LONDON -- It was a repeat for Dillian Whyte as he produced an emphatic knockout of rival Dereck Chisora in Round 11 Saturday night in London to set up a big 2019 that could potentially see a shot at unified heavyweight world titleholder Anthony Joshua.
It was a back-and-forth battle at London's O2 Arena in a rematch of the pair's 2016 classic. Chisora had the better of the early rounds but seemed to punch himself out, showing signs of fatigue from the seventh round onward.
The end came with Whyte catching Chisora with his guard down, connecting a left hand to the chin to send him crashing down to the canvas.
After the fight, Whyte called out Joshua.
"I want that lanky piece of s--- over there. Let's go," Whyte said of Joshua. "I deserve my shot, I've worked my way up."
Joshua was polite on his response.
"Credit to Dillian, but you know how the list goes," Joshua said. "If it's not Deontay Wilder, and Whyte gets made, I don't want to hear boos."
Chisora came out of the blocks fast, perhaps recklessly so, in the first, landing several powerful blows to Whyte's body early in the round. However, with poor defense, Chisora left himself wide open to several heavy blows, even rocking back toward the ropes when he was hit with a solid right uppercut by Whyte.
Things settled down in the second, but Whyte still had the better of the action -- smartly working well behind his jab, inviting Chisora to walk into several heavy hits.
Coming out with a renewed verve in the third, Chisora forced a flurry of heavy hits through Whyte's guard. More combinations from Chisora found their way through in the fourth -- it was now Chisora who simply couldn't miss, thudding several body shots into Whyte's torso.
Two thudding blows found their way to Whyte's head early in the fifth to continue Chisora's momentum, the latter knocking him briefly off balance. Chisora also continued to work well to the body.
The tempo dropped a tad in the sixth. Whyte still working off the back foot, trying to make his jab work for him. However, Chisora was still managing to outbox the favorite.
Whyte's counterpunching from the opening rounds made a reappearance in the seventh. The jabs started to work, and Chisora started to miss. Toward the end of the round, Chisora swung for a heavy right hook, missed and allowed Whyte to tag him with a flurry of punches in the corner. The tide was turning; Chisora was starting to tire.
A point penalty for leaning into the clinch once too often for Chisora in the eighth brought jeers from the crowd. Whyte was starting to show why many had tipped him to outbox his brawler opponent -- taking the ninth and the 10th rounds.
Another point came off Chisora in the 11th, this time for an elbow, similar to the ones Whyte had been guilty of a couple of times earlier in the fight. The penalties for Chisora would have proved controversial had the fight gone the distance, but Whyte found the finish in brutal fashion.
Chisora went for a combination on the ropes, but with his guard down, Whyte had a clear route to catch his adversary flush in the chin in what will surely be a contender for knockout of the year. Despite forging a reputation for a granite chin throughout his career, there was no chance of Chisora rising from the ashes in Fury-esq style.
Edwards wins flyweight world title
Charlie Edwards produced a phenomenal display to become the WBC flyweight world champion, outpointing Christofer Rosales by slightly generous scores of 118-110, 117-111, 116-112 on the judges' cards.
Edwards was on the back foot for much of the fight, but that suited him down to a tee. Producing world-class counterpunching, Edwards frustrated the Nicaraguan to take the decision. A gaping cut on the top of his forehead in the seventh halted Edwards' momentum, but he was still able to outbox Rosales in the later rounds. "That was for you mum," he bellowed in the ring afterward.
Light-heavyweight contender Joshua Buatsi made light work of former IBO world champion Roland Quinlan, earning the stoppage in the very first round. The Australian was unable to live with the intensity of Buatsi, falling to the canvas within the first minute. It was not ruled as a knockdown by retiring referee Terry O'Connor, but Quinlan soon found himself on the canvas once, leaving O'Connor with little option but to bring his final fight as a professional referee to an early end.
David Price claimed his first victory of 2018 by defeating Tom Little, with the referee calling a halt to the fight late in the fourth. After being beaten by Alexander Povetkin and Sergey Kuzmin, Price needed a win to save his career, and while he was hesitant to engage early on, the Liverpudlian caught Little with a whipped right hook late in the fourth to rock his opponent. Little was hurt, but much to the anger of the crowd and Little himself, the referee called a premature end to the fight.
Another man back on the winning trail was heavyweight Carlos Takam. The Frenchman was never in trouble against the much shorter Senad Gashi. Takam looked cumbersome at times, and his slow movement allowed Gashi to tag a couple of hits on him. The end, though, seemed inevitable from the fifth came in the seventh. Takam sent his opponent to the canvas twice before a brutal left hook ended it all.