E.A. Sports Today

Fury-ous heavyweight upheaval

Fury’s unanimous decision over Klitschko throws ‘wrench’ into Wilder’s plans, but Tuscaloosa champion still on track

By Peter Moss
Special to East Alabama Sports Today

Boxing’s heavyweight division has been given a formal facelift compliments of Tyson Fury.

Saturday marked the beginning of a new chapter in the division. Oh boy.

With his unanimous decision in Germany, Fury gave Wladimir Klitschko his first loss since 2004 and lifted the lineal world heavyweight championship in the process.

With the shifting of the powers in the division, it is safe every fighter’s fire to become champion burned a little hotter.

Deontay Wilder’s does. No sooner had the Fury decision been announced, Wilder (35-0, 34 KOs), the WBC heavyweight champion from Tuscaloosa, tweeted his intentions for Fury.

“I see you Tyson Fury,” Wilder wrote. “I’m coming for you.”

But first he has a Jan. 16 date in Brooklyn against a yet-to-named opponent. And he still has a mandatory WBC title defense against Alexander Povetkin (30-1) who last fought — and won — earlier this month in the spring and said he wouldn’t be ready for Wilder that early.

Wilder has said he was going to be an active champion.

Team Wilder was planning on a unification bout with Klitschko sometime in 2016; obviously that plan changes now.

“A wrench has definitely been thrown into our plans but we welcome it,” said Damarius Hill, one of Wilder’s trainers. “It’s boxing and anything can happen and this is one of those cases. I still feel as if Tyson has a lot to prove. Now that he has the belts he will have to train harder than he ever has in his life. He is officially America’s most wanted right now.”

The Fury-Klitschko fight was a bit underwhelming but entertaining nonetheless. The official scores were 115-112, 115-112 and 116-111.

Klitschko looked completely bamboozled by the circular movement of Fury and seldom got close enough to the pull the trigger on his punches.

Fury, ever the showman, made sure there was something to talk about, even when there were lulls in the fight action. His antics included continuously talking to Klitschko, putting his hands behind his back ala Roy Jones and even a post-fight mini-concert to his wife. Perhaps more importantly, the future of heavyweight matches has taken a sharp turn now that Fury is the man.

“I honestly feel like Klitschko’s team let him down,” Hill said. “I feel like they didn’t come up with the right game plan. He looked completely confused and passive out there. I don’t think he threw the right hand more than 15 times.

“I think a lot of it was him fighting a guy that was taller than him. His whole career he’s been the taller guy. When you’re in there with a guy you’ve never been in with before, that can be very hard to overcome, I’m telling ya. A lot of people are saying it’s because of his age but me personally I think it was the game plan that did him in.”

Peter Moss is the social media coordinator for Sky Boxing.

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