Chisora reveals bizarre wedding hobby as he preps for Parker rematch

‘They love it… who wouldn’t want a boxer at their party?’: Derek Chisora reveals he has been gate-crashing WEDDINGS in the build-up to his all-important rematch with Joseph Parker this weekend, claiming he’s even kissed a bride (… on the cheek)

  • Derek Chisora has taken up a new hobby ahead of his Joseph Parker rematch  
  • The heavyweight has been gate-crashing weddings in the hotel he’s staying at 
  • Chisora, 37, insists his impromptu appearances have gone down rather well
  • He lost to Parker via split-decision in May but gets another shot on Saturday 
  • Sign up here to watch Saturday’s fight exclusively on DAZN 

There are many ways one can unwind after a gruelling session in the build-up to a potentially career-deciding fight. Some might play round of golf or relax with friends. Not Derek Chisora – that would be far too conventional.

Instead, the veteran heavyweight, who takes on Joseph Parker in an all-or-nothing rematch on Saturday night, has found a new pass time: gate-crashing weddings at the Wortley Hall hotel, where he’s been based during training camp, ‘too keep myself occupied,’ as he says.

The usually London-based Chisora has spent every Monday to Thursday in Rotherham in recent weeks and months, having reunited with trainer Dave Coldwell, who was in the 37-year-old’s corner for his second-round stoppage win over Artur Szpilka in 2019.

Derek Chisora (centre) is pictured gate-crashing a wedding, which has become his new hobby

The heavyweight star insists brides and grooms ‘love’ his appearances at their parties

The heavyweight, 37, is preparing to face Joseph Parker (left) in their rematch on Saturday

Away from the usual hustle and bustle of the country’s capital, Chisora instead finds himself in South Yorkshire, basking in the surroundings of the truly grand stately home nestled in Sheffield’s surrounding countryside – the words on the hotel’s website, not my own.

Chisora – whose full-time residence is on a farm in north London – is certainly no stranger to a rather unusual training camp activity, having spent his downtime hunting pheasants in the build-up to his defeat to Oleksandr Usyk last year. This is just another activity to add to the collection.

Perched comfortably as he explains just how he’s been keeping busy to reporters over Zoom, Chisora said: ‘I’m actually staying at this hotel called Wortley Hall. This is my domain, basically. They have weddings here.’

The heavyweight then momentarily turns away from his screen to ask a couple of nearby staff members just how many weddings they put on each year. ‘This year… 140-odd,’ the response.

Chisora has had some unusual training camp activities in the past, including hunting

‘Maybe 140 and I’ve probably gate-crashed three of those weddings, to keep myself occupied,’ Chisora continues, as the staff members audibly burst out into laughter.

‘Rotherham has been nice, Sheffield has been nice. All I do is train, come back, eat my food and rest, then go training again. It’s going very well.’

For those getting married, and indeed those attending the wedding, a visit from a widely-known heavyweight contender – who has fought the likes of David Haye and Vitali Kltischko – perhaps wasn’t initially on the itinerary.

Escaping to the Yorkshire country side to share a truly special occasion – particularly after the hardships of the last 18 months – with their nearest and dearest, it’s fair to say the last person they’d expect to see is Derek Chisora.

But is he an unwanted guest? Nothing of the sort. ‘They love it,’ Chisora assures. ‘They tell me: “Oh my god, come to my wedding, help us cut the cake”. They love it. Who wouldn’t want a boxer at their wedding?

‘I enjoy it, man. I keep telling young fighters to enjoy everything. I enjoy leaving my house in London to come here and train, put my body through so much pain, then going back home and coming here again on a Monday morning. I’m just enjoying it right now.’

Chisora narrowly fell to a split-decision defeat to Parker in their first fight back in May 

That’s despite knocking the New Zealander to the canvas after just seven seconds of the fight 

For a fighter as unpredictable as Chisora, you’d perhaps expect a few interesting stories to emerge from these weddings. Brawling with David Haye during the Klitschko post-fight press conference in 2016 and throwing a table at Dillian Whyte in 2016 are just two of many notable incidents in an action-packed career.

But as for his wildest moment during one of these weddings? ‘I have kissed the bride… on the cheek,’ he says with a laugh. ‘It’s a great thing when you see people… they arrive the day before they get married, you see how much they’re in love and the whole family are there.’

Clearly in a generous mood, Chisora was also keen to share the fun. ‘The weddings are quite cool, I like them,’ he continued. ‘You should come. You know what? I’m going to invite you guys on a press day to come down here. We’ll have lunch together!’

I’m disappointed to report that I’m yet to receive an invite.

Chisora is once again working with trainer Dave Coldwell (right) ahead of the Parker fight

Chisora insists he and Coldwell plan to take the fight out of the judges’ hands this time 

For all the fun and games, Chisora has a serious task at hand. He was left enraged after Parker was given the split-decision victory in their first bout back in May, despite dropping the New Zealander to the canvas just seven seconds into the fight.

It was his second defeat in succession, having also lost on points to Usyk seven months prior. Similarly to Parker, who remains on the comeback trail following his defeats to Whyte and Anthony Joshua, he’s once again at a real crossroads moment: win and set up massive fight next year, or lose and perhaps fade into the periphery.

‘For me, there’s no losing option for this fight,’ Chisora says, while insisting they know exactly how Parker will come out on the night.

‘You’re going to see so many changes, we’re going for a stoppage to be honest with you.’

After all the talk, the pair will finally settle their differences once and for all on December 18.

Sign up here to watch Saturday’s fight exclusively on DAZN  

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