Derek Chisora collides with Joseph Parker and Katie Taylor risks her world titles against Natasha Jonas on a blockbuster bill on May 1, live on Sky Sports Box Office.
Britain’s heavyweight contender finally settles his rivalry with Parker after their planned fight was postponed in October 2019, while Taylor’s undisputed lightweight titles are at stake against Jonas, in a repeat of their classic bout at the London 2012 Olympics.
There is more world title action as Craig ‘Spider’ Richards challenges Dmitry Bivol for the WBA light-heavyweight belt, and Chris Eubank Jr also makes his long-awaited return against Marcus Morrison.
“We’ve been here before,” said Chisora. “In 2019, I flew to Vegas to film a face-to-face with Parker. I called Haye as soon as I left and told him ‘This guy isn’t going to get in the ring with me’, I could see the fear in his eyes.
“Now, second time around I hope he fights. I’m looking forward to the fight, I cannot wait to get back in the ring! I love fighting, it is what I love the most. Good luck to Joseph Parker and his new team, we shall see you for WAR on May 1!”
“I’m excited to start this new chapter in my career with a new coach and some fresh ideas,” said Parker, who has teamed up with new trainer Andy Lee.
“I’ve settled in and Andy and I are bonding well. Chisora and I have unfinished business and inside the ring one of us will get the job done.
“I am well aware that a win on British soil and on world-wide television will put me in pole position whereas a loss will be catastrophic. I am more than up for the challenge. Bring it on Del Boy.”
Taylor defeated Jonas on points in the Olympics quarter-finals before claiming gold and they meet again, nearly 10 years later, with the Irish star defending her WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO titles.
“It’s a fight that people have been asking for and those are the type of fights you want to be part of,” said Taylor.
“People still talk about our fight in the 2012 Olympics and I think that proved to be a real eye opener for people in terms of what women’s boxing is all about. I’m expecting another tough fight on May 1 and I’m looking forward to successfully defending my titles.”
Jonas came within touching distance of a world title in her last fight, battling to a split decision draw with Terri Harper, the WBC super-featherweight champion, and she now intends to pull off a massive victory over Taylor.
“I’m really excited about getting the fight,” said Jonas. “I made a lot of noise about not wanting to go down in level or class after establishing myself on the world stage in my last fight.
“I know Katie is a different type of animal to Terri Harper, but I believe every time I’m asked to step up, I do. I said I wanted to be a champion and anybody at 130 to 140 was in my sights, I know I’m a world-class boxer and I can win a world title.
“From the minute Eddie signed me this fight has been on the cards. Me and Katie had a great story from the Olympics, and we have both been pioneers in our own way. I’m glad that it’s happening and it’s a great fight for women’s boxing and for British and Irish boxing.”
Richards takes a sizeable step up in class against Bivol, one of world’s finest fighters at 175lbs, but the south Londoner has warmed up with a dramatic knockout win over Shakan Pitters to claim the British title in December.
“I know that he’s renowned as one of the best fighters out there, but I just believe that I’ve got the tools to beat him and I’m very confident in my abilities,” said Richards.
“I know I’ve got power as well, and I’ve got a very good chin. We’ve been planning for everything and anything. We know he’s been operating at world level for a long time and can bring different things to the table.
“I raise the level of my performance against my better opponents. The bigger the fight the better I perform. A fight like Bivol will allow me to go through my gears to show what I’m really about.”
“I have been out of the ring for a year and a half and I have sorely missed boxing,” said Bivol. “I can’t wait to step through the ropes for my next fight on May 1.
“I have always wanted to fight in the UK and I’m happy to tick that box. Craig Richards is a fast and technical boxer and I’m expecting a great fight as I make another defence of my world title.”
Eubank Jr marks his first UK fight in over two years by meeting Morrison in a must-win clash, with the WBA interim champion eager to resume his rise towards the rival world champions.
“This is one of the strongest shows we’ve promoted and there is still even more to come,” said promoter Eddie Hearn.
“Chisora versus Parker is a brilliant style match-up that has been brewing for years and Taylor versus Jonas is one of the biggest fights in women’s boxing.
“The Eubanks are always box office and it’s a massive chance for Marcus Morrison after his brilliant win in Italy. Craig Richards goes for world title glory against the brilliant Russian Dmitry Bivol and there are further announcements to follow. Buckle up and enjoy this one!”
David Haye of Hayemaker Promotions said: “WAR Chisora realises this is a massive opportunity to gate-crash the heavyweight division.
“He has come close, in his last battle against unified cruiserweight world champion and No 1 ranked heavyweight Usyk. Two of the judges’ scorecards had it seven rounds to five – winning just one more round would have captured a draw and Derek would have retained his WBO international title that night.
Derek doesn’t simply want to beat Joseph Parker, he wants to make a statement to the world. This is his time.
“Since then, he has been working, living the life of a professional. Derek doesn’t simply want to beat Joseph Parker, he wants to make a statement to the world. This is his time.”
“There’s definitely unfinished business between Parker and Chisora,” said David Higgins, Founder and Director of DUCO Events.
“This fight has got a bit of history and it has been building for a while. It’s fantastic that it’s finally happening.
“This is a proper 50-50 match-up where the winner could go on to a world title shot and the loser will go to the scrapheap. Credit to both Parker and Chisora for putting it all on the line.”
Adam Smith, Head of Boxing Development for Sky Sports, said: “Get ready for a magnificent night of action on May 1, as Derek Chisora and Joseph Parker produce heavyweight fireworks, while Katie Taylor takes on Natasha Jonas in a repeat of their epic amateur encounter at London 2012.
“Chris Eubank Jr is back in Britain, eager to make a statement against Marcus Morrison, and Craig ‘Spider’ Richards aims to fulfil his world title dream when he faces the classy and clinical Dmitry Bivol.
“It’s a blockbuster bill of action, live on Sky Sports Box Office, and we simply cannot wait.”