Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Klitschko Vs. Fury: World Heavyweight Championship Boxing Preview

By IDran James

"Old guy, young guy, old champion, new champion - enough said." Tyson Fury (24-0, 18 KOs) set the mood in the final press conference on Tuesday for his showdown with Wladimir Klitschko (64-3, 54 KOs) at Esprit Arena in Dusseldorf this Saturday, November 28. The undefeated Fury is visibly hungry for Klitschko's WBA, IBF, IBO and WBO belts and made it clear that he wants to end Klitschko's monopoly of the heavyweight division.

Fury taunted the quite silent and very serious Klitschko, but at the same time, he made it
clear that he was nervous, and the reality that he is actually about to face one of boxing‘s most outstanding champions, for what is still the biggest prize in sport, has fully dawned on Fury, since his arrival in Germany.

He told Sky Sports News:

"It all crashes down to me as soon as I land into the town and I see the big posters
everywhere and I actually feel like I'm involved in a fight now and I'm really nervous.
I never felt this way before - ever.

I feel really anxious and really nervous for this fight and all these people and cameras are
actually making me shy and I'm forgetting what to say.

I'm actually shaking right now and I hope this is giving Wlad some confidence - not really, there we have it."

Judging from the final presser, Tyson did not seem shy at all, and had plenty to say to
Klitschko, who ignored most of Tyson's juvenile-like behaviour. Fury is notorious for his brash comments to his opponents when sizing them up, he once said to Derek Chisora before a fight "Have you brushed your teeth this morning because your breath stinks... You're ugly and I'm not."

Such behaviour seems to be lost on the World heavyweight champion though, who has seen it all before from previous challengers. The statue-like Klitschko just stared ahead, while Fury sniffed him, and joked. Klitschko is all business and that is what this final presser was about, he is ready to take care of business. 

Tyson Fury has had many disappointments and setbacks caused by the politics of boxing. His scheduled fights with David Haye were cancelled, and re-scheduled several times, before finally being called off for good. Also, he had been plagued by injuries when he previously trained for fights. Originally, this fight was set for October 24, but leading up to the match, Fury was very vocal and some of his antics caused quite a stir. When Fury arrived at a press conference in late September dressed as Batman, even the normally unflappable Klitschko seemed visibly disturbed. Ironically, just days later, it was announced that the fight had been postponed due to Klitschko suffering a tendon injury in his left calf. Coincidence? Or evidence of mind games being played by the world champion in an effort to re-establish control over his challenger.  Fury had no doubt about the reasons behind the postponement, declaring that his performance in the Batman suit had scared Klitschko out of fighting.  For months he had predicted the fight would never happen and for a while, both the fans and Fury feared that the fight would be called off completely.  However, Fury is the official number one contender to Klitschko’s belts, and so the reality is that he either has to fight Fury or else be stripped of his world title. 

Sure enough, after a few weeks the fight was rescheduled for November 28. Perhaps one of the most important questions surrounding this fight is the impact of the delay upon the challenger, will it be positive or negative.

The waiting game has only improved Fury's fitness level, but has it helped his mental state? At times, it seemed he has been on the fringe of madness, voicing his opinions of religion, politics in boxing, and his future after this heavyweight championship match. He has in one interview talked about giving up boxing after this fight, win or lose, and going into politics, and then in another interview he has said he will continue fighting until he is too old to fight anymore, regardless of Saturday’s result.

Even at this point it is evident that Fury is in fear of this fight being called off again.  Cancelled fights are something that has dogged Fury’s career. Many of his opponents find themselves intimidated by Fury’s antics at press conferences.  Especially by his confidence in his own ability to beat them.

On Tuesday Fury said, "As we know, if I say a lot of stuff in the press conferences then we usually don't have any fights. So I'm going to wind it back in and just wait for the fight night.

"I didn't believe this fight was going to happen for a long, long time. And he's proved me wrong. This fight is actually going to happen."

The stoic Klitschko has many times appeared amused by Fury’s showmanship at press conferences, he has said that he believes Fury has psychological issues. The veteran boxer also knows that Fury is trying to unhinge him, but Klitschko has been here before. He has been spat upon, smacked by opponents, and subjected to lurid threats of decapitation yet, has still remained calm and focused upon his job, both in and out of the ring.  David Haye provoked Klitschko beyond all decency some years ago, but he kept his cool, and gave Haye an embarrassingly one-sided boxing lesson when they both got into the ring.  Compared to the antics of David Haye, Tyson Fury has behaved like a consummate professional and a gentleman.  The one thing that might shake the Champion the most about his challenger, as Saturday’s fight draws ever closer, is that for all his antics, Tyson Fury seems to genuinely believe that Tyson Fury can win.

At 6’ feet 9" inches, Fury will be, at least physically, the biggest challenge that Klitschko has faced for a long time. 

Klitschko told Sky Sports, “The world hasn’t seen what I am capable of doing, maybe I have not been challenged.”

Come Saturday night, Tyson Fury will be aiming to be that one challenger, too many, for the long reigning World heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko.  

Watch the final press conference before the fight: 

Copyright © 2015 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to www.theboxingglove.com

1 comment: