‘Bat­man’ Fury must prove he is no joker against Kl­itschko

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

BERLIN: Tyson Fury faces the acid test of his boasts that he will end Wladimir Kl­itschko’s fouryear reign as undis­puted world heavy­weight cham­pion when the pair clash in Dues­sel­dorf to­day. The 27-year-old English chal­lenger is un­de­feated in his 24 fights with 18 knock-outs as he faces the vastly more ex­pe­ri­enced cham­pion, 12 years his se­nior, who holds the WBA, IBF, IBO and WBO belts. Fury has much to prove at Dues­sel­dorf’s Es­prit Arena, hav­ing in­sisted he has spot­ted ‘chinks’ in Kl­itschko’s ar­mour and has promised to ‘ex­pose’ him in the ring. “Old guy, young guy. Old cham­pion, new cham­pion. Enough said,” was Fury’s suc­cinct ap­praisal. Kl­itschko, 39, suf­fered the last of his three de­feats more than a decade ago and plans to make Fury the 54th knock-out and 65th win of his ca­reer.

As he rightly points out: “Fury has never faced an op­po­nent like me be­fore. “First I de­stroy my op­po­nent mentally, then phys­i­cally.” Kl­itschko made a point of shak­ing hands with Fury be­fore their press con­fer­ence in Dues­sel­dorf and has mainly soaked up the Bri­ton’s taunts. He’s heard most of them be­fore. Bri­tain’s David Haye in­sisted he was go­ing to knock out “the large, slow robot from the Ukraine” in July 2011, only to lose unan­i­mously on points. The vic­tory gave Kl­itschko the WBA belt to make him undis­puted heavy­weight cham­pion and only the WBC ti­tle, held by Deon­tay Wilder of the USA, is not in his col­lec­tion.

Last Septem­ber, Fury showed his the­atri­cal side by burst­ing into their Lon­don press con­fer­ence dressed as Bat­man.He pre­tended to knock out a char­ac­ter dressed as the Joker, be­fore telling Kl­itsckho “This is a fool... just like you”. The cham­pion, nick­named Dr Steel­ham­mer, sees Fury as “a clown” with a “few screws loose” who needs “ther­apy”, which the Ukrainain plans to ad­min­is­ter in the ring. Fury did lit­tle to help his cause by giv­ing a bizarre in­ter­view to a Bri­tish news­pa­per ear­lier this month when he said the end of the world is ap­proach­ing.

The Bri­tish fighter ex­pressed some ex­treme opin­ions on ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity, abor­tion and pae­dophilia. “He was ac­tu­ally a funny guy, an en­ter­tainer, at the start,” Kl­itschko told Ger­man mag­a­zine Sport Bild this week.”But what he has been say­ing re­cently is em­bar­rass­ing and mo­ronic.” ser­e­naded in­sults - Fury has even ser­e­naded Kl­itschko dur­ing an open train­ing ses­sion in Dues­sel­dorf. He adapted the Bette Mi­dler song ‘Wind Be­neath my Wings’ to in­clude the lyrics “I’ll be the one with all the belts” come to­day night. The Bri­ton says he will seek out vet­eran crooner Rod Ste­wart, who is pro­vid­ing the pre-fight en­ter­tain­ment, for a duet in the ring if he wins. But Kl­itschko expects Fury to sing a dif­fer­ent tune come to­day night. The orig­i­nal fight date in Oc­to­ber was post­poned due to Kl­itschko’s calf in­jury which has now healed. The cham­pion looks in good shape, even though he will be giv­ing away more than a decade in age and a few inches in height. For­mer heavy­weight cham­pion Len­nox Lewis has tipped Kl­itschko to knock Fury out in the fifth round. Five of his eight fights since beat­ing Haye have been won by a knock­out of some de­scrip­tion. — AFP

ESSEN: Ukrainian Heavy­weight World Cham­pion Wladimir Kl­itschko (2nd left) and his chal­lenger Bri­tain’s Tyson Fury pose for a face-off dur­ing an of­fi­cial weigh-in in Essen, western Ger­many yes­ter­day. — AFP

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