World Heavy weight challenger Tyson Fury is 2.06 meters tall (6 feet nine inches) and usually weighs around 120 kilo’s and that is impressive. It’s Bigger than Lennox Lewis, bigger than Joe Louis or George Foreman. It’s much, much bigger than Mike Tyson or Evander Holyfield. It’s even bigger than either of the Klitschko’s, probably the most successful brothers in boxing ever-certainly as heavyweights. But as all these great champions proved on more than one occasion, bigger isn’t always better.
Indeed, many boxing fans have speculated that if he could be ‘Photo shopped’ down to the size of a more regular heavyweight would Fury even be a contender?
The bookies and betting shops say emphatically no-as do most of the boxing experts. If he has the skills to beat Klitschko he certainly hasn’t displayed them so far. So even as the giant that he most certainly is he still comes into next month’s fight as the underdog. But could he shock us all and turn out to be a modern day “Cinderella man”? James J Braddock was a 10 to 1 shot back in 1935 when in Madison Square Garden he faced huge hitting Max Baer for the Heavyweight Championship of the World. Baer hit so hard that he had once killed a man in the ring (Frankie Campbell) so there was a lot for Braddock to be concerned about. Nevertheless Braddock had studied Baer and knew that if he could just stay away from Baer’s hammering right hand he could win and he did just that by a 15 round decision. For this feat he was nicknamed ‘The Cinderella Man’.
Could Fury pull off the same upset as ‘The Cinderella Man’ or will he be brutally exposed and dismantled by Klitschko? Could the bragging Fury be all hyperbole and have his story be more of a ‘The Emperors’ new clothes’ kind of event?
Evander Holyfield beat a much bigger and talented fighter in Riddick Bowe and Mike Tyson beat many men taller and heavier than him-but these guys were exceptional. They proved it’s not the size of the dog in the fight but the size of the fight in the dig. Fury has now and then shown some flashes of potential in the ring but potential is nothing without dedication and commitment. I believe ultimately he will turn out to be more of a Audley Harrison than a James Braddock.
So although size isn’t everything, Fury is finally about to be ‘weighed and measured’ in the most dramatically realistic way possible and on a worldwide stage and by a genuine champion. It’s put up or shut up. Will he produce the upset he’s been bragging about for so long or will he be found wanting? We’ll just have to wait until we hear that first bell……
By Rob Blakeman