Tyson Fury vs Wladimir Klitschko? Is the Heavyweight Division Ready

Posted: March 3, 2015 in Boxing
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Tyson Fury has made no secret of his desire to face the dominant heavyweight champion, Wladimir Klitschko. For years he’s spoken of his desire to face Klitschko before the Ukrainian fighter retires. To date, however, nothing has happened.

Fury is a fighter who splits opinion. His detractors are plentiful and nothing the man does will ever placate them, as is usually the case in boxing. When anyone brings up Fury as a potential opponent for Klitschko the first comment of many is usually referencing how Fury was put on his seat by Steve Cunningham. Not taking anything away from Cunningham, but those against Fury love to point out that Cunningham spent the bulk of his career as a cruiser weight, and has never been a knockout artist. Do these comments hold validity, or is it simply people overlooking the fact that in boxing (especially the heavyweight division) one well timed punch can change an evening?

Next up for Fury is his demeanor. He is brashy. He has a confidence that crosses all the way into arrogance. He doesn’t seem to care who he angers, he will still look to say his piece. Some fans love this side of Fury and see ths as a character he is portraying to sell his brand, which is himself. Others feel he is disrespectful to the sport and take his comments as literal.

The there are those who think Fury possesses the skills necessary to challenge the champion and push him all the way. Fury has height. He has reach. He has power. He has technique. He has desire and he has heart. Fury seemingly has all the tools that have been lacking in Klitschko opponents of recent years. When Klitschko has faced a boxer with worrisome power his opponent has usually been lumbering, limited in skills or both. When he’s faced an opponent with height it’s more often than not been a guy of limited mobility and slow hands. When he’s taken on a fighter with good movement and hand speed it’s often a guy who is so much smaller than him that they cannot get inside Klitschko’s thunderous jab to be any bother to him.

Not that any of this is Klitschko’s fault. The man has taken on everyone who has been placed in front of him and beaten every style for years. Fury may be no different in that respect, but at least he brings the intrigue level up.

When asking if the boxing world is ready for this fight I guess I should have been more direct. Rather than whether the boxing world is ready for a bout between these two giants, what I’m really wondering is whether the boxing world is ready for Tyson Fury as a world champion. The man already splits opinion. He already ruffles feathers. How many more will he ruffle if the championship belt on fastened around his waist?

Fury reiterated his desire to face Klitschko once more over the weekend. After dispatching of Christian Hammer with relative ease on Saturday, and after performing a victory song in ring, Fury took to the mic to call for a bout with Klitschko.

For his part, Klitschko is already scheduled to face American challenger Bryant Jennings next month. Should he come through that unscathed it could be time for him to negotiate a bout with Fury for later this year. Fury has worked himself into position as a mandatory challenger for Klitschko, and the champ has shown over the years that he will take on every mandatory challenge thrown his way.

A bout with Fury will undoubtedly bring a high level of entertainment. Fury has stoked the fires with banter for a couple of years now, and having stepped up his own game with a string of improved performances, Fury seems to be fulfilling some of the potential many have seen in him. Fury will do all the talking needed for this bout, and then some. He will also not shy away from trying to back up his talk inside the ring. As those who have followed Fury’s career to date have seen, there’s nothing the big man loves more than a good scrap.

Only a few things could stand in the way of a Klitschko-Fury showdown. An upset loss to Jennings. An untimely retirement from the new dad (that’s Klitschko). A desire to regain the belt his brother used to hold under the Klitschko banner by taking oh Deontay Wilder in a unification bout.

I, for one, hope none of those things happen. Fury vs Klitschko is a bout boxing needs to see. It will bring attention back to the heavyweight division. It will pit Klitschko against an opponent who will push for him to come out of his comfort zone. It will introduce the world to Tyson Fury the fighter and help them look past Tyson Fury the character looking to sell a fight.

Let’s help make this fight a reality.

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