Why The Shadow Of Tyson Fury Hovers Over The Joshua-Klitschko Superfight
By: Sean Crose
Fight fans the world over are eagerly awaiting the heavyweight title throwdown between Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua on the 29th of this month. Indeed, there’s a lot to be excited about. For starters, this here is a fight for heavyweight supremacy. Never mind who will or will not end up holding what belt when all is said and done. The winner of this battle is king of the heavyweight hill. All others are mere pretenders or would be usurpers. What’s more, the bout features an aging icon going head to head against a man who is supposed to be the next big thing. Such fights matter. That’s why Joshua-Klitschko is such a big deal.
There is, however, a cloud hovering over the event. A great, big, loud one.
Perhaps “cloud” isn’t the best word to use here. Maybe “shadow” would be more fitting. For the enormous Tyson Fury casts quite a shadow indeed, in both the figurative and literal sense of the word. It’s hard not to have the man in the back of one’s mind in the lead up to this superfight next week. It was Fury, after all, who bested Klitschko after the Ukrainian’s exceedingly long run atop the heavyweight heap. No one really expected it to happen, but the Englishman of Tinker stock surprised a whole lot of people at the end of 2015, when he stripped Klitschko of his heavyweight crown.
What’s more, Fury has still to lose a fight. At least in the ring, that is. He may not be champ anymore, but Fury lost his rightful claim to heavyweight supremacy when he was overcome by his personal demons – depression, substances and food clearly being at the top of that dark list – rather than by an opponent.
Klitschko, despite his best efforts, was never able to reverse that frustrating loss to Fury . And Fury has sense taken to needling both he and Joshua publicly in the leadup to April 29th.
Throw in the fact that Fury looks far from fighting shape and the question of what could have been may always be floating throughout the minds of fight followers. Yes, Joshua may best Klitschko, but what if he never faces a rejuvenated Fury? And what if Klitschko gets his heavyweight crown back? Might people always wonder if he could actually have bested the loudmouthed Fury in a rematch? The simple truth is that the world may well never know what might have been. Tyson Fury certainly doesn’t take away from Joshua-Klitschko, but his oversized presence is most certainly hovering over it.