Klitschko v Fury: The Inside Verdict
By Frankie Monkhouse
On Saturday night the talking stops! Following one of the more entertaining big fight build ups in recent years, Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson Fury finally settle their differences in the ring when meeting at Dusseldorf’s ESPRIT arena in front of the Sky Sports pay-per-view cameras.
Despite seemingly gaining the upper-hand in a press tour that shifted effortlessly between the tense and plain comical, bookmakers have written off previously undefeated challenger Tyson Fury with the current number one available at a chunky 4/1 in many places. There’s plenty to like about that price however and lovers of an underdog with teeth will be all too happy to get involved considering the 27-year-old’s sizzling form.
Since making the transition into the paid ranks with a first round stoppage win over Hungarian Bela Gyongyosi back in 2008, the towering 6ft 9inch orthodox boxer has carved out a path to the top that has already earned him English, British, Commonwealth and European honours from just 24 starts, a run which includes two wins over fellow Brit Dereck Chisora, who he cut down after 10 one-sided rounds 12 months ago. An eighth round victory over well-respected German Christian Hammer last time out means each of Fury’s last four opponents have failed to hear the final bell and another inside-the-distance win goes at around 6/1, while the points verdict on foreign soil looks a big ask at 9/1.
Current heavyweight ruler Wladimir Klitschko surely needs no introduction amongst sports fans and despite being criticised for his lack of flair and drab jab-jab-grab approach to the game, he certainly appears to have found a winning formula with an incredible CV reading 64 wins from 67 contests and he enters this latest challenge on a 22 fight unbeaten run, stretching back over 10 years.
Those stats certainly appear to hold plenty of weight on the trading floor with Dr Steelhammer priced up as a heavy odds on favourite, while the home town hero adding to a convincing points win over American Bryant Jennings last time out by impressing the judges once again goes at 13/8. It is perhaps the KO/TKO method of victory that will appeal to punters most and with Klitschko bringing an earth-shattering 79 per cent knockout average, the 10/11 looks value.
Tyson Fury’s self-belief certainly can’t be faulted and he’s barely put a foot wrong in his career to date, upsetting the odds on more than one occasion. The puncher from Manchester will enjoy a three inch height advantage and four inch reach advantage over the champion, something Wladimir hasn’t faced often during his 19 year career. Fury is also 12 years younger and has told anyone who would listen that youthfulness will be the deciding factor against a 39 year-old who has endured a tough career with each of his three defeats, against Ross Puritty, Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster, coming by stoppage.
Serious question marks remain over Fury’s ability to hold a punch also, remember beefed up cruiserweight Steve Cunningham dropping him in two not so long ago? With that in mind, this one not going the distance at 8/13 appears to be the smart play while Tyson Fury to be knocked down at any time during the contest looks worth having at 4/5.