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Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Trust Anthony Joshua to revive the glory and glamour of heavyweight boxing

His Wembley fight with Wladimir Klitschko will change the whole trajectory of the sport

Gentle giant: Anthony Joshua (Photo: Getty)

Every so often comes a moment that can set the history of sport on a different trajectory. I believe we will witness such a moment on Saturday when Anthony Joshua, of Golders Green no less, fights the veteran Wladimir Klitschko for the Heavy-weight Champ-ionship of the World. At Wembley Stadium, not a Las Vegas car park. This is a battle of the ages and for the ages unblocked games77, and it is right here in London.

For those of us who were glued to barely audible radios at 3am to hear epic US fights or flogged around seedy London cinemas for a live transmission, the romance, the magic and the brutal beauty seems to have gone out of the heavyweight game. The story of Muhammad Ali, and the brilliant film of his Rumble in the Jungle, When We Were Kings, now feels like a romantic confection. But it wasn’t unblocked games 333.

Who can forget seeing the writers George Plimpton and Norman Mailer rising open-mouthed in awe, as we all did when we watched the film, when Ali dropped George Foreman in the eighth, having exhausted him in the heat of the Zaire night with his ‘rope-a-dope’ courage. It is the best sporting documentary ever made and justly won an Oscar in 1996: both Ali and Foreman went to the awards. They had long buried their differences and Foreman helped Ali on to the stage. It is a brutal sport, but a noble one.

Joshua and Klitschko, these two gentleman giants, literally, can bring it all back before 90,000 spectators and millions of viewers. Klitschko is a colossus, immensely dignified and a great ambassador for boxing. He has won 53 fights by knockout and spent an average of 15 minutes in the ring over all his fights. But he is 41: superbly fit of course, but that is one hell of an age. Joshua — AJ — is just 27, the 2012 Olympic champion, hugely courteous and respectful of Klitschko, as his opponent is to him. Joshua has fought 18 times as a pro and won 18, all by knockout, the majority in the first two rounds. His average time in the ring is just six minutes. Klitschko is the experienced one and, if he can drag the fight out, there might be doubts about the younger man’s stamina and fight-savvy. But I cannot see it getting that far.

Joshua is impossibly handsome, charismatic and charming. And polite with it, always learning about the fight game, reading about fighters, reading business books. He had a troubled youth: run-ins with the police, drugs, a bit of ABH, though anyone trying to mix with him needs certifying. Through it all has been his Nigerian mother Yeta, always overjoyed to see him at her home in north London as the line of awards on her mantelpiece grows ever longer. Joshua might just be the man to revive the romance and glamour, and the glory of biff and bash.

I think he will win on Saturday and win quickly. He will then be on course to be one of the world’s richest sportsmen, rated alongside the great British heavyweights — Frank Bruno, Henry Cooper, Lennox Lewis — and comparable to many of the world’s greatest. He impresses as a person and, as a fighter, he is getting classier and deadlier. Global greatness beckons.

More than 20 years ago Martin Amis wrote a brilliant New Yorker article bemoaning calls for more tennis ‘personalities’. For personalities, he said, read ‘assholes’. The perfect example then was Ilie Nastase, and here he is again at the Fed Cup shambles, vilely abusing Britain’s women players. Arthur Ashe recalled Nastase called him ‘negroni’ to his face and ‘nigger’ behind his back. The much-married Romanian is a ghastly man, who liked to pitch up in the royal box at Wimbledon in some insane Ruritanian general’s uniform, plus medals. Ho-ho, what a character.

Though he did have one good joke: when asked by police why he did not report the theft of his wife’s credit card, he said: ‘Because the thief is spending much less than she does.’

Friday, 10 June 2016

Wladimir Klitschko “I know the game, and I know how to last long.”

April 25th, 2015 will mark the return of Wladimir Klitschko(63-3, 53KO’s) to an American ring for the first time in over seven years, when he defends his WBA Super, WBO, IBF and IBO heavyweight titles against Bryant Jennings(18-0, 10KO’s) at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

In every measurable way, there is a vast disparity in experience between champ and challenger, with the former having had three times as many knockouts to his name as Jennings has had fights. Despite this Wladimir refused to say anything detrimental about his upcoming opponent and actually complimented Jennings to the media members who crowded around him with tape-recorders outstretched.
“I have great respect for this guy because of the way he carries himself in the public and, in general. He is respectful, he wants to become the champion, he has the desire, he has a lot of energy, very energetic and athletic, I see how he moves.”

Wlad must be so used to insults flying at him at this stage in his career. Even before he had Shannon Briggs chasing him around the globe in the hope of talking his way into a title shot, David Haye was making t-shirts with his and his brother’s decapitated heads on the front in an effort towards the same end. He seemed relieved to be preparing for a fight where he is able to bypass all of the shenanigans that often accompany a big fight like this.

A reporter nearby then pointed out how relaxed Wlad seemed to be in contrast with the conservative demeanour he displayed in preparation for his last fight in the States, which the big man seemed to misconstrue as a comment regarding his fighting style. His reply sought to justify his in-ring tactics.

“I cannot make the fight; I need somebody to make this fight exciting. If somebody gets in and wants to fight, it’s exciting. If somebody gets in and doesn’t want to get knocked out, it’s very difficult to catch this guy, so you have to chase him, and while you chase him you cannot get hit because otherwise you’re gonna lose the fight. There have been different fights that I’ve had in the past twenty-five years of my career and I do have different qualities; of boxing and punching, and if it’s needed clinching, and if it’s needed not to clinch. It doesn’t matter. So I know the game, and I know how to last long.”

It is as if Wlad is pre-empting any criticism he will likely receive if this turns out to be a boring fight. He is imploring Jennings to make a go of the opportunity he has earned for himself and not shell up in a futile attempt to go the distance. Wlad gets most guys out of there regardless of what approach they choose to employ, so Jennings may as well roll the dice and make it an entertaining fight for the fans, and you never know, he could just shock the world. It’s unlikely, but if Jennings did manage to pull out the win it would dwarf James ‘Buster’ Douglas’s win over the undefeated Mike Tyson in terms of significance, such is the aura the champion has built around himself since his last loss over a decade ago.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko to run for president of Ukraine

Heavyweight boxing champion Vitali Klitschko announced his intention to run for president of Ukraine in 2015.

The older brother of fellow heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko declared his candidacy in front of the Ukrainian parliament during a speech Thursday.

Klitschko hasn't fought since defending his WBC belt against Manuel Charr in 2012. He was scheduled to make a mandatory title defense against Bermane Stiverne last month but pulled out, saying he had a right hand injury.

The three-time world titleholder seems more interested in politics these days. He has emerged as a top Ukrainian opposition leader since being elected to parliament last fall as the head of Udar, a pro-Western party he helped form in 2010.
Klitschko has campaigned against what he calls authoritarian moves by President Viktor Yanukovych and has been long expected to enter the presidential race.

"We want to build democracy in Ukraine," Klitschko told before the Charr fight. "In Ukraine, you can buy everyone. You can buy every position, every judge, you buy every court decision. The biggest enemy to democracy is that there are no clear rules and so much corruption. Ukrainian politics is simple business and we have to change that.

"It's painful to say that Ukraine is the most corrupt country in world and we need to change that. We are for more democracy [and] freedom of speech."

Pro-government forces are trying to pass a bill preventing Klitschko from running because of his permanent residency status in Germany. Klitschko said he “will not be frightened or stopped by this.”

Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko will meet in rematch after Brit's stunning win

Fallen champion Klitschko confirms he will exercise rematch clause in his contract

Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko will do it all again after the fallen champion confirmed his intention to exercise the rematch clause in their fight contract.
The details are still to be determined in terms of dates or location - but the Ukrainian is determined avenge his first defeat in 11 years.
Fury, too, insisted he would welcome a second fight - adding that he’d be willing to return to Germany to defend his heavyweight world titles.
Following the Wilmslow fighter’s shock unanimous points win on Saturday night, Klitschko’s camp were quick to confirm Fury’s obligation to put the belts back on the line.
“We have a rematch clause in the contract,” said the 39-year-old’s manager Bernd Bonte.
Klitschko added: “Where, how, when? Let’s wait and you will definitely get to know.”
Asked if he would take the rematch, he said: “I have it in my contract, yes.
“A defeat is a learning process. It’s too early to say what I have learned. It needs to be digested and whirled around.
“I got defeated today, I lost the battle, but we didn’t lose the fighter. The fighter is still in there.”
Fury, who silenced his doubters with the performance of his career in Dusseldorf’s Esprit Arena, is adamant he would prevail again.

“I’m a fighter, so I will take on all challengers,” said the undefeated 27-year-old. “I want to be a great champion. I’d like to do it all again.
“I came here and took the world titles so whatever happens next is a blessing.”

Fury’s trainer and uncle Peter believes the new champion could win in even more convincing fashion when they face each other for a second time.
“There’s a lot more Tyson can give and there’s a lot more Wladimir can give,” he said. “But I do believe the outcome would be similar or the same.

(AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Tyson Fury with the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts after winning the world heavyweight title
“Because I think it’s Tyson’s time. Tyson can raise his game a lot more.
“We’ve got to accept this was his first world title, big challenge. This was his first big, big test.
“Now he’s come through that test can you imagine how much more relaxed he’s going to be?
“You’re seeing a future heavyweight sensation.

“Now he’s on top of the hill you will see the confidence in his boxing and ability.
“We are looking forward to the rematch because I want Tyson to be a proper champion.
“We’ve proved we’ve come here to fight - in their own back yard - with all the concessions.
“If we’ve got to come here again, we will. We are looking forward to it.”

Klitschko v Fury rematch: Venue and date under consideration revealed

Heavyweight rivals are in negotiations over a rematch in the UK or Germany

Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson Fury
Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson Fury
Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko are considering the Manchester Arena on June 4 for their much-anticipated rematch.
Klitschko has already confirmed that he will activate the rematch clause that was inserted in the contract for their first fight in November.
Fury won by unanimous decision in Dusseldorf to be crowned WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion.
But he has since had to vacate the IBF belt to fulfil his commitment to Klitschko.
Negotiations are still taking place - with venues in the UK and Germany under consideration.
But the Arena has emerged as one of the front-runners to stage the fight.
It would be remarkable if Fury’s camp lured Klitschko away from Germany, with the Ukrainian fighting the large majority of his 68 professional bouts in his adopted homeland.
Tyson and Paris Fury
Money will be a determining factor - with Fury himself willing to fight in Germany again if it makes financial sense.
Fury’s camp had initially talked up the possibility of fighting at Wembley or Old Trafford - but it is unlikely there would be sufficient demand to sell out either of those stadiums.
A 20,000 sell-out of the Arena is far more doable - particularly in front of Fury’s home-town fans.
The biggest threat to the fight being staged on these shores is the potential to fill a bigger venue in Germany, where Klitschko remains one of the most popular sporting figures in the country.

Wladimir Klitschko v Tyson Fury RECAP: Fury stuns Klitschko to win world title

Tyson Fury stuns the world by beating Wladimir Klitschko to claim heavyweight title at the Esprit Arena in Dusseldorf

Good night

That’s the end of our live coverage of tonight’s sensational fight - but we’ll have plenty of reaction to a stunning win for Tyson Fury

Fury on re-match

I’m a fighter so I will take on all challengers be a great champion. I’d like to do it all again .

Re-match clause

Bernd Bonte: We have a rematch clause in the contract.

Klitschko's trainer Johnathon Banks

I thought Tyson put on a well-deserved performance. It was a well-deserved victory. Clearly the fight didn’t go as Wlad and I planned.
You’ve got to have a winner and loser. Tyson did a good job, he won, but I do believe Wladimir Klitschko will be back.

Tyson Fury's trainer Peter Fury

We had a good look at Wladimir. Boxing is an art, it’s not about landing one big shot. It’s about angles, movement, getting the distance. If you can’t hit it, you can’t beat it. We worked on all of these things.
Inside me and Tyson were very confident we would get this victory over such a great champion.

Tyson Fury

He put up a really good fight. I found him quite awkaward to land clean on. He caught me with some good shots. Tonight wasn’t his night, it was my night.
If I could be half as a good a champion as Wladimir Klitschk, I’d be very, very happy.

Reaction from Klitschko

Today was a good night, not a good night from me. I wish there were more clean shots I couldn’t find the right distance. Tyson quuick with his body and head movement I couldn’t land the right shots.
Congratulations. To be continued

A classy touch from the former champ

Your new heavyweight world champion

James Robson's fight report

In the middle of Wladimir Klitschko’s adopted land, Tyson Fury ended the Ukrainian’s nine-year rule as heavyweight king.
The challenger from Wilmslow promised to leave Dusseldorf with the world title and he was as good as his word.
For all of his confidence the undefeated 27-year-old struggled to convince a sceptical public.
His big mouth would finally be shut by his 39-year-old rival.
But Fury wrote his name into boxing folklore and well and truly silenced his doubters with a performance that lived up to his promise.
He took the fight to Klitschko, just as he’d vowed.
Taunting his opponent with his antics in the ring, he also frustrated him, keeping the champion at a distance with jab.
Klitschko couldn’t get close to Fury - couldn’t dominate with his own jab and couldn’t land the big shots he was desperate to connect with.
As the fight wore on, the greatest danger to Fury was that he’d lose his concentration - at one point putting both hand his back and goading Klitschko.
A point deduction in the 11th even left Fury doubting himself - and it showed as he went for the finish in the last.
What followed was a late, scrappy brawl - but Fury needn’t have worried.
Brits have ended up on the wrong end of judges’ scorecards in Germany before - but this would have been a travesty.
All three judges saw him as a resounding winner, scoring the fight 115-112, 115-112, 116-111.
It accurately reflected his dominance.
“It’s hard to come to a foreign country and get a decision,” said Fury. “With that point deduction I thought I wasn’t going to get it.
“This is a dream come true. We’ve worked so hard for this.”

Fury: I thought I'd lost it with the point deduction

This is a dream come true. We’ve worked so hard for this. It’s hard to come to a foreign country and get a decision. With that point deduction I thought I wasn’t going to get it.

I’ve said some stupid things, You’re a great champion.

Tyson Fury

Tyson Fury is the new heavyweight world champion

Tyson Fury is the heavyweight champion of the world. Here are the scorecards:

Round 12

A thrilling a finish. Both fighters going for it. Klitschko because he knows he’s in trouble - Fury because he fears being on the wrong end of a decision in Germany.
A fantastic performance from Fury - full of guts and skill.
I think he’s done enough - but it’s all down to the judges.

Round 11

Fury started to look a little loose with his punches in that round. His trainer Peter Fury has told him not to leave it to the judges - but he doesn’t want to waste all the good work he’s put in so far.
Fury had a point taken off him in that round. Could that be telling?

Round 10

After the thrills of the ninth, a more subdued affair in the 10th.
Fury still giving it to Klitschko though - walking into him as the champion for his stool.
Big finish awaits

Round 9

Biggest cheer of the night as Klitschko landed his best shot so far, with a straight right.
But Fury came straight back, catching the champion with a left hook as he tried to walk away. Hearts were in mouths all around the arena.

Round 8

Just wonder if there are signs of Fury tiring now. For me he’s had the best of it so far - but will Wlad’s experience and conditioning tell in these later rounds?

Round 7

A scrappy round. Fury still very confident, but it’s not to pull stunts like putting his arms behind his back

Round 6

Fury has to feel good about what’s happening. He’s keeping Klitschko at a distance, which is what most thought would cause the greatest difficulty the champion. But who knows how the judges are calling it?

Round 5

The referee Tony Weeks is doing a good job controlling this one. He’s quick to break every time they hold.
As the bell went on the fifth Fury tried to rile Klitschko - taunting the Ukrainian as he went back to his corner.

Round four

The crowd in here are chanting ‘Klitschko, Klitschko.’ They know their man needs lifting.
But the champion will feel there are opportunities to get through Fury.
On a couple of occasions the Brit has let fly - leaving himself open.
If Klitschko times one right, he could be in trouble.

Round 3

Some fun and games from Fury. Briefly switched to southpaw, but needs to stay focussed.
Threw a punch late in the round that left him unbalanced and could have been costly.

Round 2

Fury went for the big right again. He clearly thinks he can rattle Klitschko early.
Got off a good shot to the body as well.
Very confident start.

Round 1

Fury tried to land a big right and wasn’t far from connecting. But he’s also be caught by Klitschko’s jab a few times.
Only round one, but feels like both have come to make a show of it.
Fury promised it would be explosive.
But it’s a bit early for him to start with the showmanship and arm spinning.

The champion enters the ring

The arena shook as Klitschko entered the ring

Got to say Fury looked confident and at ease on his way into the ring - just as he has all week.
Klitschko, though, looks equally at ease.
The atmosphere could prove telling. The roar that greeted the champion’s entrance shook the building.

Joe Gallagher on how the fight will go

If Tyson Fury hits Wladimir Klitschko, he’ll finish him.
Both men can go down. We’ve seen it before.
But Tyson has always got up. The question is whether Klitschko can recover if his challenger manages connect.
In Tyson he’s coming up against something he’s never faced before.
If you’re Wladimir Klitschko, how do you prepare for someone like Fury?
Is he coming out southpaw, is he going to do the lean back?
You don’t know what he’s going to do.
Fury’s variety of shots could be the key to doing Klitschko.

If Rod wasn't to your taste, what about this?

Wlad on his ego

I think that’s the core of any successful person - ego. We could talk about it negatively as someone being egotistical, like fear and fear is also negative. But fear is also healthy because fear makes you alert, aware, punctual, being in the right place in the right time. It makes you fast, it makes you alive.
So I wouldn’t say to put ego in a negative box, I think it’s controlled ego, it’s big and that’s probably the core of your motivation.

Rod wasn't to everyone's taste

Fury on Wlad's chin

Chins don’t get any better. They just get worse. Let’s face it, when Wladimir is tagged on the chin, he wobbles all over and he goes down.
Let’s make no mistakes, he’s almost made his chin like the City of Troy with the high walls. But even Troy was breached with a bit of brains, wasn’t it?
I’m the Trojan Horse for him, most definitely.

Rod Stewart is in the ring, wearing a garish gold jacket. Might not be the last song of the night if Fury wins

Bruno: Don't underestimate Fury

I’ve been studying him for a long time. He’s very good. He’s better than a lot of people give him credit for.
He’s a very good fighter - he’s intelligent.
Don’t underestimate him - he fancies the job.
Klitschko has boxed a lot of boxers who are beaten before they get into the ring. But he fancies his chances.
He could be Britain’s the first undisputed champion since Lennox Lewis.

Fury: If I can't beat Wlad, I'm a fraud

Tale of tape

Wladimir Klitschko

Country: Ukraine
Ring name: Dr Steelhammer
Age: 39
Titles: IBF, WBO, WBA, IBO heavyweight champion
Record: 64 wins (53 knockouts), 3 losses
Stance: Orthodox
Height: 6ft 6½ in
Weight: 17st 7 lb
Neck: 19in
Chest: 48in
Waist: 34in
Biceps: 18in

Tyson Fury
Country: Britain
Age: 27
Record: 24 wins (18 knockouts) 0 losses
Titles: Former British, European, Commonwealth, English and Irish champion
Stance: Orthodox or southpaw
Height: 6ft 7in
Weight: 17st 8lb
Neck: 20 in
Chest: 50
Waist: 38

Can Fury succeed where Haye failed?

James Robson on Klitschko

For all the talk of his age, Wladimir Klitschko’s demeanour is not of a man who is ready to walk away any time soon.
Watching him in the ring during his public workout, he was the vision of a supreme athlete.
At 39 years old it’s easy to get sucked into the narrative that the younger man will have edge.
But the phrase ‘age is only a number’ was never more apt than in Klitschko’s case.
He has dominated heavyweight boxing for the best part of decade for good reason – because he’s simply the best.
The quality of the opposition during his era is valid point of debate. But you can only beat what’s out there – and Klitschko has done that.
He overwhelmed David Haye – the man who was supposed to stop him in his tracks.
Now, at the dawn of a new era of heavyweights, Fury leads the charge of challengers to his throne.
Behind the Brit – Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua.
Should Klitschko dispatch of Fury, clashes with the other two rising stars of the division will surely follow.
Speaking to him at his hotel on Thursday, he did not come across as a man who is ready to step aside yet.

Poll: How will the fight go?

How do you think the fight will go?

Rod Stewart is in the house

Which Tyson Fury will show up?

One of the biggest concerns for Klitschko will be the unpredictability of his challenger.
Will Fury box southpaw or orthodox? Will he use his jab or turn it into a brawl?
And - will he turn up as Batman.
This gallery gives you an idea of what Klitschko is up against

A message from the Hitman

Fury's first trainer, so proud of his protege

Tyson Fury (right) with former amateur coach Steve Egan
Tyson Fury’s first amateur trainer has come out to Germany to see his former protégé fulfill the prophecy he made the very first time he laid eyes on him.
Steve Egan from Jimmy Egan’s Boxing Academy predicted Fury would rule heavyweight boxing before ever even seeing him in a fight.
He said: “It was 2002 and the first day he walked into the gym I said to my dad after watching him for a minute, ‘He’s going to be heavyweight champion of the world.’
“My dad said, ‘You’re joking.’ But I just saw something in him.”
With Egan, Fury won the ABA finals and his first pro belt, the English title.
Now his one-time mentor believes he’s ready to take Wladimir Klitschko’s belt.
“I’m confident,” he said. “I think he’s done Wladimir’s head. I think he’s angry and that plays into Tyson’s hands.”

Lennox Lewis on Fury's chances

Lewis told The Ring magazine:
Klitschko and Fury is interesting because this will be the first time that Wladimir has boxed a dangerous opponent who is equal in size.
Tyson Fury can reach Klitschko with the jab and none of the smaller guys have been able to do that. When I boxed taller fighters, I’d let my jab go and catch one back and it’s a shock. You have to adjust, and that’s why this won’t be an easy fight for Wladimir early. He’ll have to adjust to the size and rhythm of Fury.

Five reasons why Tyson Fury WILL win tonight

A word from Billy Graham

Fury seems at peace

What’s been notable this week is just how relaxed Tyson Fury has been.
There is no other sport that compares to boxing when it comes to bravado – but in the challenger’s case it looks genuine.
I’ve been covering Fury since he first turned pro and I cannot think of a time when he looked so at ease with himself.
He has enjoyed this week.
In his mind this is his destiny – and rather than being overawed by the occasion, it has instilled a calmness within him.
It was evident on Wednesday during his public workout.
Before stepping into the ring he was happy to engage with assembled media – moving from one microphone to the next, answering everything put to him with disarming charm.
This wasn’t the Fury who flipped a table during one press conference Dereck Chisora and launched into an expletive-laden rant at another.
This was a man who believes his time has come and is enjoying every moment of it.

Fury's message to Klitschko


Freddie to the rescue (thankfully he wasn't required)

But can he beat Klitschko?

Good evening from Dusseldorf

I’m in place at the Esprit Arena in Dusseldorf for Wladimir Klitschko’s heavyweight world title clash with Tyson Fury.
The good news is that after some late drama today over the ring canvas, the fight is ON.
It was an unwanted distraction for Fury ahead of the biggest fight of his life - but perhaps it also pointed to Klitschko’s respect for his rival.
An overly spongy canvas might have had an impact on Fury’s ability to move his feet so quickly - and perhaps that is an area of his game that concerns the champion.
Either way, it was an important victory for Fury’s team who were clearly incensed by the whole episode.

Tyson Fury wins title, stuns Wladimir Klitschko in first loss since 2004

For the first time since 2004, Wladimir Klitschko has suffered a loss. Tyson Fury claimed the WBA, IBF, IBO and WBA heavyweight championship belts with a unanimous decision (115-112, 115-112, 116-111) over Klitschko in Dusseldorf, Germany on Saturday.

The fight lacked action for the first 10 rounds, with Fury accumulating points with more activity than a lethargic Klitschko. The 6-foot-9 Fury seemed to frustrate Klitschko, who was tentative from the start and rarely threw punches, landing even fewer.

Fury switched up looks on Klitschko, going from conventional to southpaw and used head movement to keep Wladimir from letting his hands go. It seemed as though Klitschko was looking for the chance for one big punch to end the fight, but never found that opportunity.

Instead, he waited until the last two rounds to let his hands go and was unable to land anything with enough substance to stop the fight. He refused to work inside, instead just clinching and leaning on Fury rather than trying to work the body.

For Klitschko, the loss brings about plenty of questions about his future. There have been plenty of whispers about his decline for a few years and in this fight he looked generally disinterested in letting his hands go and really grinding it out with the bigger Fury.

A rematch is certainly in play -- Wladimir's team confirmed after the fight that he does have a rematch clause -- but Klitschko's retirement appears to be coming sooner than later.

If this is the final fight for Klitschko, it was a phenomenal run as a champion.

After losing to Lamon Brewster in 2004, Klitschko came back in 2005 to win the NABF and WBO NABO titles, before picking up the IBF and vacant IBO titles in a win over Chris Byrd. He beat Sultan Ibragimov in 2007 to add the WBO heavyweight title to his collection, and finally tacked on the WBA title in 2011 with a win over David Haye.

In total, Klitschko won 22 consecutive bouts from 2005 to 2015 and defended the heavyweight title 18 times in a row before relinquishing the belts on Saturday to Fury.

Father time remains undefeated, and if a fighter hangs around too long, it eventually catches up with him. On Saturday, that appeared to be the case with a weary Klitschko that got outworked by Fury.

The biggest surprise of the fight was that the referees in Germany saw the fight the same way as the viewers and announcers.

As for the most entertaining part of the bout? That would be, quite easily, Tyson Fury serenading his wife in the ring after the fight.

Fury is quite the character and said plenty of crazy things leading up to the fight -- including calling Klitschko a "devil-worshiper" -- and no matter what you say about his style or skill, he's going to be a much more entertaining heavyweight champion thank Klitschko was, for however long his reign lasts.
LSU is looking for a bounce back game against the Rebels on Saturday. (Getty Images)
Tyson Fury did enough to claim the heavyweight belts from Wladimir Klitschko on Saturday. (Getty Images)

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