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Fury a worthy but unlikely champion in British Isles dominance

| 01.12.2015

Lee Gormley | November 30th, 2015

Fury a worthy, yet unlikely champion

Following press conference chaos, an initial fight delay and an abundance of trash-talk, Tyson Fury finally did the unthinkable on a daunting trip to Dusseldorf, as he dethroned Wladimir Klitschko to become a worthy, yet unlikely world heavyweight champion.

As the bout drew closer, Fury’s antics became more and more absurd, with a mix of bizarre interviews, fancy dress appearances and casual singsongs just some of his exploits during the build-up to the fight, while Klitschko remained calm and seemingly undisturbed.

Though in the German ring on Saturday night, it was clear that Fury had gotten to the lacklustre Ukrainian, eventually outpointing him over what were far from enthralling 12 rounds and incredibly claiming the WBA, WBO and IBF belts.

Klitschko looked rattled from the off, cagily moving around the ring without any solid gameplan other than hopelessly flinging out his previously reliable jab. As the fight gradually reached the latter rounds and, with each passing minute of tedious Ukrainian manoeuvres, Fury looked increasingly like the more deserved champion.

A new breed of champion

The eccentric Manchester heavyweight’s accomplishment was truly outstanding; persuading the judges in Germany to side with him unanimously with his more positive showing and dethroning the man who had been undefeated in over a decade, while also throwing in some showboating for good measure.

Wladimir Klitschko vs Tyson Fury

Fury may not be the champion fans have come to witness in previous years, but he isn’t any less inspiring, and his reign as heavyweight kingpin will certainly be an entertaining far cry from that of his predecessor’s.

Although, following his historic triumph, the 27-year-old, maybe unexpectedly, remained grounded, stating: “I don’t feel any different than I did before the fight. I always said that winning the heavyweight championship of the world, earning some money and being in the limelight wouldn’t change me – unfortunately for the fans.”

Many will see Fury’s win as further evidence of how the division has fallen from grace, with the fighter of an Irish travelling background not possessing the fluidity or elegance fans liked to see in a heavyweight champion.

Klitschko underwhelming defence

Nevertheless, the unconventional newly-crowned champion is surely better for the sport than a further dull reign from Ukraine. Klitschko is known for a lack of aggressiveness in the ring, throwing very few punches, which will contribute to his possible overlooking as a genuine heavyweight great, but Fury was able to deal with whatever threat he possessed.

“People said nobody could breach his defences but a bit of brains is all it took,” continued Fury, whose opponent’s fight stats made for extremely grim reading ahead of a potential rematch.

Wladimir Klitschko vs Tyson Fury

The decade-conquering Ukrainian landed a mere 52 shots in his first defeat since 2004, as his reluctance to throw any power punches proved costly with a poor 23 per cent connection rate over 36 minutes of dreary boxing.

Dream come true

Fury finally achieved his life-long goal on German soil, overcoming all the odds to gain what he had desired from a young age.

“I was maybe 12 years old when I said I’d be world champion. Even before I had an amateur fight, me and my dad [John, a former pro himself] would spar in the garden. By 14 I was 6ft 5in, 16st and probably had a beard. Even back then my dad was telling me: ‘You will be heavyweight champion of the world,” he added.

Wladimir Klitschko vs Tyson Fury

“So when I woke up on Sunday morning, I thought: ‘This better not be a dream and I still have to fight tomorrow.’ But I finally came round and said: ‘New heavyweight champion of the world!’ That’s got a nice ring to it.”

In such a fast-paced sport, immediately after such a decisive win, talk has already switched to what lies next for the heavyweight champion, with a host of options having now been presented for Fury.

Who’s next for Fury?

The obvious option is a rematch with Dr Steelhammer, after Klitschko already outlined his desire to once again go head-to-head with Fury. But, with age having evidently caught up with him last weekend, can the Ukrainian do much else even further down the line against an opponent who knows exactly what it takes to get the job done.

Klitschko has never been one to go all out for the win, instead sitting back and thwarting any threat with his long reaching jab, a ploy which ultimately cost him his straps last time out, but he would need to adapt new tactics if a rematch actually takes place.

Boxing - O2 Arena

Other than another encounter with the Ukrainian, Fury could eventually face American WBC title-holder Deontay Wilder in a unification scrap which would determine the division’s dominate force.

There is always a potential showdown with heavyweight prospect Anthony Joshua too, and such a contest could come quicker than expected after Fury categorically ruled out ever facing David Haye, the man who twice pulled out of their previously scheduled bouts.

Fury’s next bout could in fact be a mandatory defence against another less high-profile opponent back in the UK, before going head-to-head in another potential box office showdown.

British Isles dominance

Following the Lancashire heavyweight’s stunning triumph, it means that there are now no less than 12 British and Irish world champions across all divisions, highlighting the genuine class from this part of Europe.

Carl Frampton v Scott Quigg Press Conference - Europa Hotel

Fury joins James DeGale, Liam Smith, Kell Brook, Anthony Crolla, Terry Flanagan, Lee Selby, Scott Quigg, Jamie McDonnell and Less Haskins as successful Brits, while Andy Lee and Carl Frampton are title-holders from the Emerald Isle.

Frampton and Quigg clash next February, when the latter is 6/4 with Coral for victory, while Lee is 2/1 to stop Billy Joe Saunders later in December this year, in what could further enthralling action on either side of Christmas.

This year has been hugely successful for those fighting from the UK and Ireland and, as boxing dominance continues to rapidly grow from British Isles, 2016 could yet prove to be even more prosperous.


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Lee Gormley

Lee joined the Coral team in 2014 after studying at Leeds Trinity University, having moved across the water from Ireland, and has plenty of industry experience from his time with various news outlets in both England and Northern Ireland. After graduating with a BA Honours degree in Sports Journalism, he has since become an important member of the talented sports desk, passionately covering boxing, football and snooker, among many other sports. Lee is also a massive Manchester United and Republic of Ireland fan, but curbs any bias during his work, and outside of his job can be found regularly taking part in sport himself, such as boxing, GAA and football.