Fury lifts the heavyweight belt and ushers in post-Klitschko era
Tyson Fury — perhaps the most oddball boxing personality of all time — defied the odds and beat a weary-looking 39-year-old Wladimir Klitschko to a fairly boring unanimous decision this evening. The awkward but massive 27-year-old cousin of WBO middleweight world champion Andy Lee —who was coincidentally trained by the late great Emanuel Steward, just as Wladimir was — succeeded where for the past 10 years many others have failed.
As the 39-year-old Klitschko walked into the ring looking haggard and frankly a bit wrecked, it appeared to me that perhaps Fury’s bizarre pre-fight antics — including a staged Batman appearance at the press conference where he tussled with and subsequently apprehended a costumed villain planted in the audience — had indeed thrown a spanner in the workings of Dr Steelhammer’s brain box.
As early as the second round there was a clear sense that something was wrong with Wladimir as the then-champion threw close to no punches whatsoever. The taller Fury managed to use his greater speed and reach to negate the Ukranian’s offense all the while “Mayweathering” him — continually beating Klitschko to the punch and racking up points by touching him with backhand jabs.
According to Compu-Box, in the first two rounds, Klitschko landed one power shot while Fury landed four.
Simply put, this pattern continued for the rest of the bout — producing what was ultimately a boring fight which won’t do much to change popular perceptions of the basically-dead spectacle of contemporary heavyweight boxing.
Despite increasingly desperate pleas from his corner, Wladimir was unable to adjust to an opponent who was taller, faster and more scientific than any recent foe. His typical routine of jabbing and head-hunting from a comfortable distance followed by holding and attempting to tie up the other man simply didn’t work against someone who was both larger and a skilled in-fighter. This resulted in Klitschko handing over points to Fury who took every opportunity to land punches in the clinch, and due to his size was never much slowed by the attempted leaning of the smaller Ukranian.
When Klitschko should have been deploying his greater power to the body of the challenger on the inside, he was wasting time, energy and opportunity by using a tactic that simply wasn’t working.
Ultimately, Fury had an effective plan which he managed to execute well while Wladimir showed a complete lack of ability to adjust and just didn’t seem to be mentally committed to the contest at all. I see this fight as a champion performing absolutely abysmally while a challenger performed well enough to pry out a win. The overall lack of activity make this fight to be a bit of a stinking anti-climax.
After over 10 years of Ukranian dominance it’s nice to see a changing of the heavyweight guard however Fury’s outspoken, repugnant and moronic bigotry make it difficult for me to be much of a fan. With Wlad saying he’ll exercise his rematch clause next year we’ll get to see a replay before long. But given he’ll be 40 by then and his heart doesn’t seem to be in it, how likely is it he’ll be able to make the needed adjustments? For my own part, I’m looking forward to Fury getting in the ring with some more interesting opponents such as Deontay “started boxing late” Wilder or the hyped up British heavyweight Anthony Joshua.
In the mean time treat yourself to the grim, beer-filled post-fight press conference featuring both PhD-holding Klitschko brothers answering in German and then self-interpreting their responses into English.