By Sean Crose
No one has ever – ever – held his hands low against Wladimir Klitschko, at least not in recent memory. Tyson Fury did that on Saturday in Germany, however. Yup, after looking quite good for two straight rounds, Fury decided to fight southpaw and let his hands hang. It was a surprising sight, to say the least. Still, the early portion of the heavyweight championship between the undefeated (24-0) Englishman and the highly regarded 64-3 Klitschko did not start off as a raucous affair.
Fury continued fighting with supreme confidence in the fourth round. Klitschko, however, appeared to get more active. The champion, though, looked to be cut in the fifth. What’s more, Fury arguably took the round. By the sixth, Fury resumed a southpaw stance. The 6’9 fighter seemed to be confusing a man who had earned a reputation for making easy work of all foes.
And so things went. By the end of the seventh it was clear that there may well be a new heavyweight champion crowned once the bout was over – provided, of course – that no horrible judging were to take effect.
Round eight certainly looked like it could have been Fury’s. By the ninth, the Englishman was literally taunting Klitschko by moving about with his gloves behind his back. Yet Klitschko made him pay for it by making his enormous foe stumble with thunderous shots. Fury, however, nailed the champion as well.
“”If Klitschko wants to stay champion,” HBO analyst Max Kellerman exclaimed, “he’s got to fight like the crown is not on his head right now.”
Yet Klitschko kept getting hit and tried to clinch. In the end, the champion’s own team told him he needed a knockout. By round eleven, though, the champion was cut by his right eye. The end seemed near. It was all or nothing for the Ukranian in the final round.
The Klitschko comeback didn’t come in the twelfth. What’s more, the robbery many started to suspect from the judges didn’t come, either. Fury won a unanimous decision…and became the new heavyweight champion of the world. Afterwards, Fury thanked Jesus, made peace with Lennox Lewis (who was in the ring) gave Klitschko public credit for being a great champion…and then sang in hugely embarrassing fashion to his wife.
Still, there’s no denying that this was a huge moment in heavyweight boxing history. While Fury might not be great, and indeed Klitschko may have been over-rated, this was an upset of epic proportions.