European heavyweight champion Dereck ‘Del Boy’ Chisora (19-4) will face unbeaten Ukrainian Andriy Rudenko (24-0) at the Copper Box Arena, London on February 15, before aiming for another crack at the world title later in the year.
After losses to Vitali Klitschko and David Haye in 2012, Chisora, 30, has a successful 2013 with wins against Argentinian Hector Avila, Kazakh Edmund Gerber, Czech Ondrej Pala and a stoppage win against previously unbeaten American Malik Scott.
‘Klitschko clone’ Rudenko, also 30, makes his first trip outside of his native Ukraine since his second professional fight in 2006. It is not yet known whether Chisora will be defending his European belt, claimed with a fifth round stoppage of Gerber in September, as Rudenko has not fought past the eight round distance before.
Chisora told BoxNation: “Happy New Year everyone and let this be the year that I get an opportunity at the world heavyweight title and bring it back to Britain.
“Rudenko is a great start to the year for me, he’s a strong, powerful and undefeated challenger who’s got his own ambitions for the world title and will be coming over here to knock me out.
“I couldn’t get to the Klitschko brothers, they didn’t want to know about me. Vitali retired and vacated the title, but good luck to him and his political ambitions. I gave him a hard twelve rounds when we met and next time round he wouldn’t have come away with the title. Wladimir looks like he’ll be around for a little while longer and I’ve got unfinished business to settle with him so I want to get to him and finish him off.
“So for now I’m facing the Klitschko clone in Rudenko. This man can punch, he’s gone the last five years knocking everybody out apart from one, but he’s not carrying on with that run against me.
“The threat level goes up and so does my performance. I’ll be at my sharpest against him and you’ll see another destruction job from me. I’m at an ideal fighting weight, the flow of punches and power are coming together, the 2014 Dereck Chisora is going to be a real force to be reckoned with.”
The Copper Box bill will also feature Cromer’s Liam Walsh (15-0) contest the vacant British super featherweight title against Dewsbury’s Gary Sykes (26-3). British middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders and rising super middleweight Frank Buglioni also scheduled to appear.