Wladimir Klitschko vs Tyson Fury
BY KID HERSH
HBO World Championship Boxing card from Dusseldorf Germany in the highly anticipated heavyweight showdown between longtime champ Wladimir Klitschko (64-3, 53ko's) and Tyson Fury (24-0, 18ko's). I am predicting pandemonium and chaos! Fury is a surprising live dog on the betting lines at 3/1 to 4/1, with most Klitschko opponents being far wider than that. Fury is the first fighter he is to face that is actually taller than bigger than him - aside from the fact that Fury came in surprisingly light at the weigh-in yesterday. Fury had a five month training camp for the fight and claims to have sparred 600 rounds, an astronomical figure that one wonders is possible without burning out. After a short delay (HBO crew isn't sure what) the fighters made their entrances. Fury was first, looking happy and animated as usual as the crew talked about his Gypsy bloodlines. They also talked about the weights - with Fury coming in at a very light 246lbs, typically coming in a good 10-20lb heavier for his fights. They also mentioned that Fury claimed he sparred 600 rounds in the build-up too this fight, which was prolonged because of the Klitschko injury. He said that over the five month span he only took a two week break from training. In the first round it was extremely tentative - with Fury feinting nonstop and moving around the ring while popping a jab occasionally. Wlad on the other hand was perhaps measuring his man and not unloading yet. In the second round Klitschko came out looking more aggressive, stepping to Fury more often and looking to get in range to land his power shots or even a jab for that matter. He was having serious trouble though because for a change he is not the bigger man and he is not able to simply step in and throw a shot and land. Fury was doing a beautiful job of staying at a distance and stepping in himself to fight off Wlad with a power shot or two - in turn not just resetting the champion but chipping away at his game plan and typical method of fighting. The third round was more feinting by Fury and posing by Wladimir, with neither man landing anything of real note. Fury was clowning around, putting his hands down by his waist and also behind his back. Wlad looked intent with facial expressions and was light on his feet and balanced - but was not throwing any punches at all! With the round waning down in the final seconds Klitschko has landed one shot and Fury two! The fourth round saw no more drama - other than Klitschko unloaded a few right hands, with one landing at the very end of the round doing no damage. Fury, on the other hand, showed that his game plan is to not just move via staying light on his feet - it is also to feint Klitschko into not throwing. He is still out jabbing the champion and out throwing him, but that is not hard when we are talking less than 20 punches per round! The fifth round was more of the same other than Klitschko having a cut opened up under his left eye from an accidental clash of heads. Not much change in the coming rounds, other than Fury gaining confidence as Roy Jones Jr. pointed out after Max pointed out that he was not just dropping his hands anymore but actually putting them behind his back. In the ninth round Klitschko finally landed a hard right hand flush on Fury just a little over a minute into the round. Fury shook it off - using his usual antics which caused referee Tony Weeks to warn him. Fury then responded about a minute later by slamming a left hand home (although I hate using that word because this fight has been a total snoozer) that looked to momentarily stun Klitschko, who immediately clinched (not that him clinching means he was hurt...). Fury closed out the round in fashion by by being the more energetic man...sad to say but that is edging him the rounds in my opinion. Fury continued touching Klitschko in the tenth until in the eleventh round he managed to hurt Klitschko with left hooks late in the round, right when Klitschko was looking to load up on his own hooks throughout the round. He also opened up a new cut on the champion in the eleventh round, again from an accidental clash of heads though, not any sort of long-lasting action of trading shots. Fury was deducted a point in this round for hitting behind the head - which he has been doing periodically throughout the fight and warned about multiple times so it isn't the worst point deduction in the world and it isn't going to matter at this point in the fight anyways. The twelfth round was the best of the fight, with Klitschko finally unleashing some punches and going for the knockout. Puzzling enough though, he would clinch immediately after unloading even if he landed a good shot and stunned Fury! I guess old habits die hard - as Roy Jones has mentioned throughout the fight when commenting on Klitschko not throwing punches on the inside. The cards would come in a UD win for Fury - with them being tighter then I saw, but nonetheless the right guy winning the fight. Fury then proceeded to sing a tune by Aerosmith to close out his post fight interview, which Lampley would quip "The post fight song by Fury was, if not the strangest moment in heavyweight history, certainly one of them." Max would then say that the reason Americans are not interested in the heavyweight division is because of the punch stats which showed that Klitschko landed 4 body punches and 18 power shots over 12 rounds - throwing less than 20 punches per round.