Fury urged to show ‘clinical’ best to send Wilder message
Tyson Fury must dance to impress and finish emphatically tonight against unbeaten Otto Wallin in his extended Stateside dress rehearsal for the rematch early next year against World Boxing Council champion Deontay Wilder.
Fury must avert being another of boxing’s tales of the unexpected at the T-mobile Arena in Las Vegas, in a contest being billed as a fight for the “Lineal Heavyweight Championship”, which has angered American world-title holders Wilder and Andy Ruiz Jnr, who holds the International Boxing Federation, World Boxing Association and World Boxing Organisation belts.
Yet Ben Davison, the trainer who has been instrumental in transforming Fury’s fortunes in the ring in the past two years, told The Daily Telegraph yesterday that Fury was “worthy of being entitled the lineal champion” and that his 6ft 9in, 18st heavyweight charge was under strict instruction to show “clinical boxing, and lucid technique to outbox and then break up” Wallin.
In other words, demonstrate the very best qualities the Lancastrian has at his disposal, and send a message to Wilder ahead of their potential meeting in six months.
Davison is adamant, moreover, that Fury merits the “lineal” tag. “The most legitimate man you could’ve beaten in any era to become the lineal heavyweight champion of the world was Wladimir Klitschko,” Davison said. “Wladimir was only short of the great Joe Louis in terms of the longest-reigning heavyweight title-holder and that is who Tyson beat in 2015, the most dominant heavyweight of the modern era.
“He then came back and within six months fought the No1 [Wilder] and 90 per cent of the boxing world believe he won. He is, until someone beats him, the lineal heavyweight champion of the world.”
Wallin, 28, is ranked No4 by the WBA and No11 by the IBF. He will be a game opponent, inspired by his late father Carl, his trainer who died suddenly from a heart attack four months ago.
Wallin refuses to see the enigmatic, elusive skills of Fury as getting in his way and, instead, has settled his mind on this as simply “a fight, an opportunity you can’t say no to”. “I wanted the fight,” he added. “I feel like I belong at this level and I’m ready to prove it. The opportunity is life-changing.”
Wallin, a 6ft 6in southpaw, who lost twice to Anthony Joshua in the amateur ranks, has an unbeaten 21-fight career that began in 2013, with 13 knockouts. He has plied his trade in the US for some time, and has sparred with some of the best in the world. Fury ought to be too savvy to be caught by the Swede, but this is heavyweight boxing and so much can go wrong with one precise punch.
Davison explained that his man needed “to be smart, calculated. It is a big risk, but there is big reward”.
“He’s an awkward southpaw. Tall and he’ll take a bit of breaking down, but I’m sure I can do it,” Fury told The Daily Telegraph last night from his mansion on the outskirts of Las Vegas.
“You’ve got to take them all seriously, I never underestimate any of them.”
That attitude should mean Fury retains his unbeaten record tonight, and claims a new army of aficionados, not least from Mexico.