Monday, December 1, 2014

Will Tyson Fury Be Next For Wladimir Klitschko?

The first encounter between then rising Heavyweight prospects Tyson Fury and Dereck Chisora established both fighters as players in the Heavyweight division. Although the undefeated Tyson Fury clearly won the first encounter between himself and Chisora, there was significant interest/anticipation for the rematch between the two now top Heavyweight contenders.

Prior to the rematch between Fury and Chisora, I stated that from a stylistic standpoint that this fight could have been expected to be fought in much of the same way that the first fight between the two was fought. The question that I had prior to this rematch was whether or not Chisora would be able to let his hands go more consistently than had been the case in the first fight. Although Chisora was able to have periodic success in the first encounter, he was not able to keep a consistent offensive rhythm throughout the fight and Fury was able to outwork him and box his way to a convincing twelve round unanimous decision. It would be up to Chisora to change the landscape of how the rematch would be fought.

The second encounter between the two however, was more or less a continuation from where the first fight in 2011 had left off when the two met on November 29th at the ExCel Center in London, England. Fury using his 6’9 height and 85” reach to keep the  6’1 ½ Chisora at distance and unable to land anything significant. Fury’s longer reach and combination punching were the story of this fight as he easily dictated how the fight would be fought and frankly administered a beating to Chisora. The fight did not live up to the anticipation that some had leading up to it. This was due to Fury’s fight plan in using his lateral movement to control distance and tying Chisora up whenever Chisora would get close.

Although it may not have been the most entertaining fight to watch, from a Boxing standpoint Fury fought a near perfect fight against a shorter opponent in not allowing that opponent to be able to get into a position where he could potentially be effective. The one-sided contest was stopped by Chisora’s corner after the conclusion of the tenth round giving Fury his second victory over Chisora and the twenty third victory of his career in as many fights. The win for Fury also won him the British and European Heavyweight championships and now puts him as the number one contender in the World Boxing Organization’s (WBO) Heavyweight ratings and in line to challenge unified IBF/WBA/WBO/IBO Heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko.

The question that some may be wondering coming out of this fight is whether or not Fury will be the next challenger for Klitschko. Klitschko, as readers may recall has spent the last year fulfilling his mandatory title defense obligations defeating each of the top contenders in the WBA, IBF, and WBO Heavyweight ratings defeating Alexander Povetkin, Alex Leapai, and most recently Kubrat Pulev who he knocked out in five rounds on November 15th in what was Klitschko’s seventeenth successful title defense.

Some readers may recall this observer stating after Klitschko’s knockout of Pulev that one option for Klitschko would be for him to face the winner of the rematch between Fury and Chisora. Although Klitschko has for the moment fulfilled his mandatory obligations with no current mandatory challengers in either the World Boxing Association (WBA) or the International Boxing Organization (IBO) respective Heavyweight ratings and thus would theoretically allow Klitschko to make an elective defense against a top contender of his choosing, this observer believes that a fight between Klitschko and Fury makes the most sense as 2015 approaches.

As I discussed following Klitschko’s knockout of Kubrat Pulev, there are other options that are available for Klitschko if he decides to not make another mandatory title defense right away.  Possible fights against the likes of former WBA Heavyweight world champion Ruslan Chagaev, who currently holds interim/regular champion status in the WBA’s ratings, but has not been designated as the WBA’s mandatory challenger for Klitschko as of this writing, top contender Bryant Jennings, who is currently in line to face the winner of the potential fight between WBC world champion Bermane Stiverne and current WBC mandatory challenger Deontay Wilder, and finally current IBF number two rated contender Vyacheslav Glazkov could all be potential options.

In this observer’s opinion however, with only one current mandatory challenger and much of the rest of the Heavyweight division in limbo as the end of 2014 approaches, Tyson Fury should be next in line for Klitschko in what would be Klitschko’s eighteenth championship defense. It will be interesting to if Klitschko-Fury will be made for some time in early 2015.

As for Dereck Chisora, it will also be interesting to see where he goes following his second loss to Tyson Fury. Although Chisora was dominated in both fights against a much bigger man, Chisora is still a contender in the Heavyweight division and could be a potential opponent for any of the contenders in the division who are looking to position themselves in line for potential title shots.

An issue for Chisora and really any Heavyweight who does not have the benefit of height and long reach in the current era of the division will be having to face fighters who are taller, bigger, and enjoy a reach advantage over them. Chisora has experienced this twice in fights against Tyson Fury and although he was quite “Game” also in his fight with Vitali Klitschko. In the case of his fights with Fury as well as his fight with Klitschko, the Boxing physics were not in Chisora’s favor and if Chisora is going to remain a player in the Heavyweight division, he will need to find an answer that will allow him to effectively compete with fighters who are much bigger than him. Chisora does have punching power and has shown, despite losing five of his twenty-five professional fights that he can give most in the division a difficult fight and even gave Vitali Klitschko his fair share of difficulty when they fought in 2012. If Chisora cannot find a way to deal with fighters who are much bigger and have a significant reach advantage over him however, his future as a Heavyweight contender may be in question.

“And That’s The Boxing Truth.”

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