The Big Question: Can Fury depose Klitschko?
Now Tyson Fury's long-awaited shot at Wladimir Klitschko has finally been confirmed for 24 October in Dusseldorf, does Fury have a realistic chance of deposing the heavyweight king or is this diminished by fighting in Germany? Boxing Monthly's online team give their verdict in this week's 'Big Question'.
Fury has a realistic chance, despite early odds posted against him in the region of 4-to-1. Fury’s key assets are his gameness, youth, work-rate and his trainer, Peter Fury. If Fury’s uncle can coerce him into boxing a disciplined fight while mixing in unpredictable bursts (which Fury can do when pushed) then he should be able to shoo Klitschko out of his comfort zone. They need to find a way to negate Klitschko’s best weapon: his incessant spoiling tactics. Applying pressure on the referee (in order to do so) would have been far more feasible in an English ring. – Andrew Harrison.
Fury has a chance, one which may actually be increased - rather than diminished - by fighting in Germany. Fury has the physical attributes to negate the more negative tactics which have punctuated Wladimir Klitschko's title reign but must remain calm, composed and stick to the game plan set out by his uncle and trainer - Peter Fury. If the fight had taken place in the U.K. - as it was strongly rumoured - Fury would have had a passionate support. A partisan crowd may have encouraged Fury to throw caution to the wind, causing him to become reckless. Fury's heart and courage have never been in doubt but his discipline and composure have. This hostile environment may been exactly what he needs to flourish. Whilst getting a decision away from home can be difficult, Germany has an unfair reputation for being the home of dodgy scorecards. Many away fighters have prevailed in Germany and Fury is capable of joining them. – John MacDonald.
Clinching/holding is a two way street and I don't see Fury letting himself be bullied, in Germany or elsewhere. One thing is for sure, the 6' 9" giant will go for the kill, even if that means going out on his shield. That 'X-Factor' is what gives him a real chance, and that is what makes this match-up so damn interesting. – Michael Montero.
This is the greatest threat to Klitschko's reign since Haye pre-fight. Although Tyson's performance has to be a step up and more than it has been of late. No lulls, no fooling around, I would resist switch-hitting against Wlad and his discipline must be switched on for the duration. The shouts of Fury KOing Wlad are unrealistic for me. Fury has to stay at range and let his jab and combinations pepper Wlad all night. I think Fury can pull off a points decision but I've never pictured Wlad dropping a points loss in Germany. – Shaun Brown.
One thing we can guarantee is that the build-up to this fight will be entertaining! Who can forget Tyson Fury declaring he would inflict 'knockout devastation' on Steve Cunningham prior to his US debut?! Tyson has seen big fights pass him by in recent times so I'm pleased the big man will get his shot at the undisputed heavyweight king in October. As for the fight itself, Fury has a chance but my biggest fear is that Klitschko isn't quite ready to hand over the mantle of heavyweight boss just yet and he has looked superb in disposing of Pulev and Jennings recently, two fighters who Wlad considered as legitimate threats to his reign. Fury has heart in spades and will push Klitschko hard but will ultimately fall short of claiming the biggest prize in sport. – Danny Winterbottom.
I think it is a great fight for the heavyweight division and one which promises to be extremely entertaining. The bigger the opponent, the more aggressive Wladimir Klitschko tends to be and Tyson Fury won’t accept defeat in the manner that many Klitschko opponents do. He will keep trying to find a way to win until he is finally nailed to the canvas. Fury may have spent a long amount of time boxing as a southpaw during recent fights but I don’t expect him to immediately put himself directly into the line of fire of Klitschko’s right hand by answering the opening bell as a left-hander. I think we may get a repeat of the Klitschko-Pulev fight. Pulev entered the ring that night determined to win and although it sounds like a contradiction in terms, he did reasonably well despite suffering multiple knockdowns. I seem to be in the minority but despite his height and reach advantages, I don’t think attempting to outbox Wladimir Klitschko in Germany is the route to success. Fury has underrated boxing skills and an excellent trainer in his uncle, Peter, but the asset which makes this fight interesting is Tyson’s tremendous heart and desire. Fury may have to climb off the floor but if he can make the ageing champion work at all ranges from the opening bell, things may get extremely interesting by the midway point. – John Evans.
It's a tough ask but I'm sure Tyson will be happier fighting in Dusseldorf than Grozny had the rumoured $18m Vlad Hrunov purse bid come to fruition! He's certainly got a chance, albeit an outside shot. At 39, we're still waiting for age to catch up with the long-standing champion. What game plan will Peter Fury come up with? Will Tyson come out southpaw? Can he keep a disciplined defence and withstand the power from both Klitschko fists? Tyson will bring something different to Wlad's last few opponents, expect a cagey opening and potentially dirty moments but I think Dr. Steelhammer will retain the titles by UD. – Scott Hammerton.
Tyson Fury will give Wladimir Klitschko his toughest defence since Samuel Peter; behind the songs, caravan jokes and apparent dislike of plumbers, lies a vastly talented and improved fighter. Wladimir has been an exceptional champion and is rightly favourite but Fury has the physical tools and the tactical nous installed by his Uncle Peter to give Klitschko all he can handle, including matching Wlad for use of the 'dark arts' where necessary. David Haye went wrong by looking for sympathy from the referee, Fury needs to box to instruction but on occasion give Wlad a taste of his own medicine where called for, even in Germany. – Callum Rudge.
Wlad deserves to be favourite, and it’s hard to bet against him until he’s proved wrong. However, he looked shaky and uncertain against Bryant Jennings. Also, he’s only fought one opponent taller than himself during the past 10 years, and his less appealing tactics will be more difficult to employ when he’s giving away height. Klitschko will turn up in great shape and should feel comfortable fighting ‘at home’; but despite talk of one way traffic and a quick knockout, Wlad is cautious by nature. Whether he does or doesn’t win will be debated, but Fury is probably crazy enough to believe he can do it. Not feeling beaten before he gets in the ring gives him a chance. – Martin Chesnutt, TKO Radio.
There hasn't been a glimmer of an opening in Klitschko's armour for many, many years now. His particular brand of boxing has served him well against the best of a poor division for the last decade. And he has been a consummate champion in every respect; even while being chased by Shannon Briggs. But....in Fury we have a huge human being who can't be 'Povetkinised' in an evening of glum holding, or kept at range like David Haye and pummelled into making up stupid excuses to explain a good whipping. Fury likes to fight on the inside, outside, and even getting up off his backside - a la Cunningham and Pajkic - and he is much, much quicker around a boxing ring than most give him credit for. He can fight effectively as a southpaw, has an excellent jab ("Man, I knew the guy was long, but I had no idea he was that long" - Steve Cunningham), and has matured into a true contender. With Peter Fury in the corner, and a rabid crowd of fans cheering from ringside, I can't see anything but total and utter surprise on the champion’s face on October the 24th when he starts being out-jabbed for the first time in over a decade. My pick - Fury wins on points. – Ben Thomsett.
The thing is, no matter how much I hope he can do it - I just think Wlad has a little while longer before it all catches-up with him. He's looked so composed of late – been such a class act and fantastic champion for a long time (albeit in a relatively weak era) that this won't faze him at all. Klitschko to win - in his toughest defence yet. For Fury fans - there's no harm in a genuine top-5 contender losing to the undisputed number one in the division. – Colin Harris.