Tyson Fury wins world heavyweight titles
Beats Wladimir Klitschko on points
Klitschko unbeaten since 2004
Fury celebrates with Aerosmith song
Britain’s Tyson Fury ended the nine-year reign of Wladimir Klitschko by claiming the Ukrainian’s four versions of the world heavyweight boxing title with a huge upset victory.
Few had given underdog Fury much hope of dethroning Klitschko in Saturday night’s bout in Dusseldorf, Germany, but he confounded the experts with a polished and nerveless performance.
Despite having a point deducted for an infringement and a late rally by the champion, the 27-year-old Fury was given the verdict by all three judges, 115-112, 115-112 and 116-111 to take the WBA, IBF, IBO and WBO belts, celebrating with a rendition of Aerosmith’s “Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”
Only American Deontay Wilder, who holds the WBC version of the title, stands in the way of Fury becoming the first undisputed heavyweight champion of the world since fellow Briton Lennox Lewis in 2000.
Wilder took to social media to express his willingness to fight Fury, but the veteran 39-year-old Klitschko has a contractual rematch option and indicated after his defeat that he will exercise it.
Fury, who has an Irish traveler heritage and labels himself ‘The Gypsy King’ on social media, had dominated the pre-fight buildup with his bizarre antics.
He turned up to a news conference dressed as Batman and on another occasion serenaded a bemused Klitschko with his version of a Bette Midler classic.
But once the fight started, the fooling stopped and he thoroughly flummoxed his opponent with an unorthodox southpaw style.
The 12-rounder burst into life in the seventh as Fury landed some decisive blows and in the ninth he caught Klitschko flush on the face with a big left hand punch.
The new champion was deducted a point for punching the back of Klitschko’s head in the 11th and was holding on in the final round, but he already had the titles in the bag.
Klitschko, who drops to 69-4 with the defeat, admitted he had been surprised by the speed and dexterity of his 2.06m opponent and said he knew he needed a knockout to retain his crowns.
Some consolation was surpassing the record of the legendary Joe Louis of taking part in 28 world heavyweight title matches. He will need to extend that mark if he is to win back his belts.
Fury, who goes to 25-0 for his career, will now be hot property among promoters, but has already cashed in after wagering 200,000 ($300,630) on himself.
With a fitting name for a heavyweight boxer, born at the time Mike Tyson was dominating the division, Fury is set to gain worldwide prominence
“I have worked hard everyday for this moment – it’s a dream come true,” he said after his victory.
The fight was originally set for October and had to be called off when Klitschko suffered a calf injury. There was also late drama as the Fury camp threatened to boycott the bout because the canvas in the ring was too soft.
It was eventually replaced at the last minute to the satisfaction of Fury and his connections.