Doomsday in Düsseldorf

By Robert Ecksel on November 28, 2015
Doomsday in Düsseldorf
Even non-boxing fans are fascinated or at least curious about the 6-foot-9-inch upstart.

Maybe Fury has a thermonuclear device waiting to explode on Klitschko’s chin. He had better, or he won’t be singing Danny Boy at the end of the fight…

“Joe Louis ain’t no natural killer. He’s a manufactured killer.”—Jack Blackburn

Saturday night at the ESPRIT arena in Düsseldorf, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany, WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (64-3, 53 KOs), from Kiev, Ukraine, by way of Zhangiztobe, Kazakhstan, defends his titles against big, bad, undefeated Tyson Fury (24-0, 18 KOs), the wild and crazy contender from Wilmslow, Cheshire, United Kingdom.

Undefeated for over a decade and fast closing in on Joe Louis’ record of 25 heavyweight title defenses, Klitschko is a formidable if imperfect specimen. He is cautious. He rarely throws uppercuts or combinations. He does not punch to the body. His chin is questionable. But the 6-foot-6-inch Klitschko has more than enough strengths to counter his liabilities. He is always in shape. He moves beautifully. He has a jackhammer jab and dynamite right that turns out the lights with a flick of the switch.

Yet for all his virtues, Wladimir, unlike his older brother Vitali, is not a natural born killer Like Joe Louis, he is a manufactured killer who learned his lessons well and applied them with diligence. But unlike Joe Louis, who was a real fighter, Klitschko’s reluctance to engage makes his matches less than scintillating and often unwatchable. There is a numbing sameness to his performances. They are coolly efficient but rarely memorable. Maybe Fury, with his interminable name-calling, crybaby antics, and attempts at humiliating the champ, will inspire Klitschko to fight with more abandon. Maybe Fury has succeeded in rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Fury has wanted this fight forever and is finally getting his wish. He is not as grating as David Haye, who smirked his way through the pre-fight and ran like the dickens at the opening bell. But Fury has gotten under many people’s skin, except perhaps the skin of the one man that matters.

Whether it was the Batman stunt or labeling Klitschko a devil worshipper or the endless issues with gloves, boots, and canvas, Fury has maximized his time in the limelight. Even non-boxing fans, whoever those poor souls might be, are fascinated or at least curious about the 6-foot-9-inch upstart with gypsy blood coursing through his veins and gobs of blarney coming from his mouth.

But when one strips away the theatrics and frivolous pronouncements, an admittedly lengthy and tiresome process, what exactly remains? Fury, for all his bluster, has yet to fight a top 10 contender. Granted, he has beaten everybody he has fought and often knocked them out, but that everybody includes Martin Rogan, Vinny Maddalone and Kevin Johnson in 2012, blown-up cruiserweight Steve Cunningham in 2013, chunky Joey Abell and Dereck Chisora in 2014, and Christian Hammer in February of this year.

Each of them is a bona fide tough guy, but they are trial horses. None even qualifies as a gatekeeper. Fury may have honed his skills at their expense, thereby earning his shot at the Big Kahuna. They cannot, however, by any stretch of the imagination, hold a candle to the man he faces tonight.

Boxing is boxing and anything can happen, it’s the nature of the beast. But Fury is facing a skilled and accomplished titleholder who takes no prisoners. Fury’s beard and spindly legs will be put to the test. Maybe he has a thermonuclear device waiting to explode on Klitschko’s chin. He had better, or he won’t be singing Danny Boy at the end of the fight.

He’ll be singing for his supper.

The championship fight between Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson Fury will be televised live on HBO starting at 4:45 PM ET/PT.

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  1. nicolas 01:58am, 11/29/2015

    I felt that Wlad’s previous performance against Jennings showed where he was going and that his best years were behind him. He was facing a very determined man, also much bigger than him, something Wlad has very rarely faced. Also I would suggest that perhaps that Wlad’s new life, being a husband and father are also responsible, but that is not to say that being a husband and father is a bad thing.

  2. Don from Prov 07:16pm, 11/28/2015

    Well, it wasn’t “Danny Boy” that Fury was singing at the end of the fight

  3. Robert Ecksel 03:35pm, 11/28/2015

    It was doomsday alright—for Wladimir Klitschko. What an abysmal performance.

  4. Mike Casey 03:14pm, 11/28/2015


  5. andrew 11:11am, 11/28/2015

    Is Klit standing on risers in all the photos or am I blind seeing Fury nowhere near 3” taller?

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