GIVE "EM DEL, BOY - Dereck Chisora, 17-4 (11), scored a controversial 6th round stoppage of previously undefeated US heavyweight hopeful Malik Scott in a high profile contest at London's Wembley Arena on Saturday.
Scott subsequently scored big, but probably unprofitable class act points with a personal stoppage of further controversy. Counted out by referee Phil Edwards after rising from a knockdown, Scott may or may not have fully regained stable footing by the toll of "ten". It was hard to distinguish from multiple-angle replays.
Slow motion appeared to show Scott starting up from a knee just at "nine" and next, being waved off a beat of the corresponding count later at what would have been "ten" had Edwards said anything. Excellent camera work from directly behind Scott's silhouette showed Edwards counting loud and clear with his progressively raised fingers in Scott's face.
It looked like Scott was timing the count in a fully coherent manner. Whether or not he was up and able to continue is the question. Scott, now 35-1-1, exhibiting sportsmanship and class, gave an accurate answer to the media. "Everybody knows I was up in time, but Dereck won a good, clean fight and we're not going to turn this into something," said Scott, who represented the States well despite the result.
"I'm a professional. Dereck hit me with a good shot, I gave myself an eight count. Hopefully they'll have me back for a rematch."
Most ringsiders reported Scott was ahead just before the fight's finish, but no official scores were available.
Scott appeared clear headed enough to continue, at least under boxing's brutal general protocol.
No one, including Scott, will ever know exactly what was going through his cranium during those crucial seconds.
"I knew he'd go down if I caught him, and I caught him," summarized Chisora, who was in excellent condition and appeared ready to keep good pressure on for ten rounds.
Chisora credited his mother and promoter Frank Warren among those responsible for a newly dedicated training attitude that indeed seemed in evidence.
"One day my mom had enough and said why don't you listen to people?" reflected a revitalized Chisora. "Then Frank got me in his office, saying he didn't understand what was wrong, and I saw a tear. I decided I'd listen to the people trying to help me for six months, and then do things my way again if nothing happened."
Something indeed happened, in the form of a thudding overhand right that looked like it caught Scott on the left side of his noggin and upper neck and resulted in a post-mauling knockdown as Scott was bent to a knee.
What might have happened if the fight continued is as moot as it gets.
It was not really an action packed battle, with more clinches and shoves than big punches, but it was hard fought at a good pace and it was entertaining.
One point many observers took away was that if Scott had more of a punch he would really be a dangerous boxer.
Scott may not have showed the best strategy, but he did show personal integrity. Strategy can be improved, and integrity can be magic.
Scott is probably motivated, like Chisora, to pay more attention. They both earned another look, separately, or in what would probably be another good draw, a rematch.
If Scott were willing to meet another noteworthy American prospect immediately, he could find that he didn't really lose much ground at all.
Meanwhile, Chisora has bigger plans now.
"I want to go back to Germany," offered Chisora. "Me and the older Klitschko have unfinished business."
Chisora is still realistically at least a step away from getting back to that level, but at least we know he's willing. Warren indicated a stay busy fight against a recognized opponent was planned for September in the meantime.
One solid opportunity might be an elimination brawl against always willing Manuel Charr.
Charr looks like he could really develop into something, but the key word is develop.
Right now Charr might be too brave for his own professional good. He'd probably welcome a fight with the far more battle-tested Chisora, which isn't the best risk-reward option Charr may find.
Chisora against Tony Thompson, with a solid UK undercard, could fill a small soccer stadium. Add Scott against David Price and you've got a big night, mate.
This weekend marked the ironic anniversary of another, bigger night, which resulted in a controversial KO when Mike Tyson stopped Carl Williams in the first round in Atlantic City.
After Chisora's stoppage loss to David Haye, some people said Chisora's career was pretty much finished.
Some people said big nights for the heavyweights were over long ago, too.
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