Wladimir Klitschko, in a lackluster and dull fight, lost the heavyweight championship of the world to unbeaten Brit champion Tyson Fury in Germany. This was Klitschko’s first loss in over 11 years in what was his 28th heavyweight championship fight. The loss drops Klitschko’s record to 64-4 with 53 knockouts. Fury, now 25-0, won the collection of alphabet titles held by the champ and takes the reins in the heavyweight division.
Rarely the smaller man in a fight, Klitschko could not pull the trigger with his punches and failed to mount any attempt at an offensive attack against the quicker and unorthodox Fury. He looked hesitant to engage the bigger man and worked from the outside yet jabbed little in the fight and threw and astonishingly low number of body shots that might have slowed down Fury. The challenger maintained good movement and his feints and frequent head movement kept Klitschko off balance and unable to hit the Brit with any meaningful punch.
Fury, switching from southpaw to conventional stance often, was the more active fighter throughout but landed few memorable punches either. Fury deserves some credit for the win but it was a poor effort from Klitschko, who seemed content during the fight to throw 15 to 20 punches a round and grapple with Fury nearly every chance he had in the later rounds.
It is disappointing to see a dominant champion go out the way Klitschko did against Fury but that is not uncommon with boxers. The training and the physical punishment the body endures takes its toll and with Klitschko, his epic career seemed to catch up with him all at once. This looked like a fight from the beginning that Klitschko would lose, regardless of the opponent.
While a rematch could happen, I can’t imagine many fight fans being excited to see these two go at it again. What we watched on Saturday had all of the elements of why heavyweight boxing has lost in popularity to the lower weight classes- giant men pawing at each other, holding, no action, and no punching. It will be interesting to see Fury’s next move in the division but it most likely was the last time we see a Klitschko in the ring.