Derek Chisora prepared for world title fight swimming in Hampstead Ponds

PUBLISHED: 17:10 20 February 2012

Derek Chisora (right) and Vitali Klitschko before the world fight. Picture: Nick Potts/Press Association Images

Derek Chisora (right) and Vitali Klitschko before the world fight. Picture: Nick Potts/Press Association Images

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Dismissed as a no-hoper in the world-title bout over the weekend, Hampstead’s Derek Chisora was keen not to go down without a fight – or several as it turned out.

But what was to blame for the relentlessly combative mood which saw him clash with David Haye in a post-match press conference?

Could it be down to an unorthodox training method he added to his pre-fight regime?

To prepare himself for the most important – and possibly final – fight of his career, Chisora plunged into the Hampstead Ponds to steel himself to face seasoned veteran Vitali Klitschko at their fight in Munich.

The self-styled “only black man in Hampstead” told a national newspaper before the fight: “Man, that water over at Hampstead is cold. I do it to harden myself up but it makes everything shrivel up — and I really do mean everything.”

Chisora, 28, has since returned to his home in Hampstead Garden Suburb to lick his wounds and prepare himself for possible criminal proceedings.

He could also face a misconduct charge from the British Boxing Board.

Regular ponds swimmer Jake Levy, 26, said: “Derek’s the least intimidating of the men you find around the ponds.”

If Chisora and Haye are consigned to the boxing wilderness after their post-bout brawl, it would seem there are far scarier British world-title contenders lurking in the depths of the Ponds on Hampstead Heath.

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