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Grudge Match: Observations on Klitschko-Fury Press Conference

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It’s been a long time since Heavyweight boxing has featured such a fascinating and intriguing clash of behemoths as Wladimir Klitschko vs. Upon closer inspection, I noticed within the inside of the back panel, the mesh had some stitch points where the ends were melted. Tyson Fury, with the “Collision Course” scheduled to take place in October in Germany. This fight has everything a boxing fan or casual sports fan wants – a fantastic clash of physical styles and contrasting personalities, but also, most important of all, there is a major grudge between Fury and Klitschko, as was evidenced today at the first press conference in Dusseldorf, Germany. Klitschko is the long-standing super champion, unbeaten for over a decade, as dominant as anyone in boxing history, but he is also getting a bit long in the tooth at 39, having been a pro since the ’96 Olympics. Fury is the cocky upstart, just 26, unbeaten and considerably bigger than Klitschko at six-foot-nine. The theme of the day was how Fury showed zero respect for Klitschko today, but this is exactly what he has to do, if he is to dethrone Dr. Steelhammer. To beat a champion like Klitschko he has to beat him in the mind first, then the physical victory will follow. Fury insulted Klitschko to his face repeatedly, unleashing combinations of disrespect, harping on the Ukrainian being boring, utilizing a boring “jab and hold” style, putting fans to sleep, also mocking Klitschko as “old” and drawing attentions to his facial “wrinkles” and “gray hair. ” Fury also declared with conviction in his voice and body language that he was going to knock out Klitschko, and then later hire him as his therapist. On and on the verbal bashing went on for several minutes. Klitschko was powerless to stop the mudslinging. Klitschko sat there almost helpless, at times stone faced or smiling as Fury tore into him relentlessly, then he offered a big smile, an exaggerated and uncomfortable smile, perhaps to mask hurt feelings. Finally, Klitschko joked that Fury must “hate” him to be talking so badly about him, perhaps it could have been a clever ploy to provoke Fury to (please) stop the verbal punishment, as it was hurting and embarrassing him. The overall scene conjured memories of Muhammad Ali verbally beating up Joe Frazier, to the point of coming across as nasty and cruel. But all is fair and love and war and Ali had to do what he had to do to impress his superiority on Frazier. Fury is no fool, he knows what he’s doing here. But there may be some serious consequences for throwing spears at a sleeping bear. Looking at it from Klitschko’s side, he is in new territory, the David Haye drama was an educational experience, which was passed in flying colors. Klitschko ultimately won the mental warfare battle and terrified Haye to the point that Haye gave up on himself before the fight even started and boxed twelve rounds in survival mode to avoid getting knocked out. Now with Fury, it’s a little bit different, Klitschko is being challenged beyond the mind games Haye put on him. And the age factor is important, Klitschko is five years older now and at 39, the questions remain if he can summon all his powers to subdue and destroy the gigantic Fury, who is a greater threat than Haye, who as Fury pointed out, ducked two fights with Fury. We just can’t tell yet if Fury’s words and confident attitude were able to penetrate the rock solid psyche of Klitschko, but one thing I know for sure in boxing is that sometimes a fighter can actually win a fight with words and confidence, by conveying their supreme self belief which creates doubt and uncertainty in the opponent. Examples: Antonio Tarver psyched out Roy Jones in the rematch during the pre-fight hype and the famous line at the referee instructions: “Yeah I have a question, do you have any excuses tonight Roy?”  A little known example is when Oliver McCall yelled at Lennox Lewis at the final press conference of their first fight, straight to his face, “I’m gonna KNOCK YOU OUT. I’m GONNA KNOCK YOU OUT. ” Lewis was looking at him as if to be absorbing the words into his psyche, from that point on to fight night, Lewis appeared flustered by the verbal onslaught – and of course Lewis entered the ring looking not his usual composed self and was indeed knocked out in the second round with one punch. There are many other examples, for the sake of brevity I will get back to Fury vs. Klitschko. Klitschko already appears to be in outstanding physical shape, an indication that he feels threatened by Fury and is taking this fight extremely seriously. After the conference, he politely deflected Fury’s criticism and assumed the role of the superior, obligated by the duty to make Fury pay for his disrespect and teach him valuable but painful lessons which will make him a better and more complete person in the end. Klitschko, always so polished and professional in the media social spotlight, suggested Fury is a nutjob who needs to have his loose screws tightened. If Klitschko was injured slightly today by what his ears and ego had to endure, he should not feel any shame for some of his boring fights, which all the great champions have been guilty of performing during their careers, even Ali and Tyson, two of the most exciting champions in ring history had some dud fights and so has Klitschko, and of course so has Fury. That is the nature of sometimes when boxing styles, sub-par nights, combine with incredibly high stakes and pressure. At this point, I just can’t decide who is winning the mental battle, it’s very close. Stay tuned to this fight as I will be following every detail and development between these two gladiators and sharing my thoughts and observations with you. It’s going to be a very interesting journey and adventure to fight night in October…

Scoop’s new book “Muhammad Ali: Portrait Of A Champion” is available at amazon for $9. 99.

Source: ringobserver. com

The post appeared first on. Source: ringobserver. com

The post appeared first on.
Source: ringobserver. com.

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