It’s one of the oldest plays in the boxing book -- the open letter. There’s a fighter looking to face a specific opponent but he can’t get much traction, so what to do?
Blast the media with the open letter calling out your desired foe, hoping to spark interest in the fight and create some buzz. Sometimes such letters are silly or the fight the boxer is asking for either makes no sense or is a match for which there would be little public interest.
But sometimes the match makes all the sense in the world, which brings us to the open letter British heavyweight contender Dereck Chisora issued on Wednesday calling for a fight with undefeated American Deontay Wilder.
This is an interesting fight, for sure, one that would easily be Wilder’s toughest test (which is not saying much when you look at his resume) and a good fight on top of that. Further, there’s no reason it can’t be made as there are no network or promotional obstacles. On top of that, it shouldn’t be an overly expensive fight to make. It would easily fit into a network budget.
Here’s what Chisora (slated to fight Feb. 8 but without an opponent) had to say:
I’m asking you man-to-man and hope that you have the honor and courage to accept my challenge and fight me.
I’m in this business to prove that I’m the best and to become a world champion, which I’m sure you are too, so take me up on my challenge and let’s do this and get it on early next year.
I’ll be honest, I don’t rate you. You’ve put together a record of 30 knockouts from 30 fights, but I believe that you are grossly overhyped for knocking over nobodies -- which is understandable for the first two years as a pro when you’re learning. But after 30 fights you’re still knocking over nobodies. As a guide, I fought Vitali Klitschko for the world title in only my 18th fight. When are you going to step up and fight a real contender? There’s only one way to prove me wrong and shut me up and that is to get in the ring with me.
The fans want to see if you can really fight and back up your words by facing someone who will give you a real fight, where you can prove that you America’s savior in the heavyweight division, and that someone is me.
You can punch, there’s no question about that, I can bang as well. It would be an explosive and exciting fight between us, but let's see who’s got the bigger heart for the fight when the heat is on. If you beat me fair and square I’ll have no problem saying that you were the better man, but let’s do it and prove who really is the better man.
Richard Schaefer from your promoter’s Golden Boy Promotions has a good relationship with my promoter, Frank Warren, so there’s no problem getting it made. Deontay, if you are a proud fighting man then you will take up this challenge and give the fans and media what they want to see.
After the letter was released, Wilder got wind of it and responded to Chisora via Twitter, telling him the following (and it’s cleaned up for the sake of grammar, spelling and clarity):
“Here's how it’s going: Vitali (Klitschko) is retiring, no doubt. I may be fighting for the vacant WBC title. If not, then Tyson Fury. If not him definitely YOU. I ACCEPT. No BS. I'm very serious Mr. D. Chisora.”