Home Boxing News Tyson Fury vs Wladimir Klitschko 2: The Battle of Legacies

Tyson Fury vs Wladimir Klitschko 2: The Battle of Legacies

Repeat or Revenge?

Tyson Fury (25-0-0) vs Wladimir Klitschko (64-4-0)

WBO, WBA Super and IBO Heavyweight World Championship

Manchester Arena, 09-07-16

In the beginning…

This is an intriguing matchup based on one of the biggest shocks the sport of boxing has seen in recent times.

Back in November in the impressive ESPIRIT arena in Düsseldorf Fury shocked the boxing world. The one result I thought unlikely, the one outcome that I thought near impossible was a points victory for Fury, I was wrong. Hands up – I thought Fury’s only chance was to catch the Ukrainian king and score a KO victory.

This was almost a fight fought more in the fighter’s minds than in the ring. Here was the educated Ukrainian, the holder of a PhD and unbeaten for over a decade up against the brash, controversial and highly entertaining Fury. Klitschko was used to being shown respect, a walking legend a hero. Even his opponents would rarely bad-mouth or talk down to him. Fury was having none of it. Turning up to a press-conference dressed as Batman, saying he was an adapter “If you dropped me in the jungle I’d come wearing a chinchilla and a millionaire” an absolute classic, and the rest.

The mind games continued up the opening bell. Fury demanding foam was removed from the ring, followed by Klitschko wrapping his own hands, unsupervised, followed by him being made to quickly remove them, with the Fury threat of the fight being called off if not.

For me, Wlad was stuck in his ways. He was used to fighting a particular style – jab, hold, jab, hold, bomb, it’s all over. Not possible against the bigger Fury. He didn’t get things his own way. Was Fury’s style too unpredictable or was Wlad’s style too predictable?

This was a rude awakening for the undisputed champ. Was it a one off, or can Fury repeat the feat?

Fury

Reaction

Tyson Fury. A name that divides opinion both in and out of the ring. For me he’s been a breath of fresh air for the heavyweight division, a true character. Too often in the modern world, boxing or otherwise people are too afraid to speak their mind, too afraid of the PC brigade to make their mark on the world. I’m not saying I agree with what he’s said, far from it, but I applaud him and I am entertained by the fact he does say what he wants to, when he wants to.

Fury’s dream from a young boy was to be heavyweight champion of the world. The first Wlad bout was his first shot and also happened to be against the genuine number one in the division. Long unbeaten and the holder of every major title other than the WBC strap held by The Bronze Bomber Deontay Wilder. Despite his antics he and his team looked 100% committed to the cause. Every effort was made in the build up to capture the crown, to cement his name at the top of the biggest division in the sport. Seemingly against all odds he achieved his dream, out-foxing the seasoned Ukrainian and winning a unanimous points decision.

The aftermath of his superb accomplishment has unfortunately met with a mixed reaction. Frankly his performance and achievement has been completely discredited in some corners. The biggest of all the insults was the ludicrous decision by the IBF to strip him of their version of the heavyweight crown creating an undeserved champion in ‘Prince’ Charles Martin and then Anthony Joshua.

Tyson Fury beat Wladimir Klitschko in his own backyard by out-boxing, not by a lucky one-off KO in the vein of Rahman vs Lewis, but by moving constantly for 12 rounds, switch-hitting and being unpredictable. Whatever follows, as it stands, he needs to be recognised as THE heavyweight champion of the world.

Round Two

It will be very interesting to see how Tyson performs in the second bout. Does he genuinely not care as he’s started professing? He’s clearly put weight on, but that’s not exactly unusual for some boxers, especially heavyweights and has actually used his fat gut in the most recent series of mind games “You’ve been beaten by a fat man”.

I think this is a case of more mind-games. It worked the first time round, so why not again in Manchester? Even if he doesn’t care about his legacy I’m sure he’ll want to go on and fight Joshua et al, fights that would be worth tens of millions of £s to him.

He has shown that he has the skill to out box Wlad and the will to work for every second of the 12 rounds. He may be carrying a few extra pounds come fight night, but the main question is “How much does he still want it”?

Klitschko

For years this man ruled the heavyweight division. He beat all comers and established a solid legacy. I also feel that he became complacent. I believe that he’d had it too easy for too long. Too many smaller heavyweights came along, tactics for which Wlad had perfected. I’d yearned to see Wlad take on a guy either the same size as him or bigger to truly test his legacy. Tyson was that man and Wlad failed the test.

The first battle raised questions regarding the tactics employed by Wlad in the past – had he stuffed previous rings full of foam, slowing speedier opponents down by fighting on a feather mattress-like surface? What else could he have gotten away with?

One thing is for certain – I’m sure Wlad is completely confident of winning the rematch or he would never have taken it. He wants to ensure his legacy and show Fury as being a one-night wonder, so to speak.

Was the defeat the kick up the backside he needed to remember that to be the best in the heavyweight division you need to take risks that he needs to be far more aggressive?

Only time will tell.

Build up

The build-up has been interesting so far. Fury playing the ‘fat-man’ card with Wlad uncharacteristically telling Fury to f@”k off.

The build-up will on only get more intense and more interesting from now on. What tricks will the Fury camp pull out the bag this time round?

Prediction

If Fury truly wants this I believe the fight goes the same way as the first bout. Wlad, ultimately still being wary of Fury’s power will not take the risks he needs to. His overly analytical mind putting the brakes on. However, if Fury is not fully committed, if he’s not in the mind set to work hard both in the gym and in the night. Klitschko will catch up to him at some point and this could end by KO for the Ukrainian.

For a very big man, Fury is slick, unorthodox and completely unpredictable. He is near impossible to train to fight and a victory over him will require someone to out-fox him on the night.

What’s next?

One thing is for certain, to me at least – whoever wins on the ninth of July is THE heavyweight champion of the world, followed closely by the WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder.

Again, in my own opinion, the IBF has completely discredited itself and frankly I do not currently consider Anthony Joshua to be a world champion. Please do not get me wrong – Joshua is a superb fighter and can only beat who is in front of him (I don’t believe that he’ll be troubled by Breazeale), but that belt belongs to Tyson Fury. Joshua has all of the attributes to make him one of the greatest heavyweights of all time and I am a massive fan of his, but until he beats one of the top guys, as Fury has done he is a world champion in name only.

Firstly I’d like to see Wilder fight the winner to unify the belts (I know I’m making a massive assumption that Wilder beats Povetkin, so please switch names if Povetkin does in fact win). Joshua would be the next big name and if Fury was in place Fury vs Joshua would make a massive, massive British bout, probably a Wembley stadium sell out job.

There’s also the likes of Ortiz and the young Parker. Unfortunately Ortiz is not good in the risks vs rewards scheme of things a bit like his compatriot Rigo and Parker probably isn’t yet the finished article, one for the future perhaps.

Conclusion

This will be an interesting fight with a build up to match. Will Fury strengthen the foundations of his newly built legacy or will Wlad’s crumbling legacy take a further strike from the Wilmslow wrecking ball?

Stuart Bruno Brown