November 10, 2015
November 10, 2015
Wladimir Klitschko-Tyson Fury

Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

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“YOU never know what is going to happen in a fight.”

Wladimir Klitschko has a point. Tyson Fury, the heavyweight champion’s November 28 challenger, has volubly declared he’ll either leave the Espirit Arena in Dusseldorf with his hand raised in victory or carried out on his back. But Klitschko, the cerebral division ruler, is keeping an open mind.

Given his lengthy championship reign, Klitschko can adopt the role of elder statesman to Tyson’s impertinent challenger. “Relying on my quarter of a century of experience,” he mused, “you never know what is going to happen in a fight. I’ve seen guys that promised to deliver a lot and haven’t delivered, I’ve seen guys quiet as could be but very dangerous in the ring and the opposite so you never know until you see the person in the ring and actually fight. Everyone has a plan and a big mouth until they get hit, then the plan changes and everything else. I definitely look forward to this challenge, it’s going to be challenging for me. But I’m expecting one of the toughest as I do before every fight and taking it as my big fight. How that’s going to go? Let’s be patient and let’s see.”

Fury is not the first brash Englishman he has faced. David Haye famously riled the Klitschko brothers only for Wladimir to comprehensively outscore him in the bout. “It’s different. David Haye was interesting with his promotional ideas, how he wanted to be and what he wanted to do. I think they’ve all done a good job in different ways,” the champion insisted.

Klitschko has been around to see, if not all of it before, at least most of it before. “It’s pretty much the same behavior but in different ways,” he said of Fury and Haye. Wladimir was an observer of Haye’s press conference brawl with Dereck Chisora. Comparing that to Tyson’s appearance as Batman, he said, “I think more embarrassing is probably two British fighters getting in a fight, walking around saying, ‘I’m going to kill him.’ I think that’s embarrassing.”

“I hope there are going to be no excuses,” he added, though he doubts Fury carries the firepower he needs. “He’s trying to improve his punching power and either you have it or you don’t. You can’t learn suddenly.”

Klitschko warmed to the theme, “He never stepped up. He never had competition from guys that had the same size as me. He always had someone that was small [or] not skilled and experienced. So it’s going to be interesting, challenging for me but it’s going to be really challenging for Tyson Fury.”

“Welcome to big time boxing,” Wladimir warned. “It’s a different proposition.”