Tyson Fury discusses difficult camp for Dereck Chisora, criticizes Klitschko
When Tyson Fury, THE RING’s No. 4-rated heavyweight, takes center stage in London on Saturday for a rematch with Dereck Chisora, he will be hoping for a new beginning. Over the past year the colossal Brit has lost not only career momentum and lucrative purses but, only last month, endured the heartbreaking loss of a close family member.
“My uncle passing away was an extremely difficult time,” said Fury, who pulled out of a July bout against Alexander Ustinov when Hughie Fury’s health initially deteriorated. “Boxing has been on the backburner recently because I was caught up in personal loss, but I’ve had to leave that in the past and focus on the future.”
Should the unsettled Fury emerge victorious against Chisora his immediate future could include a heavyweight title fight against THE RING Champion Wladimir Klitschko. Earlier this month, the legendary Ukrainian made short work of previously unbeaten Kubrat Pulev, stopping the game Bulgarian with a single left hook to the head in round five.
“I thought it was a good performance from Klitschko but Pulev wasn’t all that he was cracked up to be. If that’s the savior of the heavyweight division then we’re all in trouble because he was useless. (Pulev) held his hands up in a kickboxing stance, lacked defense and couldn’t hold a punch,” said Fury, who has been calling for a fight with Klitschko for several months.
“Wladimir, in my opinion, is vulnerable and a disaster waiting to happen. He got caught by a stiff jab in the first round and his legs went from under him. As far as I’m concerned Pulev’s arse went before the fight. He usually boxes and moves, but all he did was stand in front of Klitschko like a punch bag. He looked like a man who was saying, here’s my chin – hit me.”
Fury continued, “You don’t stick your chin out for a heavyweight who can punch. Klitschko is stuck on train tracks and doesn’t use any side to side movement whatsoever. If you give him an angle he’ll have a heart attack because he’s a forwards and backwards fighter. He looked good because Pulev’s tactics were crazy.”
Whenever Fury discusses a potential bout with Wladimir Klitschko his confidence is unyielding, however, as the conversation progressed, it became clear that his physical preparation for the Chisora rematch has been anything but perfect and that habitual self-assuredness suddenly dimmed.
“I’ve had a cold for the last couple of weeks and suffered a chest infection,” said Fury, with disappointment. “Hopefully, I’m firing on all cylinders by fight time, because I’ll need to be at my best to get a good win over Chisora. Feeling drained and run down for 12 rounds isn’t going to work when you’ve got a dangerous opponent coming after you.
“The illness has definitely affected my camp. I started training at 254 pounds, so I was only four pounds overweight, and my workouts were easy. I was on fire, but eight weeks in I caught this infection and was unable to spar or do much of anything in the gym. I’ve had two courses of antibiotics and it’s still not completely cleared, but at least I’m back sparring now.”
So Fury, coming into the Chisora rematch, has had to contend with family bereavement and also acknowledges that he has been suffering physically during camp. Despite owning a 2011 unanimous decision victory over the London based Zimbabwean, the 26 year old Fury could find himself seriously tested by a rejuvenated opponent who is desperate for revenge.
“Chisora will be training like a maniac for this one,” agreed Fury, who is 22-0 (16 knockouts). “He’s match fit and coming off four or five good fights in succession. I think we’ll see the very best of him which means I’ll have to be on my A-Game regardless. I can’t afford any slip ups at this stage of my career.
“Every fighter has a puncher’s chance in the heavyweight division. I don’t think Chisora is on my level but if a peak version of him shows up, and I’m poor, then I’m in for a very hard fight. On the other hand, if I’m feeling one hundred percent then I’ll get Dereck Chisora out of there.”
So Fury’s quest is a change of fortune, in and out of the ring, and step one is imminent. Victory over Chisora (20-4, 13 knockouts) will make Fury the WBO mandatory challenger and the fight of a lifetime could be mere months away.
Fury said, “I’ll show everyone how to beat Wladimir Klitschko. You don’t just stand there and take shots, you need to get round the sides and make him work. If Wladimir is put under pressure for three or four rounds he’ll be gassed because he’s 38 years old, with a lot of miles on the clock.
“Hopefully I take care of Dereck and then we can make this fight happen. I’m not bothered about my inactivity because it’s not like I’ve sat around and got fat for two years and just decided to make a comeback. I’ve been in the gym constantly and I’ll be okay. I still don’t believe Klitschko will fight me but hopefully he proves me wrong.”
Remaining tickets for Fury vs. Chisora 2 are available from Eventim on 0844 249 1000 or eventim.co.uk Watch live and exclusive on BoxNation Sky 437/HD 490, Virgin 546 and TalkTalk 525. Subscribe at boxnation.com.
Tom Gray is a member of the British Boxing Writers’ Association and has contributed to various publications. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing