MUNICH // Standing head-to-head for the customary pre-fight "stare-down", the challenger Dereck Chisora slapped the WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko during the weigh-in for their title fight tonight.
Handlers for both fighters had to be pulled apart yesterday after the British fighter, his face partially concealed by a Union Jack handkerchief, hit Klitschko across the face with his open right hand and launched a series of insults. Klitschko did not retaliate.
"I am going to hit back on Saturday," the Ukrainian champion said. "He will get his beating."
Chisora's blow may have been the closest he gets to hurting the champion. About the only advantage Chisora might have is his age.
The WBC champion is 40, while Chisora is 28. But Klitschko has a massive advantage in height and reach, and few give Chisora a chance of an upset.
Klitschko weighed 110.5 kilograms, Chisora 109.4kgs.
Chisora has bravely or rashly predicted he will knock out the Ukrainian in the eighth round and claims he can "smell fear" in Klitschko's camp. Klitschko has brushed aside such boasts but said he takes the British challenger seriously.
"Chisora can hit, and I do, too. So I don't see it going 12 rounds," Klitschko said earlier ahead of the fight in Munich's Olympic Hall. "I'm really looking forward to teaching this young gentleman a lesson. He is from Great Britain, but he's lacking appropriate manners."
Klitschko has had few problems defending his title nine times since winning it in 2004 against Corrie Sanders, and brings a 43-2 record into the fight. Chisora is 15-2.