Tyson Fury: Hype Job Or The Real Thing?


By Sean Crose

Tyson Fury has shown in recent fights that he has work to do before he can be a top level heavyweight. Then again, he’s got the exact kind of attitude and personality that boxing fans eat up with a spoon. In other words, he’s obnoxious, boastful, and even perhaps a bit emotionally troubled. His parents named the Brit after Mike Tyson, actually, so perhaps some of the blame lies on them (I kid).

The British Board of Boxing Control is now demanding Fury attend a hearing regarding his diatribe filled behavior during one of his numerous public outbursts. While it’s true Great Britain traditionally isn’t comfortable with free speech – this is the country which gave us the Tower of London, after all – Fury’s behavior is frequently light years away from being appropriate.

Yet it’s given the 6’9 giant the kind of attention an up and coming fighter needs to get ahead. Provided Fury beats Dereck Chisora this Saturday – and that’s certainly no guarantee – the Englishman of Irish descent will find himself in the running for what can only be deemed The Klitschko Sweepstakes. Could he possibly beat Wladimir Klitschko, though? Can he even get through Chisora?

Granted, Fury did defeat Chisora once before, by unanimous decision, back in 2011. The overweight Chisora certainly didn’t look his best at the time, however. What’s more, he still gave Fury a good run. Now that Chrisora appears to be taking his career and talent more seriously, a Fury victory is far from guaranteed on Saturday.

Still, Fury is more than just a loud mouthed giant. Truth be told, the man’s a born brawler, the kind of guy who’d be swinging at bars or house parties if he weren’t a ring professional. He can hit hard, too, as sixteen out of his twenty two opponents can attest. And while he’s certainly vulnerable defensively – former cruiserweight Steve Cunningham dropped him like a bad habit in Fury’s 2013 American debut – he’s always managed to come back and win, often by overwhelming his foes with his sheer size.

The man has never been defeated.

In fact, it’s the matter of size that truly stands out about Fury – besides, of course, his mouth. It was believed after the Cunningham fight, for instance, that Fury won more on size than anything else after the American introduced him to the canvas. There’s a lot of truth to that assertion. Fury simply ended up swallowing up his smaller foe in that bout by virtue of his height and frame.

Yet one can’t be blamed for using one’s physical attributes to one’s advantage. Klitschko certainly uses his size to his advantage, and no one’s pointing fingers at him (at least not for employing his physique effectively). Any trainer, after all, will tell you that a fighter has to use what he has – and use it well. Fury has shown that he uses his size very well indeed.

It’s worth asking, though, what will happen if and when Fury meets an opponent who can play Max Baer to his Primo Canera. In other words, what will happen when a fighter shows up in the ring who’s immune to a size advantage, even a significant one?

Klitschko is skilled enough to deal with such an opponent. Will Fury be? Time may tell. In fact, the answer may arrive on Saturday, when Chisora once again faces a man who’s style he knows well. If Fury has grown enough as a fighter, he may be able to pass the test with flying colors. If he hasn’t, grown though, well, you know what they say about the bigger they come…

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