On Reflection: Tyson Fury’s Wins Over Wladimir Klitschko & Deontay Wilder
By Will Lott
Boxing fans were left stunned last week by Tyson Fury’s dominant knockout victory of Deontay Wilder to become the WBC heavyweight champion.
Fury has now held every major heavyweight belt having become unified champion just over four years ago when he defeated long standing champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Both wins were unexpected with Wilder winning by knockout seeming the most likely result and Klitschko by points in Germany. However, Fury has proven he should never be counted out. In this article I want to assess which was the more impressive victory out of Klitschko and Wilder.
On that famous night in Dusseldorf when Fury dethroned the Ukrainian all-time great, Klitschko came into the fight, the reigning IBF, WBA, WBO and Ring heavyweight champion of the world and undefeated in 11 years. He was the man with the most dominant jab in the world with a robotic but almost unbeatable technique.
Germany had gained a reputation for controversy with many fans believing in order to dethrone the champion in his backyard, you had to stop the champion.
Fury had other ideas though.
Fury beat Klitschko at his own game, spending the press conferences throwing a barrage of insults at the champ trying everything in his power to get under his opponent’s skin.
Fury showed no fear despite being the away fighter and the huge underdog. He was bringing up stories of previous sparring sessions with the champ in an effort to wind him up.
However, it wasn’t just his mind games that gave Fury the edge few expected. Fury was the first opponent of Klitschko’s to truly have a height and reach advantage on him. Add to this, his ability to glide around the ring with the speed of a lightweight, Fury proved to be all wrong for the aging champion.
Heading into the fight Fury had rarely had to get out of first gear to maintain his unbeaten record including two comfortable wins over former title challenger Dereck Chisora. Fury was able to keep Klitschko on the end of a stiff jab for twelve rounds in a chess match.
Klitschko was only able to land 52 punches throughout the fight as he failed to outwork and outbox his opponent as we had so often seen.
Fury had done it. He’d gone to Klitschko’s backyard and done enough that even Germany couldn’t save the champion from tasting defeat for the first time in over a decade.
Now for one of, if not the hardest hitting heavyweights ever, Deontay Wilder. With 41 knockouts in 42 victories, it was difficult not to envision another highlight reel KO for the American. As we know, Fury once again upset the apple cart with a spectacular seventh round knockout victory.
At six foot seven, rangy with a strong jab and right hook that would have you seeing stars if you’re lucky enough to still be conscious, Wilder is definitely one of the most feared fighters in the world. He can be outboxed as Fury proved in the first fight and Luis Ortiz proved in both his meetings with the Bronze Bomber.
However, as we know Fury went a different way this time around, starting out on the front foot and gradually walking down his older, hard hitting foe. Wilder to his credit has one of the better jabs out of the top heavyweights. The American is known for his favoured combination of a straight left followed up by a lunge and a huge right hook. If it lands, it’s usually fight over.
Fury’s superior head movement immediately minimises the risk of Wilder landing and with Fury and ‘Sugar Hill’ Steward’s game plan to be the aggressor, Wilder immediately had to fight off the back foot. Something he struggled with. This time around, Fury went for the finish having dropped the champion twice before the towel was thrown in by Wilder’s corner in the seventh.
Despite, Wilder’s hard hitting reputation, he has always been known for having average boxing skills outside of his jab. Fury was able to put his opponent to the sword by focussing on his weakness and eventually shocking the world once again.
Klitschko on the other hand was the polar opposite. A man known for his jab and boxing skills who had begun to earn a reputation for shut out points victories in a country he was loved where it felt impossible to win a decision.
For Fury to do just that was incredible and will go down in history as one of if not the best performances from a British fighter as an away fighter. For me, even a victory over Wilder again followed up by a win over Anthony Joshua would not overtake that famous night in Dusseldorf. A night boxing fans will remember for years to come.