight fans down the middle, but this time the three ringside officials were not needed as the Jamaican-born 'Body Snatcher' floored Chisora dramatically to retain his WBC Silver and WBO International heavyweight titles.
“That left hook is my money shot." he said. "That shot is going to put a lot of people away. They can train for it as much as they want. I’ve been in deep waters and I can swim. I was in great shape. I wasn’t tired once, I was just pacing myself and I knew the knockout was going to come. Whoever wants it can get it. I want Joshua next! Let’s do this. Rematch!”
“Let’s forget about what’s happened in the past. We were at British level in our last fight and now we’re at world level,” replied Joshua, who holds the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles. “It was a good fight back then but let’s see where we’re at right now. If anybody deserves a world title shot, I think it’s Dillian. Deontay Wilder is the target, but if it’s not him, it’s Dillian Whyte.”
Over on rival channel BT Sport, there was another fight of the year contender between defending IBF World featherweight champion Josh Warrington (28-2) and two-weight World champ Carl Frampton (26-2). The respectful pair produced an all-action, busy affair right from the opening bell and managed to continue the energy right the way up to the final bell, with the 'Leeds Warrior' taking the decision and retaining his IBF belt and unbeaten record to set up a fight with WBO champion Oscar Valdez in 2019.
It was heartbreak for Martin Murray (37-5-1) as he lost on a mixed decision to Frenchman Hassan N’Dam (37-3), conceding his WBC Silver middleweight belt in the process. The Merseysider will likely retire after his fifth career defeat and will be bowing out after 43 fights and 11 years in boxing.
Liam Williams (19-2-1) became a two-weight British champion with a 10th-round TKO over unbeaten Mark Heffron (21-1).
Nathan Gorman moved up to 15-0 with a points win over Razvan Cojanu (16-5).
Billy Joe Saunders (27-0) forced Charles Adamu to retire at the end of the fourth-round.
Lyndon Arthur (13-0) continued his unbeaten streak with a fourth-round KO.
Harvey Horn moved up to 4-0 with a six-rounds points win over Adam Hutchinson (2-5).
Tommy Fury (1-9), Tyson's youngest brother, kick started his pro career with a shutout points win.
Troy Williamson (8-0-1) remained unbeaten with a four-round points victory.
Back at the O2 Arena, Croydon’s Charlie Edwards got it right on the second try as he widely outpointed WBC flyweight champion Cristofer Rosales with scores of 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112.
Ghanian Joshua Buatsi defended his WBA International light-heavyweight title with a first-round KO of former IBO World champ Renold Quinlan. The 25-year-old couldn’t miss with his devastating left hook which floored the Australian twice causing referee Terry O’Connor to stop the contest.
David Price stopped Tom Little on his feet in the fourth-round, a decision the Hatfield heavyweight was visibly annoyed about.
Ryan Walsh just about managed to retain his British featherweight title with a split decision win over challenger Reece Bellotti.
Belfast’s Michael Conlan (10-0) claimed the vacant WBO Inter-Continental featherweight title with a unanimous points decision win over former English and Commonwealth champion Jason Cunningham (24-6). The Irishman won nearly every one of the 10-rounds but had a point deducted in the sixth for repeated low blows.
Over in America, Jermall Charlo beat Matvey Korobov on points to retain his WBC World middleweight belt, whilst his twin brother Jermell conceded his WBC World super-welterweight strap in his first ever career defeat to Tony Harrison, which fight fans have been in uproar over as it seemed to be the wrong decision. Both Charlo opponents put on career-best performances against the respective famous brothers.