There have been a lot of exciting developments in boxing in the last few months, but in this holiday season there’s one fighter who should be more grateful than anybody else. Tyson Fury will get his chance to fight Wladimir Klitschko tomorrow, despite the fact that he hasn’t really overcome any impressive competition (the same could be said for most of Klitschko’s previous opponents). In one night he’ll get a huge paycheck and more exposure than he ever could have hoped for otherwise, and all of it will come to pass because he managed to be one of the most obnoxious athletes on the planet for several years in a row. Even topping David Haye for belligerent British blabber, Tyson Fury has spent as much time in the past few years saying something outrageous and provably untrue in front of a camera as he has training and fighting as a “professional” boxer. The most professional thing about Fury is his size, actually standing three inches above Klitschko, and being the primary reason for his past success. His technique is atrocious and his regard for the sport is similarly lacking. People have so long been incredulous of Klitschko’s ability to take a punch, that a huge behemoth, no matter how obnoxious and undeserving, seems like a good opponent. Many Klitschko opponents have seemed like they ought to provide good competition, but almost all of them failed. In this case, fans are wondering if an aging legend might miss a step and get hit with the wrong shot from an enormous man who could stagger any normal heavyweight. Unfortunately, being huge only marginally increases Fury’s chances of outperforming past Klitschko victims like Alexander Povetkin and Sam Peter. Even if he were as skilled as these other fighters (which he’s not), Fury would have to get very lucky, and Klitschko would have to make a big mistake, similar to his fights with Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster. At this level of the sport, technique and talent always withstand what the fervor and drama cannot. Klitschko will walk Fury down and have little trouble landing, as Fury’s not known for head movement or defense, and Fury will run after he’s tried flailing at Klitschko’s head a few times. Maybe after getting his payday, an undeserved spotlight, and a chance at a real title, Fury will be humble for the first time in his career and accept the superiority of the better man. Klitschko can retire, satisfied that he silenced even the largest and most absurd critics, and Fury can fade into the melodramatic obscurity that his name implies.
Check out my Fight Predictions page to see my thoughts on the result.