One Can’t Fight (Fury) And One Didn’t (Klitschko)

I can’t remember ever watching a heavyweight championship fight and simultaneously laughing and crying at the same time. Which is precisely what I did during the Wladimir Klitschko 64-4 (53) vs. Tyson Fury 25-0 (18) championship bout this past Saturday. I should’ve trusted my initial instincts which screamed at me to watch the “Iron Bowl” also known as Alabama vs. Auburn.

Can you even say it with a straight face – “Tyson Fury heavyweight boxing champion of the world?!” There have been some very limited heavyweight champs over the past 100 years. But at least you could say Jess Willard was as strong as an Ox, Max Baer’s right hand was a genuine life-taker. Leon Spinks at his best was non-stop aggression, Buster Douglas could box and punch a little bit when in supreme shape and John Ruiz was as tough and determined as a fighter could be. Whereas Tyson Fury can’t break an egg, he isn’t aggressive and he certainly can’t box like Douglas and I doubt he has the grit and determination of Ruiz.

It’s been said in this space for years that Wldimir Klitschko doesn’t like fist or the threat of them flying around or near his face. So much so that whether the opponent is big or small relative to him, if they throw bombs or even threaten to do so, he’ll stall and clinch and look to punch when he thinks it’s safe. And that was certainly evidenced during the 12 uneventful rounds Klitschko spent in the ring with Fury trying to hold onto his IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight titles. It’s hard to fathom after watching him fight Tyson Fury that Wladimir Klitschko held the heavyweight title for nine consecutive years. Longer than Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis. Only the immortal Joe Louis’ reign of 12 consecutive years is longer than Klitschko’s.

Prior to the bout I couldn’t pick Fury to win, but I felt he was a live underdog because of his awkwardness and the fact that Wladimir was aging in dog-years. It was shockingly amazing to see Klitschko blunted and stunted by Fury’s lateral movement, feints and clinching. It was apparent Wladimir was truly bothered and troubled by a fighter with equal height and reach to him. He was also a sitting duck, due to his lack of head movement, to Fury’s telegraphed looping right hands to the head. Klitschko showed that he is utterly clueless at cutting off the ring, and won’t cut loose with his right hand, perhaps the biggest single power shot in professional boxing, unless his target is stationary or moving into him. And the thought of trying to bang Fury to the body or on the inside when Tyson was attempting to wrap him up in a clinch was nonexistent. It was always noted that Wladimir couldn’t fight on the inside, something that would’ve paid huge dividends against a giraffe like Fury.

One hates to admonish a fighter who has accomplished so much as Klitschko has since turning pro nearly 20 years ago, but let’s be honest, watching that bout, did you see any evidence that Fury can throw any punch other than a jab? His left hook is a slap, he has no uppercut and his right hand you can see coming a mile away. Yet Klitschko stood in front of Fury and instead of initiating the action, he waited and flinched at every flimsy feint by Fury. Wladimir was frozen offensively by Tyson’s amateurish bouncing around the ring with his hands down by his hips. And one must ask why? Because the few times Fury did manage to get through with a wild looping right hand, Wladimir wasn’t the least bit shook. Oh, his nerves caused him to become undone some but he wasn’t visibly hurt, and yet he still wouldn’t let his hands go.

In round 10 when Klitschko realized the fight was slipping away he looked to pick it up, and even then he was a half-step too far away because he wasn’t willing to commit himself to engaging without his focus mostly on getting out without being touched or hit in the process. Perhaps the most troubling thing about the fight was, not only did Klitschko get schooled by a fighter whose biggest asset is height/length and awkwardness, it was the way he let round after round go by and refused to fight like a wounded animal in trying to hold onto his title and prevent the perception observers have of him from falling further than it has in the eyes of many over the years. Can anyone imagine “Smokin” Joe Frazier or Evander Holyfield relinquishing their title to Tyson Fury with such little resistance or fight? I know I can’t.

As fighters, Wladimir Klitschko can do everything in the ring that a fighter can be asked to do over another better than Tyson Fury. Yet Fury showed up doing a cheap impression of Muhammad Ali via his antics and mockery while circling to the left and Klitschko was clearly stymied. Had Klitschko been able to land one good right hand and shake Fury, Tyson would’ve lost some of his nerve and Wladimir’s confidence would’ve escalated. But that never happened and Fury’s confidence grew with each passing round as Klitschko became an interested observer.

After 12-rounds of inept boxing, two things are clear. Wladimir Klitschko won’t fight and Tyson Fury can’t fight, at least not at the championship level despite waking up this morning as world heavyweight champion. He’s just very lucky to have been in with a fighter like Wladimir Klitschko who has gone back physically as a fighter. And on this night demonstrated that when he doesn’t own every physical advantage conceivable over his opponent, is very limited and physically handcuffed by his mental trepidation.

Frank Lotierzo can be contacted at GlovedGFist@Gmail.com

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COMMENTS

-deepwater2 :

Fury deserves all the credit. He shut down the dominant heavyweight champ of the past decade. He might not be pretty to look at but the man gets the job done. Speaking of Holyfield , I was surprised to see bobby czyz work over Evander. I was surprised Ruiz beat Evander.vaughn bean vs Evander. It goes on and on. The world awaits Tyson Fury's next fight.


-Coxs Corner :

Tyson Fury's reign will be short.


-Radam G :

Wow! How time repeats itself. I watch a ton of old fight films. And scribes said that Cassius Clay was very limited. And could not break an egg that was already cracked. Hehe! So I guess d-cuz Tyson "Fists of" Fury has one up on their Irish bloodline. He just cannot hit hard enough to break an uncracked egg. DANGGIT! Haha! GOAT Ali was a pathetic POC, according to a large percentage of the old long-gone fight journalists. In Bout II, Tyson is going to put Doc Wlad to sleep and do the same to the Stanky -- I mean Yanky -- 'Bama D-Wild. And the pundits and peons are still going to be hating on Tyson. And it is all because of his grinning, crooning and non-stop motor mouth. It cannot be because of his skills. He has enough of them to make maximum moolah and pay da bills. Holla!


-Radam G :

Tyson Fury's reign will be short.
So you are saying that "Fists of" Fury's reign is going to be like Canadian Haitian "B-ware" Stivere (name misspelled)? He is one of the shortest holders of an alphabet sanctioning organization title belt in recent times. I'm betting that Tyson will hold versions of his ASO title belts for 2 to 5 years. YUP! Maybe his reign will be short because of stripping his arse, instead fighting him in dat squared jungle and whuppin' his arse. Holla!


-Domenic :

Harsh assessment (too harsh) but agree with Deepwater. Fury fought an away game against a dominant champion, and left with the heavyweight title. It wasn't pretty, and Klitschko looked tired, uninspired, and definitely flummoxed by being in with a guy who didn't freeze with fear after the ring entrance, and was his equal size-wise. The guy deserves credit. He's a serious fighter (despite his prefight clownness, the serenading postfight, which was more difficult to watch than the fight, etc), and appears willing to step in with anybody. We can lionize those of the past until the cows come home, but they also had bad nights (Holyfield - Czyz is a GREAT example; that fight was the reason Tyson so eagerly signed to fight him in 11/96, and people at the time feared for Holyfield's life in that fight). Holy had a laundry list of nights like that. Lewis wasn't fully respected until Tyson, he had off nights. The 90's, a great era in the opinion of many now, was deemed substandard at the time. Holmes had them, post-exile Ali fought way down to his competition. The list goes on and on. I'm just happy there's been a changing of the guard and the division just drank a gallon jug of Panama Lewis' mix. It was starving for it. The last significant, great heavyweight fight was Lewis - Klitschko more than a dozen years ago. Maybe we'll have another one before too long.


-Gabrielito :

Couldn't disagree more. It's predictable how glib a writer can be. Fury deserves a ton more credit than observers like Frank are giving him. And not enough credit to his opponents and what they did right. I was as bored with the fight as I was impressed with Fury's deft feints and head movement. Fury's offense was mostly dismally sloppy but effective. I was also impressed with the dramatic improvement in Fury's boxing ability. He was elusive. Sure Wlad is getting old , but he has never had an imaginative offense, or defense. Fury was focused, fit and won a boring fight against an all time great champ. Kind of a big deal.


-mortcola :

Couldn't disagree more. It's predictable how glib a writer can be. Fury deserves a ton more credit than observers like Frank are giving him. And not enough credit to his opponents and what they did right. I was as bored with the fight as I was impressed with Fury's deft feints and head movement. Fury's offense was mostly dismally sloppy but effective. I was also impressed with the dramatic improvement in Fury's boxing ability. He was elusive. Sure Wlad is getting old , but he has never had an imaginative offense, or defense. Fury was focused, fit and won a boring fight against an all time great champ. Kind of a big deal.
Deft head movement? His movements were twitches, they were imitations of boxing. His feints were ordinary, all the more so because he BARELY THREW MORE THAN KLITSCHKO. You guys are so happy to see Wlad lose that you?re forgetting what good boxing actually is. I?ll repeat myself: before Wlad got humiliated in the early 2000?s, he moved like a welterweight and threw every combo in the book, with upper body movement and arrogant walk-over-you attitude. Then, when he got rehabbed, he got so dependent on never losing control that he became phobic of actually fighting. The fact that he was clearly aged in the last two fights (Holmes went from dominant to fighting for his life in one fight, Witherspoon - it happens) is secondary. If it had been the K of five years ago, he would have been dull then nailed Fury with MORE and BETTER rights than the ones he actually stunned Fury with near the end, and it would have been a different fight. He can?t snap it anymore, that right hand or lead hook that Steward called the heaviest punches he?s ever seen. He just never would have engaged, because he got taught by pure humiliation that he is in danger when he himself wants to be aggressive with a fighter who isn?t hypnotized into readiness for the drone-strike that ends the fight. Ali sucked against Spinks, who had no advantages except youth and readiness to rumble till death. Ali didt dog it, he just couldn?t rumble that night, or anymore. But NOBODY thought Spinks was a skilled heavyweight. You dudes are mistaking his enthusiasm and the historical significance of the ?win? (barely punched - just twitched and scrambled though to flummox a ring scientist) for boxing. As for Fury, he is energetic and funny, props to him for those virtues, but his actual boxing skills are almost nil. Bouncing, twitching and throwing one shot at a time off the wrong foot while jumping to his own right might confuse a control-freak, slowed-down Klitschko, but it is a poor example of how to box. Yes, it will be a short reign. I?m actually surprised at Radam - even though I usually disagree with his predictions, he usually knows falseness in the ring. Props to Fury for guts and energy. But the dude may be the most unskilled heavyweight champs in history. Enjoy the show while it lasts.


-Radam G :

Deft head movement? His movements were twitches, they were imitations of boxing. His feints were ordinary, all the more so because he BARELY THREW MORE THAN KLITSCHKO. You guys are so happy to see Wlad lose that you’re forgetting what good boxing actually is. I’ll repeat myself: before Wlad got humiliated in the early 2000’s, he moved like a welterweight and threw every combo in the book, with upper body movement and arrogant walk-over-you attitude. Then, when he got rehabbed, he got so dependent on never losing control that he became phobic of actually fighting. The fact that he was clearly aged in the last two fights (Holmes went from dominant to fighting for his life in one fight, Witherspoon - it happens) is secondary. If it had been the K of five years ago, he would have been dull then nailed Fury with MORE and BETTER rights than the ones he actually stunned Fury with near the end, and it would have been a different fight. He can’t snap it anymore, that right hand or lead hook that Steward called the heaviest punches he’s ever seen. He just never would have engaged, because he got taught by pure humiliation that he is in danger when he himself wants to be aggressive with a fighter who isn’t hypnotized into readiness for the drone-strike that ends the fight. Ali sucked against Spinks, who had no advantages except youth and readiness to rumble till death. Ali didt dog it, he just couldn’t rumble that night, or anymore. But NOBODY thought Spinks was a skilled heavyweight. You dudes are mistaking his enthusiasm and the historical significance of the “win” (barely punched - just twitched and scrambled though to flummox a ring scientist) for boxing. As for Fury, he is energetic and funny, props to him for those virtues, but his actual boxing skills are almost nil. Bouncing, twitching and throwing one shot at a time off the wrong foot while jumping to his own right might confuse a control-freak, slowed-down Klitschko, but it is a poor example of how to box. Yes, it will be a short reign. I’m actually surprised at Radam - even though I usually disagree with his predictions, he usually knows falseness in the ring. Props to Fury for guts and energy. But the dude may be the most unskilled heavyweight champs in history. Enjoy the show while it lasts.
OMG! Doc M-cola, you are coming hard and with hate. Tyson is great, and another descendants of the Irish Gypsy "O'Grady. And Tyson, like his AmerKano d-cuz GOAT Ali, is not shady. He is the real deal. And to the heavyweight division, he is bringing back appeal. Holla!


-deepwater2 :

It looks very bad for WK if he was beaten up because of ordinary twitches and not much else. Can Fury bring back excitement to the heavyweight division? Yes. The past decade of heavyweight boxing has been forgetful at best.


-Froggy :

Tyson Fury's reign will be short.
You bet it will !


-MCM :

Klitschko's unwillingness to throw punches against Jennings did not gain enough attention. The HBO crew calling the fight was far too kind to K, but those of us in the audience saw a champion in trouble that night, and we knew the end was nigh. But the fact the end came against a club-fighter like Fury is an indictment against the entire Heavyweight Division. Rewind ten years. Klitschko, despite being a recently-crowned champ, is disparaged by media and fans alike. He's unworthy to wear the belt. He's awkward, he's too limited, he can't fight close, he doesn't have a great chin, he relies too much on his reach, he can't cut off the ring, he's ungraceful. He's just a big guy, that's all he is. He's champ by default. The years go by, and as K keeps racking up the victories, he grows on us. He's got a ram-rod jab. He's improved his conditioning. He throws devastating combinations. He's ultra-intelligent. But above all, the praise revolved around the notion that one can't retain the championship for so long without some measure of greatness. And as a result of his longevity, it was decided that he's a true heavyweight champion, worthy of the lineage. But those accolades, which accumulated around Klitschko as he beat one bum after another, were not only the result of his longevity. They were also a reaction against the criticism which surrounded K in the first half of his reign. They were not a reaction to what was really happening in the ring. Go back over the list of Klitschko opponents. Go look at whom he beat. Where are they now? So what was really happening in the ring? In the end, I believe in the eyeball test. We all watch film. We all know what a good heavyweight looks like. You don't have to look at Ali or Lewis or Marciano. Look at the perpetually underrated Larry Holmes or, heck, look at Riddick Bowe. Then look at Klitschko --don't look at the Fury fight, you can pick any fight you like, but look at Klitschko, and what do your eyes tell you? Vladimir Klitshcko was a Primo Carnera, nothing more. The reason he held the belts for so long is because the heavyweight division lacks elite athletes (give Lebron James a pair of gloves and three months of training, and he knocks out Klitschko in three rounds.) Maybe Fury will stay champ until someone 6'11 comes along. Maybe he loses to Wilder or Jennings, both of whom are better fighters, though neither is anything to get excited about. Whatever. It's the heavyweight division. Who cares?


-DaveB :

Klitschko has an excellent right hand. No one can doubt it or question it. But the guy is afraid of his own shadow. His brother fought scared too BTW. Wlad was always frightened to cut loose for fear of getting knocked out. He would box from afar and cover up the, usually smaller, man's work when he tried to punch back. I was always intrigued by the fact that Klitschko seemed to duck Fury even though Fury deserved as much as a chance at the title as a lot of the guys Wlad was giving title shots. Yes Fury is awkward as hell but he is one tough mother-bluffer. There is no question about that. The guy is entertaining so thank God he won. If he wins or loses after all his talking it will be more fun than watching another listless Klitschko title defense. Fury got into his head. Hopefully Fury will make him into a better person.


-New York Tony :

Actually, neither one can fight. That Klitschko is the best heavyweight alive tells you all you need to know about the deplorable state of the division. And Fury just plain stinks - one of the worst fighters, regardless of weight, I've ever seen. That he's now champ is an absolute disgrace. From Dempsey, Louis, Marciano, Ali, Frazier to Klitschko and now Fury. Couldn't be written as fiction...though I wish it had been.


-gibola :

Totally disagree. If you've watched Wlad for a decade and know how he shuts offense down you know that the only way for Fury to beat Wlad was the way he did, by being more awkward, not trying to tire himself out in clinches or leaving himself open. He turned Wlad's weaknesses against him. In our mind's eye we all want some aggressive Tyson-like fighter to use head movement to get inside and KO Wlad, but he's perfected that not happenening. He stands on the edge of range with that telescopic left arm that reaches round the back of your neck when you punch or go near him (it pulled David Haye to the floor 5 or 6 times in their fight). Fury nullified Wlad. Fury will be a lot more entertaining than Wlad from this point on. Instead of criticising him, be grateful the push, grab and jab reign of Wlad is over and even if the methods weren't easy on the eye, Fury will be worth watching. Fury may not be the best heavyweight in the world - but he just might be. I'll say now Wilder does not beat Fury as long as Fury is fit and motivated. When he's stood opposite you Fury's strengths become very apparent so don't underestimate him.


-deepwater2 :

Totally disagree. If you've watched Wlad for a decade and know how he shuts offense down you know that the only way for Fury to beat Wlad was the way he did, by being more awkward, not trying to tire himself out in clinches or leaving himself open. He turned Wlad's weaknesses against him. In our mind's eye we all want some aggressive Tyson-like fighter to use head movement to get inside and KO Wlad, but he's perfected that not happenening. He stands on the edge of range with that telescopic left arm that reaches round the back of your neck when you punch or go near him (it pulled David Haye to the floor 5 or 6 times in their fight). Fury nullified Wlad. Fury will be a lot more entertaining than Wlad from this point on. Instead of criticising him, be grateful the push, grab and jab reign of Wlad is over and even if the methods weren't easy on the eye, Fury will be worth watching. Fury may not be the best heavyweight in the world - but he just might be. I'll say now Wilder does not beat Fury as long as Fury is fit and motivated. When he's stood opposite you Fury's strengths become very apparent so don't underestimate him.
hear hear


-Gabrielito :

Yes deft head movement. It was a new thing but the twitches seemed to be a reminder to himself to keep doing it. It was new in his game. Sam Peter did very well for the first 2 rounds of his rematch with Wlad using the same tactic, but he tired after that and got holes punched through him. Fury was in shape enough to keep that up for 12 full rounds. Partially because his output was dismal but we are talking near 7 foot guys here.


-Gabrielito :

I think Wlad's change in style came as much from Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster as it did from age. It also came from his intelligence and willingness to learn from Emmanuel Steward. I'm a fan of Wlad as he is class personified. He too should get a ton more credit. I'd say Wlad is easily top 10 hardest hitting heavy in the books, punch for punch. Tyson fury dominated the man and people have a hard time saying that .


-mortcola :

Good insights, mostly, even if I don’t completely agree. The Primo Carnera comment is just silly. Wlad was an absolute master of several aspects of the sport. Primo was nothing. I actually think something interesting to see, considering how thoroughly Klitschko changed his style once before - which is pretty rare, is how much he might, conceivably, re-tool for a rematch, especially if he cares about his legacy. This may be one of those rematches that is more interesting than the original - then again, how could it be less, at least from a boxing if not historical point of view? I’ll think about my knowledgable colleagues’ Fury assessments here. I’m kind of bull-headed when I think I’ve analyzed something deeply enough. But then again, as Rad likes to remind me, I’m too much of a shrink. Gotta think.


-deepwater2 :

Good insights, mostly, even if I don?t completely agree. The Primo Carnera comment is just silly. Wlad was an absolute master of several aspects of the sport. Primo was nothing. I actually think something interesting to see, considering how thoroughly Klitschko changed his style once before - which is pretty rare, is how much he might, conceivably, re-tool for a rematch, especially if he cares about his legacy. This may be one of those rematches that is more interesting than the original - then again, how could it be less, at least from a boxing if not historical point of view? I?ll think about my knowledgable colleagues? Fury assessments here. I?m kind of bull-headed when I think I?ve analyzed something deeply enough. But then again, as Rad likes to remind me, I?m too much of a shrink. Gotta think.
WK might just be at the end of his career. It will be interesting to see if WK takes the rematch and what change in tactics he will make. If he can come back and beat Fury, it will elevate his legacy big time. I think team Fury will be more than ready for the rematch. Peter Fury might have Tyson come in and take the fight to a more aggressive WK. I will be betting on the knockout for Fury if they do rematch.


-Domenic :

WK might just be at the end of his career. It will be interesting to see if WK takes the rematch and what change in tactics he will make. If he can come back and beat Fury, it will elevate his legacy big time. I think team Fury will be more than ready for the rematch. Peter Fury might have Tyson come in and take the fight to a more aggressive WK. I will be betting on the knockout for Fury if they do rematch.
Yeah, I'd be surprised to see Klitschko retire on that note. I have a feeling that Fury is more dominant the second time, much like Golota to Bowe in their rematch. Speculation at the time was that Bowe hadn't trained for the first fight, when in fact he had grown old due to the wars with Holyfield, Hide, and others (and exacerbated by the pounding from Golota). The pudginess around the waistline was made the scapegoat, when in fact he was an old fighter. Bowe came back as fit and trim as ever physically, and then the first shot Golota landed, he was on queer street and proceeded to absorb a shellacking. All indications are that Klitschko did train hard and properly, but maybe he was somewhat unmotivated, or like Bowe and many others, just grew old. Fury was much more motivated for Klitschko than Klitschko for Fury, that's for sure. But now they're linked as rivals. If Klitschko reclaims the title, like you said, it's huge for his legacy, especially if Fury goes on to win the title again, or has a distinguished career. Much like Lennox Lewis. His victory over Vitali looks INFINITELY better now than it did in 2003, when Vitali needed that effort to dispel the notion that he was soft, and a quitter, due to Byrd. But we'll see, my guess is Fury stops him within 4 or 5 rounds in brutal fashion. I don't see Klitschko taking the shots well at all. Short night.


-deepwater2 :

Yeah, I'd be surprised to see Klitschko retire on that note. I have a feeling that Fury is more dominant the second time, much like Golota to Bowe in their rematch. Speculation at the time was that Bowe hadn't trained for the first fight, when in fact he had grown old due to the wars with Holyfield, Hide, and others (and exacerbated by the pounding from Golota). The pudginess around the waistline was made the scapegoat, when in fact he was an old fighter. Bowe came back as fit and trim as ever physically, and then the first shot Golota landed, he was on queer street and proceeded to absorb a shellacking. All indications are that Klitschko did train hard and properly, but maybe he was somewhat unmotivated, or like Bowe and many others, just grew old. Fury was much more motivated for Klitschko than Klitschko for Fury, that's for sure. But now they're linked as rivals. If Klitschko reclaims the title, like you said, it's huge for his legacy, especially if Fury goes on to win the title again, or has a distinguished career. Much like Lennox Lewis. His victory over Vitali looks INFINITELY better now than it did in 2003, when Vitali needed that effort to dispel the notion that he was soft, and a quitter, due to Byrd. But we'll see, my guess is Fury stops him within 4 or 5 rounds in brutal fashion. I don't see Klitschko taking the shots well at all. Short night.
We see it the same way Domenic. If WK needs a fight before the rematch than Briggs is available. I asked Briggs if he would fight WK now that he lost. Briggs said no belt no fight. Wow. Briggs is being picky and rubbing it in to WK.


-kidcanvas :

frank , hahaha i cant say fury the Heavyweight Champion without cracking up and crying at the same time is correct, it was a terrible fight, Wladimir didnt fight at all and practically handed it to him till the rematch which he should clobber Fury. the man has courage and showed up, i have to hand him that but like u said, heavyweight caliber he Aint ! the satrs lined up that day he & Britain lucked out...


-Chris L :

Wlad is taking the rematch. I think Wlad had been fighting to his advantages for years, and he 'froze' since he was all of a sudden at a physical disadvantage (& mental with him losing the 'ring-gate'?). I'm a fan of Fury and a fan of Wlad, but something just tells me Wlad is 10x better than his performance last Sat and will show it in the rematch. Fury didn't fight his best fight either, but I'm not sure that he's too much better than what he showed on Sat, whilst I'm confident that Wlad is far better.


-deepwater2 :

Wlad is taking the rematch. I think Wlad had been fighting to his advantages for years, and he 'froze' since he was all of a sudden at a physical disadvantage (& mental with him losing the 'ring-gate'?). I'm a fan of Fury and a fan of Wlad, but something just tells me Wlad is 10x better than his performance last Sat and will show it in the rematch. Fury didn't fight his best fight either, but I'm not sure that he's too much better than what he showed on Sat, whilst I'm confident that Wlad is far better.
I just read that too. WK will be 40 by the time the rematch happens. I think his best days are behind him.


-mortcola :

Wlad is taking the rematch. I think Wlad had been fighting to his advantages for years, and he 'froze' since he was all of a sudden at a physical disadvantage (& mental with him losing the 'ring-gate'?). I'm a fan of Fury and a fan of Wlad, but something just tells me Wlad is 10x better than his performance last Sat and will show it in the rematch. Fury didn't fight his best fight either, but I'm not sure that he's too much better than what he showed on Sat, whilst I'm confident that Wlad is far better.
Chris L, You’re on the money. I keep saying it, but Wlad’s early fights showed great fluidity and a full arsenal of punches. He’s been motivated to maintain the safety-first wait and stalk and pounce (and clinch) approach in order to resurrect his career and cancel out his vulnerabilities. But he has reason to take chances now if he wants to, as we’ve said, save his legacy, even add to it, and if his proven analytical abilities and real-world IQ are stronger than his anxiety, I think you’re right - if he comes off the back foot, he can nail Fury - who has NEVER been great at avoiding punches, and definitely not at taking them - which Wlad did toward the end of the fight, but when he was too tired to put any snap into them (or, possibly, too old) - and if he finds 75% of that fight ending power at the right distance, the guy who went down from Cunningham and has been wobbled many times (including by punching himself in the mouth) will find himself fighting groggy and without confidence. Its a big IF, but the Klitschko ability is there - what remains to be seen is if he can use the same intelligence and discipline he once used to develop his dull but effective conservative style, and put it toward intelligent aggression, or if his anxiety sabotages him again - because, if age is not as much of a factor as some of us think it is, then that self-doubt and tendency to hyperventilate and lose focus will be the thing that he will have to overcome. And, everyone who has ever worked with him, all his sparring partners, all his trainers, attest to his COMPLETENESS of skill except at infighting. It is in the real show where that has been under wraps. And, I’m sorry, Fury is not skilled enough to stop ANY top tier heavyweight who can get inside and nail the chin (or the forehead, or ear - he’s gone down or turned to jelly from so many kinds of punches - just a fact). And, he never stunned Wlad at all, merely frustrated and tired him out in a fight in which he definitely worked a mental and motivational advantage. It is up to Klitschko -Fury has hit the top of the mountain, no matter how much he brags. He’s energetic and quick for a huge guy, but his punches are not sharp and his movement and coordination are chaotic. Klitschko shut down, and it is up to him to find the resources to open up, or lose again.


-Domenic :

Mortcola, you must admit, Fury hit himself with a hell of an uppercut that time! A picturesque shot, a carbon copy of the right uppercut Tyson nearly knocked Douglas out with in the 8th round. Although his knees buckled, he took the punch better than Buster. Alright, Vitali has come back once before. Yes, he's mid-40's or whatever, but he's much younger than that in boxing years, as you could count on one hand the amount of rounds he lost since he battered Sanders. Fury would certainly provide the proper motivation, and he's done it before. Yes, he's Kiev's mayor, clearly has greater political aspirations and, given the climate out there, boxing takes a back seat. Also, I'd think it'd be very unstatesmanlike to have to endure Fury's taunts and prefight histrionics. But I think the thought has to be swirling through his head, and I give Vitali a much better chance than Wladimir. Fury is definitely not Primo Carnera, and no way in hell could ANYONE in the NBA or NFL train for 3 months and dethrone the guy. Wilt Chamberlain once thought about that, then very wisely arrived at his senses. Fury comes from a hardscrabble background of fighters, loves to fight, relishes it (he's seemingly much more pridefighter than prizefighter), has been doing it all his life, has an amateur background, is a huge guy, underrated athletically, well conditioned, is very awkward, fights a little helter-skelter, herky-jerky, which works to his advantage, is slippery, difficult to hit, has excellent power (not otherworldly, but plenty solid; WK was busted up and he never caught him super flush), and is supremely confident. Love him, hate him, he's got people talking and deserves major kudos. He's Fighter of the Year -with Golovkin second- in my book. I think he walks through Wladimir with ease a second time (WK's HoF legacy is secure, even if he's kayoed in 1 like Lewis-Golota in the rematch, which is VERY possible given that it'll be at Wembley and not Germany).


-kidcanvas :

the title of Franks column said it all one cant ,one didnt...worse heavyweight championship i've ever seen in 61 yrs