Tyson Fury taunted Wladimir Klitschko as an “old fool” in his Batman persona before their heavyweight championship bout. During Saturday’s fight, the mouthy Mancunian made Klitschko look old if not exactly a fool.
Neither Tyson nor a fury, the Brit nevertheless used superior conditioning and his length to frustrate the Ukrainian in Dusseldorf, Germany. His repeated rabbit punching cost him a point, and his repeated taunts of Klitschko may have cost him some respect, but ultimately Tyson Fury made his opponent pay.
Fury cut Klitschko early (perhaps from a butt) and rocked him late. But neither man tasted the canvas in a fight that went to the cards. The judges saw it for Fury via a 115-112, 115-112, 116-111 unanimous decision. Fury captured the IBF, WBO, and IBO alphabet-soup belts. But more importantly, he traces a line runs from his title to the ones held by Lennox Lewis, Mike Tyson, Larry Holmes, and Muhammad Ali.
Fury controlled the action throughout. Unable to use his mechanical jab against a taller opponent, Klitschko appeared frustrated and lethargic. Fury threw three times the number of punches as his adversary, and landed 86 to Klitschko’s anemic 52. Significantly, power blows constituted the bulk of Fury’s punches that found their mark.
Klitschko entered the fight on a 22-fight, 11-year winning streak. Fury improves to 25-0 with a second date with Dr. Steelhammer or a marketable fight against American titlist Deontay Wilder as potential matches that make both money and sense. Fury’s grasp of the showmanship involved in prize fighting, and his fresh face animating a boredom-inducing division as of late, likely means renewed interest in both the heavyweights and the sport.
Fury becomes the first man since Lamon Brewster to defeat Klitschko and the first lineal British heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis, who defeated Klitschko’s older brother in his last bout.