This past weekend Tyson Fury dethroned an aging Wladimir Klitschko in a one-sided decision win. Klitschko was number two in history for his title reign right behind Joe Louis, but he threw fewer than ten punches per round for most of the fight. Klitschko hadn’t lost a fight in eleven years, but he looked like he didn’t remember the part of boxing where you keep your hands by your chin. Klitschko was in impeccable condition, as he has been for all of the major matches in his 68-fight career, but he looked rattled when a lazy, looping hook from Fury grazed him occasionally.
Fury somehow managed to look almost impressive, with undeniably quick movement for such a huge frame. He came in almost thirty pounds lighter than just three fights earlier, against Joey Abell. It must have helped, because he seemed more ready to go the distance that I’d ever seen. His punches weren’t voluminous, powerful, or accurate, but they were often well-timed. He caught his opponent unprotected once when Klitschko spun around and expected the referee to stop the action. After the fight, Fury, shockingly, was polite and almost humble. His words in the post-fight interview were uncharacteristically cogent and logical, and he even claimed that all his antics leading up to the fight were nothing more than that. He had won a fight against a superior athlete and, impossibly, he did it so convincingly that many people don’t expect Klitschko to win the rematch. Klitschko has since exercised his contractual right to that rematch, and Fury has accepted for a date yet to be determined.
Fury had done all this in Germany and managed to even maintain a level of decorum, and then he sang. One of the most outrageous and questionable claims of Fury’s maniacal pre-fight campaign was that he would sing a song after taking Klitschko’s championship. After all that had happened, he kept his word, and sang “Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” to his wife, and it was even romantic (on some level). I don’t know what else to say. Unexpected.
Tonight a much-anticipated fight between Daniel Jacobs and Peter Quillin will determine who moves ahead and who becomes a gatekeeper in the middleweight division. While Quillin has faced marginally better opposition in his career, Jacobs is always a solid bet for an action-packed fight, and his heart and determination are evident every time. I expect Quillin’s superior technique to make the difference early in the fight, with Jacobs struggling to get into a rhythm. Quillin better have a good lead by the middle rounds, though, because if he gets too intimate with Jacobs after his own defense has loosened a bit, Jacobs’ expertise in achieving knockouts could be on display.
Manny Pacquiao is rumored to have set his final opponent. Speculation is that he’ll choose either Amir Khan or Terence Crawford. The former would be a good send-off, while the latter would be a challenge worthy of Pacquiao’s incalculable reputation. Here’s hoping.