It’s not only Tyson Fury’s fighting that is box office; the way that he speaks and what he says is every bit as entertaining. The Gypsy King has had a simmering feud with Wladimir Klitschko ever since Fury took his heavyweight crown in 2015, with the Ukrainian often being quite condescending towards Fury, which in turn, has made the Englishman resent his attitude and lack of respect.
It can often seem like Fury is shooting from the hip as he appears to be a loose cannon when he speaks about Klitschko. There is surely some feeling of inadequacy deep down within the Englishman at his opponent’s refusal to recognize him as a true champion; instead, saving his love for Anthony Joshua. However, since Joshua was beaten by Andy Ruiz in New York, Klitschko’s praise for Joshua seems more spiteful than ever and it seems as time passes, the Ukranian has been exposed as a bit of an underhand dealer, that it at least, according to Tyson Fury.
Fury has come out with some huge claims about the 43-year-old and the way he behaved in the build-up to their fight in 2015, going as far as to blast him as a cheater. The lineal heavyweight champion of the world says it all started with Klitschko’s team fixing the scales and adjusting Fury’s weight during the weigh-in. Fury had come in a stone less than his trainer and uncle Peter Fury had wanted him. This prompted Peter to run in and ask Tyson if he had been eating because he was only 17st 9lbs, to which Tyson responded, in his matter of fact, dry, Mancunian way: “I have not been that weight since I was ten years old”.
#OnThisDay in 2015, Tyson Fury pulled off one of the great boxing upsets as he outpointed Wladimir Klitschko to become heavyweight champion of the world.
What’s the biggest sporting upset you’ve witnessed? pic.twitter.com/YzcoiARY1Z
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) November 28, 2017
Another of Klitschko’s tricks was to allegedly put ten inches of foam underneath the floor of the ring in order to slow Fury down. In the 30-year-old’s words, it “felt like [he] was on the moon”. There isn’t a heavyweight on the planet that moves faster than Fury and Klitschko knew as much. Fury had booked his flights home and refused to fight, only for Vitali Klitschko to come in 60 minutes before the bout to tell Fury’s camp they had removed the foam.
This was only two of five stunts that Klitschko pulled in Dusseldorf in order to gain an advantage over a man that he knew deep down, had his number.
At the end of the day, it must be said that Klitschko eventually did do the honorable thing by backing down once Fury raised his concerns. Truth be told, it seems like the Ukranian acted more out of desperation than malice because he has always been a great ambassador for the sport of boxing throughout his career. With that said, it certainly pays to remain vigilant when there is so much on the line. You can be sure that Fury will be as eagled-eyed by the time his rematch with Deontay Wilder comes about, especially as he is the favourite to win at 8/11 in the latest boxing odds.
🗣️🥊 “This time, I haven’t been out of the ring for three years. This time, I haven’t been abusing too much alcohol. And this time, I’m going to knock him out.”
Tyson Fury confirms that the Deontay Wilder rematch is set for February 22nd 2020. pic.twitter.com/lRhb3FUgjp
— The Sportsman (@TheSportsman) July 7, 2019
This all begs the question: how much due diligence should younger and lesser-known fighters be doing on the day of the fight? It’s important to keep in mind, that Fury was only there to win and not for the purse; he was happy to walk away if the playing field wasn’t returned to a level standing.
For other upcoming fighters, who are in desperate need of a financial injection to keep their careers going, you imagine that they wouldn’t make too much noise if the fight had been set in their opponent’s favor.
How many careers of young boxers out there have been unfairly stopped before they ever got going due to tactics like that of Klitschko’s? If the heavyweight champion of the world can stoop that low, the fighter at your local gym can too. It’s always advisable to do business with your eyes wide open in the world of boxing.
This is not to say that the sport is corrupt; far from it, actually. There is a great sense of camaraderie amongst the majority of fighters who wouldn’t dare try to gain an unfair advantage at any stage. It’s also important to remember that there are robust measures in place to ensure a level of honor and dignity are always adhered to, but that doesn’t stop fighters from trying their luck when it comes to providing themselves with a head start.