Thursday, June 01, 2023  |


Tyson Fury won the battle, Father Time won the war

Fighters Network
DUESSELDORF, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 28: Tyson Fury in action with Wladimir Klitschko during their IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO World Heavyweight Championship title fight at Esprit-Arena on November 28, 2015 in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Lars Baron/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Photo by Lars Baron – Bongarts/Getty Images

I am cognizant of the commonplace reaction among us fight fans, to not give proper credit to a winner, and instead focus on what the loser didn’t do.

So I must make sure to give proper credit to Tyson Fury for what he did do over 12 rounds in Dusseldorf on Saturday night. He left the arena after hearing some marvelous math, the judges (Raul Caiz Sr., Ramon Cerdan, Cesar Ramos, they all deserve credit for getting it right) saying he won 115-112, 115-112, 116-111. The gap of the margin might have been larger, and would have been if not for a point taken from the horrible crooning Traveller in Round 11.

But, apologies to the loads of Fury fans, the story of this fight was that Wladimir looked every minute of his 39-plus years, and then some.

Wlad had zero spark for the vast majority of the match, and his punch output was sub-pathetic. He was that aging gunfighter who surely saw the opening, but whose reflexes were shot, and left him unable to pull the trigger. Sure, Fury did some functional things. But Wlad just … didn’t … couldn’t … punch.

Fury rises to 25-0 and really should dedicate his next selection on karaoke night to Father Time, who did a number on Klitschko.

Before the bout, I asked Max Kellerman what might happen. “Most likely what usually happens,” the HBO analyst told me. “But everyone gets old sometime.”

Indeed; “sometimes” was last night, in Germany.

Fury insisted in the lead-up this would happen and really, no one but a tiny pocket of believers and anti-Klitschko sorts thought him a live dog.

Fury was billed as the “tallest opponent of Wladimir’s career,” but that’s just not so. It was that merciless process that gets us all, no ifs or buts … Father Time wrecked Wlad’s chances before he stepped into that ring … and Fury did enough to not screw up the script fate had written.

The numbers do a good job at telling the story: Wlad landed 52 punches over 12 rounds, a sub-meager amount. He threw a less-than-anemic 231 punches over all, and Fury went 86-371, also dreadful numbers.

Wlad knew what he had to do, his brain sent signals to perform the necessary actions … but his body rebelled. Out of order, the bodily vessel was. So, let’s keep this fight in proper perspective, shall we. Tyson Fury showed himself to be a competent heavyweight … while Father Time showed himself to be, still, unconquerable.


The no-longer-reigning champ will indeed soldier on, we are told.

Team Klitschko top executive Bernd Bonte declared the pugilist/specialist is not going to exit the stage.

Bernd, will Wlad fight on? If yes, is the aim to do an immediate rematch?

“Yes he will, and we have a rematch clause,” Bonte told me.

Fury has said the same and that the re-do would be in Germany.