HARARE - IT was a vicious punch, a feign with his left fooled his opponent and opened the space and the right hand that was then unleashed was a bomb, connecting with all his punching power, it crashed right into the face of Carlos Takam and sent the Frenchman slumping onto the canvas of London’s O2 Arena.
Boxing held its breath, and so did the world, as the big Frenchman dropped to the floor virtually unaware of his surroundings in a brutal ending to a heavyweight showdown where the two fighters gave as much as they got in one of the fights of the year.
There was no doubting Takam would not beat the count and the immediate concern was for his health as a medic rushed with the oxygen mask to help him breathe.
Dereck Chisora, the 32-year-old British heavyweight boxer who was born in Harare, grew up in the tough Mbare neighbourhood and went to Churchill High School, stood on the other side in triumph after one of his greatest performances in the ring.
Many respected boxing pundits are saying that it was a career-changing knockout blow, the one that is likely to earn Chisora millions of dollars, as offers come flooding into his corner as he parades the WBA international belt that now resides in his trophy cabinet.
Takam was billed by many to have the power to give Chisora a lot of trouble, especially after he went 10 rounds of the man many believe to be the best heavyweight boxer in the world, Anthony Joshua, before finally succumbing to the punching power of the British boxer.
Chisora, who is known as Delboy, finished the job in eight rounds, actually a minute into the eighth round, and such was his good performance that the whole boxing world is buzzing with his performance.
And some have started suggesting that his knockout punch was one of the best ever thrown in boxing.
Like the one that Julian Graham landed, a ferocious right hook in the fourth round of his battle against Herol “Bomber’’ Graham to send him crashing to the ground and out of a fight which the later had been dominating in the first three rounds on November 24, 1990.
Or the one landed by Derrick Jefferson on November 6, 1999, that knocked out Maurice Harris in a heavyweight showdown, hammered with such ferocity that the latter’s gum shield exploded from his mouth and out of the ring while his body dropped to the ground like a deck of cards.
He was unconscious by the time he hit the canvas.
Some have equated it to the violent blow which Ray Mercer planted into Tommy Morrison, the one that caught him right in the corner sand cracked his chin on October 18, 1991, to end their showdown.
Manny Pacquiao probably remembers the brutal punch that knocked him cold on December 8, 2012, in the fourth of his fights against Juan Manuel Marquez and some are saying that Chisora’s punch had the same power and venom.
Former England football star, Michael Owen, turned to Twitter to congratulate Chisora for his amazing performance on the night.
"That was one hell of a fight. Derek Chisora showed so much resilience and then unbelievable power. One of the best fights of the year,’’ said Owen, who is now a SkySports football pundit.
And Daniel Roberts agreed.
‘’One of the best fights ever Michael.’’
Chisora told the British media that it was a tough contest, something which he probably needed, especially to come out as the winner, to revive his career.
“It was tough,’’ said Chisora.
‘’War, heart. If I had won that fight on points it would have been a heart-break for the fans. How it happened that way was God’s will. Tough man.
‘’He’s upset I beat him. He shouldn’t be. They wrote me off. You know what, right now, I’m going to go out and watch this and challenge the winner (of Whyte vs Parker). I owe that victory to Don (Charles, my trainer) as well. He deserved that.’’
He then turned to Twitter to show the world he was never one to give up, no matter the odds against him, something which he displayed in that brutal knockout of Takam after some close rounds.
‘’You lose nothing when you fight for a cause.... In my mind, the losers are those who don’t have a cause they care about,’’ he said.
Chisora has come a long way now but there are many seasoned observers who say they are seeing something in him that could take him to the rank of those who are called the elite boxers of the world again.
He was was suspended for four months for biting Paul Butlin during the fifth round of their 22 May 2009 contest at the York Hall in Bethnal Green.
Although the referee missed the incident, the television replays exposed Chisora and he was banned from the sport and could not take on Danny Williams for the British title.
He was also fined £2,500.
On 14 March 2012, Chisora was again in trouble when the British Boxing Board of Control withdrew his boxing licence because of the wild behavior he had displayed before and after his world heavyweight title loss to Vitali Klitschko of Ukraine in Germany.
The World Boxing Council also issued him with an indefinite suspension and ordered that he also take some anger management medical treatment before the nullification of the suspension could be revoked.
Chisora has certainly been to the gates of hell and back again and, after his performance against Takam, he could on his way to the Promised Land once more – and millions of dollars in the bank.