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Tyson Fury – Weight loss the key to a world title?

By James Tooze: Since the first fight of Tyson Fury’s career we have been hearing about the next big thing in Heavyweight boxing, who will eventually inherit the position at the top of the division that has for so long been monopolized by the Klitschko brothers. However, the reality has been that throughout Fury’s career, the hype has massively outweighed the performances.

He has looked consistently out of shape, displayed slow hands and feet, been on the floor against very average opposition, and has even almost knocked himself out. Fans of Fury’s will argue that he showed his pedigree by beating Dereck Chisora for the British Title, although the reality of was that it was a poor fight, and Chisora came in to that bout in tremendously poor condition. The upshot of that was to vacate the newly won title on account of not wanting to fight David Price. All of the above points towards someone with limited ability, who is never really going to have the weapons to make an impact on the world stage.

Fast forward a few months. Photos are released of Fury looking what can only be described as skinny before the Maddalone fight. This started to make people wonder if this loud-mouthed, average at best fighter is finally going to get knocked out. Fury looked like he had been starving himself, and like a stiff breeze would be able to knock him off his feet. This, coupled with the fact that he had put in so many sub-standard performances in the past led his detractors (of which I was one) to doubt whether he could come through the Maddalone fight.

However, on the contrary, Fury put in a quite stunning performance to completely dominate Maddalone, and eventually force the referee to stop the fight. His foot work was fast, bringing him in and out of range before Maddalone could get a shot off. He displayed great hand speed for a heavy weight, throwing impressive combinations; there are not many heavyweights actually able to carry the skill of combination punching off. He also displayed that if he continues to work in the gym the way he has been, and keeps the weight off, that he could have some real power to go with that speed.

People will say that Maddalone was only a third tier fighter, and that Fury cannot be judged until he has been properly tested against stronger opposition. I agree with this, however the speed and combination punching he displayed in that fight also cannot be ignored. The new fitness regime looks to be paying dividends, and with a couple of stiffer tests to come over the next few months, I am sure Fury will be challenging for a world title in 2013, and may just surprise a few people.



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