Wladimir Klitschko has lauded Dereck Chisora for showing the bravery he says has failed David Haye by agreeing to challenge for his heavyweight titles.
Chisora (26) is set to meet the Ukrainian IBF and WBO title-holder in Mannheim, Germany on December 11.
Klitschko has repeatedly claimed Chisora’s fellow Londoner and WBA champion Haye is ducking him.
“I have to give respect to Dereck Chisora, he took the challenge and showed courage,” said Klitschko.
“Dereck Chisora talks a lot, he reminds me of David Haye a little bit, but David Haye talked his way into a fight and then pulled out.
“Dereck has impressed me with his latest win, a spectacular knockout of Sam Sexton (in September).
“Dereck is young and has only had 14 fights but that doesn’t say a lot. The fact he’s confident says a lot, his will says a lot.”
However, the 34-year-old Klitschko, who has had 58 professional fights to the British and Commonwealth champion’s 14, changed his tune after the challenger made light of his boxing skills.
“You say I have no boxing skills, you say it’s going to be rough and tough,” stated Klitschko, whose older brother Vitali is the WBC title-holder.
“Maybe you consider me a bum in boxing.
Well, good luck – I will make you eat your words, I love to do paintwork on your face.”
Chisora’s opportunity came after talks between Klitschko and Haye, who defends his WBA belt against Audley Harrison next month, broke down because of differences over money.
Chisora has been tied into a three-fight deal, meaning he will have to fight Vitali in Germany next if he wins in December and Wladimir again if he beats Vitali.
However, the 6-1 underdog’s dreams might be dashed because he is due in court next month for sentencing on theft and assault charges.
The Zimbabwe-born fighter must appear before the City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 10 November, four weeks before he is scheduled to meet Klitschko.
Last Friday Chisora pleaded guilty to the offences which took place on May 28.
A pre-sentence report is being compiled.
Assault alone caries a maximum penalty of six months in prison and/or a fine.
However, a source involved in the fight’s promotion does not expect the court appearance to have an impact on the staging of the contest.
Last year Chisora was banned for four months and fined £2 500 for biting opponent Paul Butlin on the ear.