Background[ edit ] Inafter he had defeated both Kevin Johnson and Steve Cunningham in world title eliminator fights, Tyson Fury repeated that he wanted to fight Wladimir Klitschko because he was the Number 1 in the division, he had previously called him out during video interviews, but believed that the Ukrainian would retire before facing him. Fury could have fought Kubrat Pulev for the mandatory slot to fight Klitschko in mid, but chose to set up an all English showdown with David Haye because "it was a far bigger fight. After Fury defeated Klitschko, he stated that he would never give Haye the chance to fight him again after he let him down twice and wasted his time and money.
Experts and fans alike tend to think of the sport in dichotomies. A fighter is either a champion, or a bum; a fight is either a slugfest, or a snoozefest. Those who disagree, praising the scientific skills of the Mayweathers and the Rigondeauxs, are merely pedants and contrarians.
Heading into the heavyweight title fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson Fury, these misconceptions were in full effect. Before the bout, Klitschko was an unstoppable force--not always an entertaining one, but virtually invincible nonetheless. Fury, by comparison, was an untenable farce, written off by most experts because of his bizarre antics and so-so record.
In boxing, you are unbeatable until the day you are beaten, and then the usurper has a long hill to climb just to prove that he actually deserved the victory.
Such will be the case with Fury. In that time, only six opponents were fortunate enough to go the distance, with the other 15 being stopped.
Very few heavyweights in history stand clearly above Klitschko in terms of sheer greatness, and only the Brown Bomber himself reigned longer.
Credit where credit is due. The first step to denying Klitschko his usual success was twofold: lateral movement, and feinting. No one has ever fed Klitschko as steady a diet of feints and fakes as Fury, and the effect was telling from the very first round of the fight.
Fury feinted with his body, selling each and every twitch as a reason for Klitschko to be cautious. Touching Klitschko early and often with his left hand, Fury otherwise kept it hanging low, often below his waist, as in the GIF above.
By forcing Klitschko to hesitate and then using that as an opportunity to move, Fury prevented the Ukrainian knockout artist from planting his feet and uncorking a heavy punch. Without his power at the ready, Klitschko was forced to box with Fury, and that proved a more lopsided contest than most expected.
Unlike Klitschko, who relies almost entirely on his height and reach to avoid incoming punches, Fury used excellent head movement to protect himself.
Despite an awkward, unorthodox style, he never seemed to find himself in a position from which he had no readily available escape route. When he slips a jab, he is ready to slip another one in the opposite direction. From there he knows to look out for the right hand, which he rolls under, after which he is prepared to roll the opposite direction under a follow-up left hook.
When Klitschko comes back after the reset and tries to throw Fury off with a lead right, Fury calmly slips outside the punch and weaves easily under an anticipated hook, winding up in an advantageous position in the clinch.
More than merely putting prefabricated pieces together, Fury demonstrated an ability to improvise in the midst of heated exchanges, even managing to catch the notoriously stiff Klitschko with a crushing left hook near the end of the ninth round.
Fury was one of the first Klitschko opponents to really make use of the clinch.
There is little Fury can do to stop Klitschko turning around, but he is more than willing to hit him while he does so, and Klitschko barely has time to see the left hook coming before it crashes into his jaw. I would expect the magnitude of the upset to override the lack of violent action, but critics are welcome to like or dislike a fight at their whims.
There is a new heavyweight champion, folks. Get the best MMA news straight to your inbox. Time and time again fans, fighters, and even promoters don't agree with the judges.
So let's add another controversial ruling to the list. Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription! Already a subscriber? That concept is not lost on Devin Clark, who has alternated wins and loses over his last 5 fights en route to a record in that span. And every time it's packaged in a number of different fight disciplines.