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Fury Stands on the Edge of Greatness

Fury Stands on the Edge of Greatness
Wednesday,November 25,2015

Only a handful of British men have ever been heavyweight champion of the world. Should Tyson Fury beat Wladimir Klitschko he will join an elite clutch of boxers including Bob Fitzsimmons, Frank Bruno, Henry Akinwande, Lennox Lewis, Herbie Hide and David Haye. Truth is, Lennox Lewis aside, our world heavyweight champions have been somewhat of a letdown.

You may never have heard of Hide or Akinwande, both of whom won world titles in similar fashion, fighting for a vacant title, whilst David Haye won his title fighting against a 7ft statue. Conversely, were Tyson Fury to hear "…and the new" on Saturday night, it could well be the greatest achievement in British heavyweight boxing history.

Wladimir Klitschko may not be the most exhilarating of heavyweight boxers, but his record as the longest serving champion who has made more world title defences than anybody bar Joe Louis, is phenomenal. At 39 years old, it may be argued that old father time might be Klitschko’s toughest opponent. Klitschko has won 64 of his 67 fights and only 11 of those fights have gone the distance. He may be getting older, but in recent years Klitschko has dismissed previously unbeaten fighters such as Kubrat Pulev and Francesco Pianeta with consumate ease. Klitschko will not be unnerved by Fury’s unbeaten record. He may be unnerved by Fury’s size.

This will be only the second time that Wladimir has entered the ring as the smaller man (Mariusz Wach). In his more recent fights against Pulev and Povetkin, Dr Steelhammer has used his superior size to wrestle each fighter in the clinch and negate the smaller man’s work on the inside. Giving away 3" in height and 4" in reach Klitschko won’t be able to rest on his laurels of a good solid jab, and an ability to hold without being penalised. Such tactics worked against Wach. That said, is Fury’s pedigree sufficient to challenge such a renowned champion?

Critics of Fury believe he hasn’t fought anybody of sufficient calibre and point to knock downs from Steve Cunningham and Nevin Pajic that highlight a suspected glass chin. However, Fury is a boxing student, can fight southpaw and does possess a very good body shot as Martin Rogan will testify. The concerns regarding Fury’s chin seem very real and his lower body doesn’t look strong enough to withstand a flurry of powerful punches.

Having never faced anybody of Klitschko’s class before, we will know in the first round whether Fury is up to the task. If he can wear the Ukrainian’s jab and throw his own jab over the top, then maybe the rank outsider could spring a surprise.

In the i-Pools big fight pool, I’m going for Klitschko by decision. I think that Fury will be able to hold his way through 12 rounds without ever really threatening. He will demand a rematch, citing German scoring as the reason for defeat and after a rematch, Anthony Joshua will have sufficient experience to deck either of them.

James DeGale’s match with Lucian Bute also makes our pool. Whilst DeGale may be champion, I fancy Bute to spring a surprise against Chunky. I’ll be going for Bute to score the most knockdowns.

Tale of the Tape
Wladimir Klitschko   Tyson Fury
64 Won 24
3 Lost 0
53 KOs 18
0 Draws 0
67 Total Bouts 24
79% Ko% 75%
6'6" Height 6'9"
81" Reach 85"
Orthodox Stance Orthodox
Semey, Kazakhstan Born Wilmslow, Cheshire, UK
25 March, 1976 DOB 1 June, 1988

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