Dereck Chisora remains on track for a possible fight against Kiwi Joseph Parker after labouring to a unanimous decision victory over Senad Gashi in London at the weekend.
Englishman Chisora had hoped for an exciting fight to help his claims of a bout against Anthony Joshua in New York on June 1 following Jarrell Miller's drugs test failure, but his performance was anything but against Gashi, who was determined to survive the 10 rounds at London's O2 Arena.
A decision on WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight world champion Joshua's opponent for Madison Square Garden will probably be made this week. Kiwi Junior Fa, currently sparring with WBC world champion Deontay Wilder, has also put his hand up, as has Chisora's big English rival Dillian Whyte.
What is most likely is that Whyte will fight a lesser opponent at the O2 Arena on July 20, with Chisora on the undercard and possibly against Parker, who is currently weighing up his long-term professional future. A fight in the United States is also a possibility for Parker.
The Chisora v Gashi fight was screened live in the United States on sports streaming platform DAZN and it would have impressed very few. Joshua's promoter Eddie Hearn wants a big name for his man's first fight in the United States and it's unlikely to be Chisora.
"It made for a stinker of a fight," Chisora's manager David Haye told IFL TV. "It wasn't what we wanted. We wanted Dereck to put on a great performance. He was fit and strong and ready to go to war but you need two to tango and unfortunately Senad Gashi had other ideas."
Haye added: "It won't really excite the American fans."
Chisora, a rugged and durable fighter who has lost twice to Whyte but scored a notable recent victory when knocking out Carlos Takam, a former foe of Parker's, has built his reputation on aggression and all-out attack. His ring-name is "War".
But he found southpaw Gashi a puzzle he couldn't solve. The Albanian clearly wanted to survive rather than win but Chisora couldn't cut off the ring and hurt him.
Parker was originally scheduled to be Chisora's opponent for the bout but pulled out when a contract wasn't forthcoming.
Before the Gashi fight, Haye told Sky Sports UK that a Parker fight in the UK summer could be made "very, very easily".
"He's known in the UK and people know he comes to fight," Haye said of Parker. "He's always in exciting fights; Dillian Whyte was very exciting. I hope him and his team are ready to come over, because Derek definitely is ready and we can make a fight with Parker."
Chisora was in his first fight under new trainer Dave Coldwell, and the Yorkshireman told the Daily Express he was happy the fight against former WBO world champion Joseph Parker wasn't made.
"When they were talking about Parker I said 'I would rather it not be'," Coldwell said.
"Dereck, David and Sky wanted a big fight, I was like 's***, that's a big ask for his first fight under me.'"
In the main event of the night, Australian Lucas Browne was stopped with a body punch by improving Englishman Dave Allen. Browne has been talked about as a possible future opponent for Parker but his career appears all but over.