Tyson Fury beats Wladimir Klitschko to become world champion
By Ben Dirs
BBC Sport in Dusseldorf
Britain's Tyson Fury pulled off one of the great boxing upsets as he outpointed Wladimir Klitschko to become heavyweight champion of the world.
It was a dour and often messy fight but Fury, courtesy of his superior boxing skills, fully deserved to be awarded a unanimous decision.
Ukrainian Klitschko, whose nine-year reign as champion was brought to an end, simply could not work the challenger out and did not do enough to win.
Fury, who was awarded the fight 115-112, 115-112, 116-111 on the judges' scorecards, is now the WBA, IBF and WBO champion.
The 27-year-old Manchester fighter is only Britain's fifth bona fide heavyweight world champion after Bob Fitzsimmons, Lennox Lewis, Frank Bruno and David Haye.
Herbie Hide and Henry Akinwande both held WBO versions of the title at a time when the organisation's title holders were not widely recognised as genuine world champions.
"You're a great champion Wlad, thanks very much for having me," said Fury, moments after his win was announced in Dusseldorf.
The self-styled 'Gypsy King' had taunted his opponent before the fight and even dressed as Batman at one news conference.
"It was all fun and games in the build-up, I just wanted to be confident, young and brash," said Fury, who had complained about the thickness of the foam under the ring canvas before the bout.
To the delight of British fans in the 50,000-capacity Esprit Arena, he burst into a rendition of Aerosmith's hit ballad I Don't Want To Miss A Thing, dedicating it to his wife and his fans in Ireland, the UK, the United States and Germany.
Confounding the doubters
Klitschko had not been beaten since 2004 and his second reign as champion included 19 successful defences.
This represented a big step up in class for Fury, whose biggest previous win was against fellow Briton Dereck Chisora (twice).
After a build-up which included Fury impersonating Bette Midler at a public workout, few expected the Englishman to make good on his promises and dethrone Klitschko.
But Fury's mobility and head movement, as well as his ability to switch between orthodox and southpaw, added up to a puzzle the 39-year-old champion simply could not work out.
How the fight unfolded
Fury came charging out of his corner at the sound of the first bell but thereafter it was a cagey first round which the challenger probably won courtesy of a couple of ramrod jabs.
The second was another tight affair but with Klitschko unwilling to open up and unleash his fabled right cross, the more ambitious Fury - who looked remarkably relaxed given the circumstances - probably nicked it again.
Fury's switch to southpaw at the start of the third failed to draw Klitschko out of his shell and it was becoming apparent that the champion was finding his British rival more difficult to work out than perhaps he had anticipated.
After the fourth, during which Klitschko was again frustrated, there was a sense of disbelief among the German fans that their hero was finding the task so onerous.
Klitschko did finally land with a big right hand in the fifth but Fury took it well and in the following round he openly taunted his rival, dropping his gloves and offering his chin, which Klitschko was still unable to locate.
Klitschko looks his age
In the seventh, Fury went one stage further, crossing his arms behind his back, and at the end of the eighth there were plenty of concerned looks in Klitschko's corner. The cut champion, all of a sudden, looked every one of his 39 years.
Both men showed more willingness to engage in the ninth, with Fury sending Klitschko staggering towards the ropes with a meaty overhand right, and by the 10th the champion was showing real signs of fatigue.
The fight became messier in the 11th, with American referee Tony Weeks frequently having to pull the boxers apart, and Fury was docked a point for punching the back of the head.
With the result in the balance, both men went at it in the final three minutes but neither of them was able to land a clean, knockout blow.
Five facts about Tyson Fury
Background: Fury was born into a family of Irish travellers. His father, John Fury, was a bare-knuckle fighter in the 1980s, who was jailed in 2011 for gouging a man's eye out.
Lightweight to heavyweight: Tyson was born three months premature and weighed in at 1lb - doctors described his chances of survival as slim.
What's in a name? His father named him 'Tyson' as world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson was in his pomp when Fury was born in August 1988.
Father time: Fury and wife Paris have a five-year-old daughter called Venezuela and three-year-old son Prince.
Sporting chance: Fury, a Manchester United fan, represented both Ireland and England at amateur level
Tyson Fury - champion of the world
Unbeaten Fury, written off beforehand by many pundits, was clocking up his 25th straight win.
Before Saturday, Klitschko had 65 wins from 68 professional fights stretching back to 1996, and he can take some consolation from the fact he surpassed Joe Louis' previous record of 28 heavyweight world title fights.
There may yet be a rematch although victory over America's WBC champion Deontay Wilder, if that fight could be made, would make Fury the first undisputed world heavyweight champion since Britain's Lewis in 2000.
Other potential opponents include compatriot Haye - who twice pulled out of a fight against Fury in 2013 and is making a comeback in January - and Britain's Olympic champion Anthony Joshua, who is unbeaten in 14 professional fights, all by knockout.
Joshua's next fight is against Dillian Whyte for the vacant British title on 12 December and while 2016 is probably too soon for a fight against Fury, it could happen the following year.
Tyson Fury shocks Wladimir Klitschko to take world heavyweight title
• Tyson Fury wins unanimous decision 115-112, 115-112, 116-111
• Briton takes WBA, IBF & WBO heavyweight titles in DŁsseldorf
After Tyson Fury had broken down Wladimir Klitschko’s resistance, he broke down in tears, and then broke into song. All week the 27-year-old from Morecambe had promised he would show the world that Klitschko was too old and too slow for him. And now here he was, the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion of the world, relishing every second of his triumph by singing Aerosmith’s “Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” at the top of his voice.
In truth it was a messy mauling fight, with too much clinching and not enough clean work. Many of the rounds were close. But the crisper, cleaner work was done by Fury, who deservedly took a unanimous decision 115-112, 115-112, 116‑111.
Some had suspected that the 39-year-old Klitschko was slowing down. But few gave Fury a hope of so conclusively proving it. After all, Klitschko was unbeaten in 22 fights over 11 years and was making the 19th consecutive defence of the title. This was also his 28th world title fight, eclipsing Joe Louis’s old record of 27. Fury had only had 24 fights in his entire career.
But, from the first seconds of the first round, Fury was in Klitschko’s head. Inviting him on while feinting and flicking out the jab. At one point Fury put his hands behind his back and smiled, and asked him provocatively, “Is that it?”
However his mind games had started earlier in the day. After visiting the Esprit Arena in the morning, he had threatened to pull out of the fight because he deemed the ring canvas too soft. Fury’s agent, Asif Vali, called it a “massive health and safety issue,” – somewhat ironic given the nature of the boxing business – while his dad, John, reckoned the canvas was like a trampoline.
The dispute was resolved after two hours of talks when Klitschko’s camp agreed to remove one of the three layers of foam beneath the canvas. But the pre-fight threats and low-level mind games were not finished yet.
With just 30 minutes to go before the ring walk Fury’s entourage kicked off again, this time because Klitschko had done his wraps with no one from their camp watching. Peter Fury – Tyson’s trainer – again threatened to call the fight off until Klitschko rewrapped his hands. Earlier in the week Fury’s camp had also threatened to pull out over a row about gloves, which was only resolved in Friday’s rules meeting.
There was a definite strategy here. Klitschko is a self-confessed control freak; so Fury was trying to rattle him out of his rhythm. And it was clearly working. The second round followed a similar pattern as the first, with Klitschko stalking but rarely connecting. Fury, while hardly throwing leather, connected with a chopping right before catching Klitschko coming off the ropes with another straight.
In the third, Fury briefly switched from orthodox to southpaw, again trying to present a different look to the champion, inviting him in. Again Klitschko stalked him but appeared reluctant to pull the trigger. After three rounds the lack of action was illustrated by the stats: Fury had landed 17 punches to Klitschko’s 11.
Fury caught the champion with successive jabs at the beginning of the fourth but it was already clear that this was fiendishly hard to score. Did you reward Klitschko for his aggression or Fury for making him miss so often? In the fifth Klitschko was lightly cut under the left eye after a clash of heads, but landed with a good right hand for the first time in the fight. Fury responded with a sharp right of his own, though, and was confident enough to talk to his opponent as the bell sounded.
Through the middle rounds the pattern was similar, with Fury presenting a puzzle that Klitschko was unable to solve. He tried to switch his attack to the body, but with only limited success. It was a desperately messy fight, with lots of cries from the referee Tony Weeks to “stop, stop, stop” as the two men grasped and grappled. Fury had made Klitschko look bad. Now he was making him look worse.
Finally in the ninth round, the action became less measured and more intense as both men landed with big right hands. But Klitschko was still struggling to break through. As his camp told him at the end of the 10th: “You’ve got to get this.”
In the 11th, the referee deducted Fury a point for repeatedly hitting Klitschko behind the back of the head. Given this was Germany, a country notorious for rewarding the home fighter, some wondered whether it might have given Klitschko renewed hope.
It certainly looked that way in the final round as he rushed forward and appeared to hurt Fury for the first time. The crowd began chanting for Klitschko, but both men were desperately tired. It was messy but manic … and when the scorecards were announced, Fury – the fighting gypsy-Irishman with the glint in his eye – was the one left smiling.
Afterwards Klitschko applauded the crowd, who warmly cheered him back. A clause in his contract means there will be a rematch. But by the time it happens Klitschko will be 40. And it will surely be even harder for him to decipher Fury’s puzzle.
Tyson Fury ends Wladimir Klitschko's reign to become Britain's new king in the ring
TYSON FURY stunned the world as he dethroned heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko to become IBF, WBO and WBA champion.
By Chris McKenna
The British fighter earned a unanimous decision before dropping to his knees in tears as his emotions spilled over after this huge upset.
The Manchester man then delivered on his promise to sing in the ring and belted out an Aerosmith number.
But it was the previous 36 minutes of action that Fury was really on song in as he ended the reign of one of the best heavyweight champions.
The fight was thrown into doubt yet again just hours before it was due to start when Fury arrived at the arena to have a look around.
The British challenger was not impressed with the canvas on the ring and complained it was too soft.
There were three layers of foam underneath the canvas which the challenger felt would slow his feet down.
He threatened to pull out of the bout before it was agreed one layer of foam would be removed.
It came after a glove row earlier in an eventful week in Germany that also saw the colourful Fury sing at his open workout.
There was another row just before the bout when Klitschko wrapped his hands without any of Team Fury present.
It meant the Ukrainian had to undo them and rewrap much to his frustration and caused a delay to the start.
While Fury was hitting the notes after the clash, there was Rod Stewart in the arena just before the fight.
Former British and European champion Fury could not have looked more relaxed on his way to the ring when he made his entrance soon after.
He danced and sang his way inside the stunning stadium before Klitschko’s more serious entrance as the defending champion looked focused on the job ahead.
Fury, wearing a t-shirt with a picture of his late uncle Hughie, shadow boxed in the ring as he waited for Klitschko’s to step into the ring.
The Manchester-born traveller walked straight over to the champion in a final attempt to unnerve the now former heavyweight king.
Then Fury ran from his blue corner on the sound of the first bell as he looked to startle Klitschko
But it was the Ukrainian who was on the front foot for most of the first round with the challenger shouting at him to ‘come on’.
Fury ended the round by exchanging more words with Klitschko and then raised his arms to the crowd.
It was clear why Fury was so concerned about a soft canvas earlier in the day as his tactics were to box and move.
The giant Brit looked loose on his feet as Klitschko was trying to hunt down with his jab, but he couldn’t get close enough to land.
Fury then switched to southpaw in the third and the fun-loving traveller was afforded enough time to show off his dancing skills.
The rounds were tight and those expecting an all-out war would have been disappointed as this was more of a chess match for most of it.
Klitschko was struggling to find his range which was much to Fury’s credit as his evasive style was making it difficult.
‘The Gypsy King’ landed the best shots of the fifth round with a one-two combination that finally put the champion on the back foot.
The Ukrainian – who was cut under his left eye from a clash of heads - did also land his own right towards the end of the three minutes, but it did not seem to bother the challenger.
It was scrappy and it was far from a classing as some of the 50,000 crowd showed their displeasure with the lack of action.
They didn’t like it when Fury then put his hands behind his back to goad Klitschko either in the seventh.
The danger for Fury was his persistent holding, but American referee Tony Weeks seemed pretty lenient about it.
There was also Klitschko’s right hand to worry about which landed on his chin in the ninth.
But Fury fought back with a big left hook as the fight sparked into life.
The tenth was not as thrilling, but Fury did get through with a stiff jab as the travelling British fans in the crowd sang his name.
There was the feeling ringside that Fury was winning, but a real fear that the judges in Ukrainian Klitschko’s adopted home would not be so favourable.
Fury went out to ensure he could not be robbed by the officials as he jumped on the champion again in the eleventh and rocked him with a big left hook.
Fury was docked a point for hitting on the back of the head, but he still had done enough to ensure Klitschko did not win the round.
Fury still must have felt he needed to do more to win it as he charged at the champion in the last round and landed a stunning left uppercut that threw his head back.
Klitschko was not about to give up his titles easy though and responded by firing in a right.
The pair continued to exchange huge blows in the final minutes before it went to the scorecards.
And all three had it rightly in favour of Fury (115-112, 115-112 and 116-111) and his team in the ring went crazy.
Fury is a controversial character, but nobody could deny him this as he worked his way up through the rankings and then did not disappoint on his promise of beating Klitschko.