Saturday, September 23, 2023  |



Banks predicts Fury-ous stoppage by Klitschko

Fighters Network

Photo credit: Joern Pollex/Bongarts/Getty Images


Team Klitschko is in Dusseldorf, counting down the days. Soon it’ll be hours and, word is, big Wladimir is 100 percent physically and mentally. But there’s just one problem: According to trainer Johnathon Banks, now in his third year as chief second to Wlad, after mentor Emauel Steward passed away (Oct. 25, 2012).

“The only problem is, Wladimir can’t wait for Saturday,” the 33-year-old Banks told me. “And actually, it’s not a problem…”

Of problems…I do believe there could be a concussive one for Tyson Fury. Wlad (64-3, 53 knockouts), turning 40 in March, has seen it all, been in with every sort of fighter and, really, what can be thrown at him that he hasn’t seen? Banks asked me, rhetorically.

They had tall guys in their camp, in Dusseldorf and then Austria for four weeks. Wlad has been in with guys his eye level, like Tony Thompson, Ray Austin, Mariusz Wach. It won’t throw him, the trainer said.

“Camp was great and camp is camp. Wlad is a joy to be around…He’s a workhorse. I got to work to pull him out of the gym!”

And yes, he’s all good, bodily. He had to punt this bout down the road, after pulling an ab muscle, but no worries now. The trainer chuckled and said he’d be cuckoo to tell me if there were any woes but said he would, anyway…and besides, the boxer is all good.

Mentally, Wlad is dialed in. He’s not let Fury’s occasional tomfoolery affect him at all; he stays measured, Banks said, and isn’t getting out of a collected space, where he is looking to punish the Traveller.

We could see some more thunder than in his last fight, a win against Bryant Jennings, Banks theorizes. Not because Wlad is thinking about his 27-year-old foe differently but because it will be “two giants colliding in the middle of the ring.” He thinks of it like this: Like little brother has gotten his man strength and now he wants to take over, be the boss. The family, in this case, is the heavyweight division. Fury (24-0, 18 KOs) wants to bust up the Klitschko reign and rule it.

“I think it will be a harder fight, tougher than the Jennings fight,” Banks told me. “Fury’s coming to take the title; that’ll be the difference.”

I am feeling like we could be seeing a drop-and-stop, that Fury could be seeing flying Tweety birds overhead. Does Banks? “I agree,” he said. “That’s the only sort of win I’m looking for! I was taught by Emanuel, the man who loved knockouts!”


You could see Tweet-y birds overhead too if you follow Michael Woods on the Twitter. And you don’t even have to be rendered unconscious.