‘THE house always wins,’ a wise man once said. ‘Unless, when that perfect hand comes along, you bet big. Then you take the house.’ Well, maybe not a wise man, but at least George Clooney said it in Ocean’s 11. Last weekend in Dusseldorf Tyson Fury and his team played their cards perfectly to snatch Wladimir Klitschko’s world titles on the champion’s home turf last Saturday (November 28).
Peter Fury, Tyson’s uncle and trainer, reflected on magnificent job well done. “Nobody can say anything,” Peter smiled with quiet satisfaction. “This guy was undefeated for 11 years. The linear champion, super champion, will go down as a Hall of Fame fighter, coming to Germany, where he’s based, where he’s having all of his career, taking the belts off him here. Tyson’s first real test on the world scene, his first world title shot and there’s absolutely nothing, no critique, anybody can say. They’ve all had to eat their words basically. They’ve got it wrong.”
There was however always faith within Tyson’s team. “We’re all very confident. We knew Tyson had the capabilities. It’s just that mental maturity. We’ve done a lot of talking about it. We’ve done a lot, four or five and a half months on this fight and it was not easy getting the tactics for Klitschko. That’s why he’s reigned so long at the top. It took a lot of studying. Not watching him – studying his fights, studying and giving Tyson the right tools to get the job done,” Peter continued.
“After about six or seven weeks, he was training, getting fit, we started talking through a few things in the gym, he couldn’t get the shots off he wanted, couldn’t get the right movements. It’s been a painstaking affair this, to get the tactics right for Klitschko. It’s taken four, five months, even to the week in [Germany], the build-up to the fight, going over it, walking in the park. ‘What are you going to do if this happens? What do you do when you come to the centre? I want you to rush to the centre. I want you to zig zag in front of him, take it to him early on, switch up, do this, do that.’”
Very few predicted Fury would get the job done. “We were all silently confident. We seen it for what it was. Take all the razzle and all the celebrity stays out of it, he’s a normal man with a pair of gloves on and we just saw it as Tyson’s sheer ability and his boxing skills would be superior on the night,” said his trainer.
Peter also emphasised it wasn’t a case of Klitschko failing to throw punches or up his workrate. Fury prevented him from doing what he wanted to do in the ring. “What you’ve got to look at is Wladimir wasn’t able to get his shots off. He was nullified and that’s not because Wladimir’s had an off-night, like brother was trying to say. It’s because of what we’ve worked on in the gym. Hundreds of rounds of sparring, don’t forget Tyson had 600 rounds plus of sparring for this fight so he’s perfected everything. I’ve had people coming at him with every kind of shot under the sun. So he’s perfected nullifying the other opponent’s work. That’s what he did last night and that’s what I was very impressed with. It wasn’t what you seeing Wladimir doing. It was what he wasn’t allowed to do,” the trainer explained.
“Boxing is not called boxing for nothing. Boxing is an art. It’s a skill, a lot of intelligence goes into it. You need all of these ingredients to be a good world champion. That’s what you’ve got to have. There’s so much skill involved you have to have and it takes absolutely years and years to develop. Tyson is an elite fighter. He’s right up there now, he’s landed.”
The new champion looked like he was having a whale of a time in the ring. Showboating, barracking Klitschko, Fury seemed to shrug off the pressure while it bore heavily on Klitschko. His trainer though couldn’t really enjoy the occasion until the fight was won. “For me complete concentration just to keep guiding him through it, to watch for certain things but at the same time he was told to get out there and enjoy it,“ Peter said. “All the tactics, his hands behind his back, doing this, doing that, his hand on the ropes, they’re all tactics employed for Klitschko, not a thing where Tyson’s playing around in there. That’s part of our strategy in that fight. He was told to do that. That worked because again it was very offputting, offsetting for Wladimir. He’s not seen it before. So basically all these things came into play and a lot more. So very, very happy with it.”
Their confidence will remain through the Klitschko rematch and beyond. “I think he’ll do similar to what Wladimir’s done at the top,” his trainer concluded. “I think he’ll wipe out everyone in the division.”