Sunday, February 05, 2023  |


Klitschko rep says showdown with Fury a possibility after Jennings

Tyson Fury lands a jab en route to his eight-round stoppage of Christian Hammer on Feb. 28 in London. Photo by Richard Heathcote / Getty Images

Tyson Fury lands a jab en route to his eight-round stoppage of Christian Hammer on Feb. 28 in London. Photo by Richard Heathcote / Getty Images

Sometimes “stay busy” fights can turn from foregone conclusion to the things of nightmares, such as watching a fat payday circle down the drain when a rust-shedder turns into a screw-up for the ages in the blink of an eye.

That wasn’t the case on Saturday, when Tyson Fury, the long, tall and charismatic heavyweight from Manchester, England, got it done and got himself a ‘W’ against Christian Hammer in London.

Fury, 26, is an undefeated contender with an unfiltered persona which oozes an aura of loose cannon, but also a vibrancy which indicates he seriously digs what he does. THE RING’s No. 3-rated heavyweight is in line to get a most meaningful fight, whether it be against a Wladimir Klitschko, the acknowledged king of the division, or young gun and potential heir to the XL throne, Deontay Wilder.

It is undeniable that the 6-foot-9 Fury (24-0, 18 knockouts) has the best name in the division, and with his decent arsenal of skills, and ability to conjure buzz with pronouncements and behavior tailor-made for the social media age, he is on the short list of fighters who combine skills, and a perception that they can pay the bills (i.e. are marketable.)

Against the Romanian Hammer, we saw Fury move, work off the back foot, slide left, pop a jab, look relaxed, like he was getting some rounds in, early. Hammer is a basic sort, a come forward type, nothing in his skill-set to wow you, or worry you unduly if you’re Fury. Fury, who boasts Irish roots, actually switched to lefty for long stretches, and basically, the mood was a relaxed one, with the Brit never acting like he sensed he was in danger. He sent Hammer to the mat, off a right hook, in round five. He stalked, looked to put together some shots to finish off the German, but the bell rang to save Hammer from a TKO fate. That came later; the Hammer corner said no mas after eight rounds, telling the officials that continuing would be a fools errand.

All in all, a decent outing against a C-level talent.

That was my take, anyway; I put the question to Bernd Bonte, the CEO of Klitschko Management Group, what did he think of Fury’s showing?

“I saw the fight,” said Bonte, who is counting down to the April 25 Madison Square Garden tussle between Wladimir and Philly contender Bryant Jennings, which will screen on HBO. “Fury did not impress me against a second or third level opponent.”

Got it; and if and when the 63-3 RING champ beats Jennings, you figure on putting together a Klitschko-Fury fight next?

“First Wladimir has to win the fight versus Jennings in New York, then that fight is a possibility. But all these thoughts are premature because Wladimir knows Jennings is a tough opponent and he can’t underestimate him.”

I didn’t ask Bonte to assess Fury’s post-fight stab at Elvis Presley. I give him points for trying, I guess, but man, would Simon Cowell savage him.

“I want Klitschko next,” he said, vociferously, but kind of pitch-y, to chuckles from the crowd in London at the O2.

For the record, I contacted Wilders’ trainer/co-manager Jay Deas, to see if the Bronze Bomber checked out the Fury outing. Deontay didn’t tune in, he told me.

“We hope to be back in June,” he did state. No hints at who could be in the mix for the first defense of the WBC title he won off Bermane Stiverne on Jan. 17. readers, what say you? Does Fury rate a crack at Klitschko if (as the smart money is saying) the heavyweight champ is the first to beat the 19-0 Jennings?



Follow Michael Woods on Twitter if you like. The ex ESPN NY blogger has been the editor of since 2007.