WILL KLITSCHKO FEEL THE FURY?
It has just been announced that Tyson Fury will challenge Wladimir Klitschko on October 24th in Dusseldorf for the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles. It will no doubt be a daunting but exciting challenge for the unbeaten man from Manchester, the question is can he really win?
Fury is unbeaten with 18 knockouts from 24 wins. If I’m honest, his record does not jump out at you. The biggest wins on his record are two against Chisora, who’s not exactly a world beater. Also wins over Kevin Johnson and Steve Cunningham, two decent competitors but not exactly world championship material.
I wouldn’t say his record warrants a shot at the undisputed heavyweight king, but when you consider Klitschko’s last five opponents were Francesco Pianeta, Alexander Povetkin, Alex Leapai, Kubrat Pulev and Bryant Jennings, then you can see why he got this shot.
Secrets to success
So where, or how can Fury succeed where the likes of David Haye, Samuel Peter, Ruslan Chagaev and Hasim Rahman (who are all former World Heavyweight Champions) failed ?
Firstly, at 6ft 9, Fury is a big guy. Off the top of my head I can only remember once where Wladimir, who is 6ft 6, has fought an opponent the same height as him let alone taller.
Fury will really need to use all of that height to his advantage, in terms of working behind the jab and trying to stay out of range. I have also noticed how Fury can lean on smaller opponents which can sap their energy.
The range will be very important as Fury has a longer reach, something Wladimir is used to having the advantage on and will be different for him. Using a range and height advantage against a fighter that is so used to having it could be key for Fury.
Experience and pressure.
Klitschko will be entering his 68th fight and his 29th title fight. That’s experience you just cant buy. More often than not, experience, or lack thereof can make all the difference.
Fury will be entering his very first title fight and that inexperience could be a massive hindrance, especially when fighting an opponent that has an abundance of it.
With that experience, or lack thereof, comes pressure, which could also be a huge factor. I know Fury will try his usual tactic of winding up Klitschko and get in his head, which is worth a try.
But he needs to find a happy medium and not, like most Klitschko opponents, put more emphasis on the build up, trying to talk tough and psych out Wladimir, to the point where it back fires, putting more pressure on himself to perform, this could cause stage fright.
This is Fury’s first title fight and it is at the highest possible level. That has to be nerve-racking. Not to mention it will be in Germany, in front of thousands of Klitschko’s fans. No matter how confident Fury says he is, that must take some getting used to.
Plan your game.
At times, Klitchcko is known to be a bit tentative but good at controlling his opponent and dictating the pace. Fury at 26 is a young, hungry fighter and will need to use all that youthful exuberance, but with a mature head (something that is not always associated with Fury) to push the pace and not allow Wladimir to get into a rhythm,
At 39 and a veteran of 67 fights, Klitchsko cannot have much left in the tank. But with a massive 53 knockouts from 63 wins, he will be dangerous. Fury needs to be wary of this, especially as I have seen him get dropped by much lesser punchers.
I do believe in order to claim victory he will have to intelligently throw caution to the wind and go after Wladimir. I cannot see Klitschko losing a points decision in Dusseldorf, Germany, unless it is a massively one-sided fight, which is again unlikely.
Fury’s game plan will be extremely important. When Haye fought Klitschko, injured toe aside, although Wladimir won clearly, Haye wasn’t hurt much and that was down to his movement. I am not suggesting Fury to be light on his feet but with a range and height advantage, I don’t think he should just try to straight out-muscle the champ.
But a sly, cunning tactic of out maneuvering and frustrating Wladimir, to beat him to the punch and first take him out of his rhythm, upsetting that smooth, controlled pace.
If that is possible, Klitschko will then try to do new, uncomfortable and unconventional things. That’s when mistakes happen and that is where the 6ft 9inch frame of Fury can really take effect.
Yes this is all easier said than done and to be honest, Fury doesn’t strike me as a tactical mastermind so he might just go for a good old-fashioned throw down, rather than a chess match. After all, he’s the bigger guy.
Though I obviously give Klitschko the edge, it will be very interesting to see how he copes with the size disadvantage, something he has come accustomed to having in his favour.
Either way, I do believe it will be a closer and more exciting fight than most will anticipate.
If only to see Klitschko look up to an opponent for a change and not be able to overpower his opponent like he usually does. Or even, for that opponent not to struggle to get past or inside Klitschko’s range or jab.
Hopefully, Fury will have a game plan but will also put his fight and confidence where his mouth is and really have a go. At the end of the day, destiny will literally be in his hands and the chance of changing the course of boxing history will be up for grabs.