Tyson Fury vs. Wladimir Klitschko II Fight Preview and Prediction to Win
When: Saturday, October 29, 2016
Where: Manchester Arena, Manchester, England
Weight Class: Heavyweight: 12 Rounds
Titles: World Heavyweight Title
By Loot, Boxing Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
Tyson Fury, 25-0 (18 KOs), Manchester, England
Wladimir Klitschko, 64-4 (53 KOs), Ukraine
Betting Odds: Tyson Fury -115, Wladimir Klitschko -115
Tyson Fury defends his heavyweight title against the man he won it from when he battles former longtime champ Wladimir Klitschko in his hometown at the Manchester Arena on October 29. In November of last year, Fury defeated Klitschko by unanimous decision to win the belt, with Dr. Steelhammer suffering his first defeat in a dozen years. Can Klltschko regain his belt in this rematch or was last November's fight a changing of the guard? This bout is a long time coming after prolonged negotiations and then with an ankle injury sustained by Fury.
Klitschko dominated the division for a decade. It's a bit curious how the recent explosion in popularity in the division accompanied Klitschko losing his belt, but the division is wide open again, with any number of intriguing talents who could ascend to the position Klitschko once held as a dominant champion. But the old lion might not be ready to fade into the sunset just yet.
Klitschko turned 40 in March and this is his 70th fight. He never seemed to take a ton of punishment, but 20+ title fights, a long period without really being challenged, and being 40 may have left him a spent force. Truth be told, he did seem listless in November. And even on an off-night, Fury wasn't really able to dominate Klitschko in any kind of discernible way, though he did clearly outpoint him. Was Fury's win more about what he did right or that Klitschko was off-form? Maybe it's a little bit of both.
Fury will not blow you away with his skills. He's not the crispest fighter, nor does he possess true one-punch KO power at this level. He's not particularly fast, either. But what he lacks in terms of the kinds of things that leap off the screen, he makes up for it with other attributes. He is a handful physically, standing 6'9" and very solid and robust. His mentality is very strong, forged over years of basically being raised to be a fighter in a travelling gypsy bare-knuckle fighting family. He really is a hard man. And he's no lumbering brute. Behind all the histrionics is a very cerebral fighter, a man who can mentally break down a fight. Most surprising against Klitschko was the guile and cute moves he was able to demonstrate, with clever defensive maneuvers, feints, and a large dose of overall deception. And if he is in shape, able to go 12 hard rounds.
Fury's pre-fight buildup leading to their first encounter proved to be prophetic. The new champion maintained that Klitschko had fought smaller fighters who knew what it was like to lose. And Fury's size did in fact seem to trouble Klitschko, a fighter who had depended for years on maintaining a distance and using his reach to tame opponents, before dropping the hammer. With that distance cut down to nothing, Klitschko was not able to operate in his typical one-way fashion. He found himself in Fury's wheelhouse and was forced to assume a more-defensive posture.
The conditions for a Klitschko loss were ripe in the first bout. Klitschko had not merely gone since 2004 without losing, but he had barely been challenged. We're talking about barely being hit. It's natural that a certain amount of complacency would set in. Great fighters are tempered in the fires of great battles and Klitschko bypassed that part of the game. Klitschko's fights can be separated into two categories—fights he dominates in boring fashion and fights that turn into actual battles of will, which he invariably loses. He's either dominating or losing. He has never really emerged victorious in a battle of wills or even won a close fight—unusual for a longtime champion with nearly 70 fights.
Those who feel Klitschko's loss will have a positive affect on him might be onto something. It could have a focusing affect on him. And for whatever it's worth, his wife was hospitalized for some mental issues just prior to his fight, which probably didn't help his focus. The light at the end of the tunnel is now in plain vision for Klitschko and it could have an energizing affect on the old champion.
This fight is in Fury's hometown. In addition, Fury is obviously the future, while we could be looking at Klitschko's last fight. The boxing machine works in shady and sometimes predictable ways. You get the feeling that the boxing world as a whole has had their fill of the Klitschko era. It reminds one of Larry Holmes losing two hairline decisions to Michael Spinks in 1985 where you got the feeling the boxing world just wanted to move on to something else. If this fight is close, it might be hard for the ex-champ to get the nod. Why would anyone go out of their way to re-crown a man who might have been the dullest of all heavyweight champions?
There were some troubling quotes from Fury over the months while this fight negotiation dragged on and on. It was mostly to the effect that he already climbed the mountaintop and had nothing more to prove. That could all be theatrics, but that better not be the case. To become a dominant champion and a potential great, the real work begins now. If Fury even subconsciously lets up now that he's risen to the top, his stay at the top will be brief. Say what you will about Klitschko, but being able to reign for a decade speaks volumes about his ambition and ability to stay hungry. Is there a chance that he wants this more? Maybe the extra time off afforded Fury a chance to get in proper shape, being that he appeared to over-celebrate his newfound status.
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Klitschko may not have overcome much adversity in the ring during his nearly-20-year career. But he has overcome adversity, most notably by altering his style to maximize his upside after suffering three KO losses. He went from a fighter on the endangered species list to a champion who reigned for a decade. That takes a certain ability to re-invent oneself, to make adjustments, and try again.
Personally, it would be nice to start the post-Klitschko era now with a clean slate. And it might be hard for Klitschko to win a rematch in this environment. But in a fight with the odds being even, it's hard to neglect the fact that Klitschko is the more massive talent. He might not be as good a fighter as Fury, as it pertains to two-way action. But I suspect that Fury will incur the full wrath of Klitschko's offense in this fight. I'm going with the old lion.
Loot's Pick to Win the Fight: I'm betting on Wladimir Klitschko at -115. Did you know... that you could be wagering on fights at discounted odds? There's a better than good chance that you're laying inflated odds with your book. Stop overpaying TODAY by making the switch to 5Dimes Sportsbook! You will be so glad that you did!