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12/12/2013 00:00:00
by Agencies
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AFTER re-establishing his career as a genuine heavyweight contender, Dereck Chisora is aiming for some spiritual solace by going to South Africa this weekend to pay his respects to the late President Nelson Mandela.

Although the Briton earns his living by administering punishment in the ring – and four straight knockouts in eight months have taken him to the brink of another world title shot – he holds Mandela in high esteem as an enduring icon of political and world peace.

That is why Zimbabwe-born Chisora, who moved to London with his family as a teenager, feels an emotional need to return to his roots.

Chisora said: “I’m flying to Johannesburg on Saturday. I am African myself and I just feel I have to be in South Africa. Even if I don’t get to the funeral, as long as I am present.

“I was devastated when he died. I was at a friend’s party when I heard and I just got up and left.

“Most Africans feel they have to be there to embrace and celebrate his life. For him to sacrifice 27 years in prison and then come out and forgive everybody was amazing.”

Chisora plans on spending a week in Johannesburg, where he has friends and family, and then return to England to resume a career which looked to be flagging but has now gone into overdrive.

Chisora, who turns 30 on December 29, will make the first defence of his European heavyweight title at London’s Copper Box Arena on February 8, before a hopeful world eliminator.

He said: “By the end of 2014 I will have fought for a world title again, 100 per cent. It would be great to fight one of the Klitschkos again. It has been some year but it will be even bigger and better next year.”


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