MUNICH – Dereck Chisora insists he can "smell fear" in Vitali Klitschko's corner and promises to knock out the WBC heavyweight champion in the eighth round of their title fight.
Klitschko dismissed the boast and said the British challenger didn't stand a chance — a view shared by many.
"I'm really looking forward to teaching this young gentleman a lesson," the 40-year-old old champion from Ukraine said during a news conference Monday leading to Saturday's bout in Olympic Hall in Munich. "He is from Great Britain, but he's lacking appropriate manners."
Chisora is 13 years younger than Klitschko but the champion has a massive advantage in weight and reach. Klitschko is 6-foot-7 with an 80-inch reach. Chisora is 6-foot-2 with a 74-inch reach.
"I'm looking forward to this fight," Chisora said. "And I trained hard. And the way we're going to be fighting will be a hundred miles an hour from the first round to round eight, which I promise you fans that he's going down on."
For good measure, he went on to taunt the Ukrainian.
"Right now, I can smell fear in this corner right now. If you can't smell it, I can. You know, right here I smell a bit of fear, to the opposite side, because they know they're about to lose something massive," Chisora said as he pointed at Klitschko. "I'm physically, emotionally, mentally looking forward to this fight because it's going to be one heck of a fight, I tell you that now."
Chisora will have to use his agility and quick hands to get inside Klitschko's long reach if the Briton is to spring a big upset.
Klitschko has had few problems defending his title nine times since winning it in 2004 against Corrie Sanders, and has said he is in top shape despite his age.
He is the second-oldest boxer to hold a world heavyweight title behind George Foreman, who was 45 when he knocked out Michael Moorer to reclaim the WBA belt in Las Vegas in 1994.
Klitschko, a winner of 43 of his 45 fights, and brother Wladimir have held all the heavyweight belts between them since the younger sibling defeated David Haye on points in July last year to add the Briton's WBA belt to his IBF and WBO crown.
Vitali uses his reach to jab away at his opponents until he can deliver his big right. Chisora thinks the style is boring and has dulled the heavyweight division, but it has been effective.
"You promised me, you promised to knock me out in eight rounds. Yeah, round No. 8," Klitschko said. "And you know what, I was so impressed and I believed you. And because of this impression I go to training camp. And they prepared me very hard. ... This belt, I don't give you on Saturday night. You don't have a chance. You have a try. You have a chance to try."
Chisora was scheduled to fight Wladimir Klitschko last year but the Ukrainian pulled out on two occasions because of injury.
Chisora has earned another shot at a world belt despite losing the last two of his 17 fights, to compatriot Tyson Fury to lose his Commonwealth and British titles and then to Finland's Robert Helenius in Helsinki in a European heavyweight title bout.
Klitschko's camp was already looking beyond Chisora. Manager Bernd Boente said it was unlikely Vitali's next fight would be against Haye.
"He turned down our offer. I don't think he is going to be the next opponent," Boente said.
Haye has not fought since losing to Wladimir and has since retired, although he has said a big-purse fight against Vitali could bring him back.
Wladimir is to fight Jean-Marc Mormeck of France on March 3 in Duesseldorf. That fight had to be postponed in December after Wladimir underwent two operations in two days to remove a kidney stone.