The year that was for Tyson Fury
By Matt H: The stoppage defeat of Derek Chisora meant that Tyson Fury ends the year as British Heavyweight Champion, European Heavyweight Champion and more importantly mandatory challenger for Wladimir Klitschko’s WBO World Title.
Fury ended the year in a good place, unexpectedly since the year started in annoying fashion, with another cancellation against David Haye. This had an affect on Fury threatening retirement and he clearly showed his frustration in a number of interviews.
Despite the Haye saga at the back end of 2013 Fury did climb back into the ring in February to face Joey Abell. Abell was not particularly able and did not prove much of a challenge for the out of shape Fury who stopped him in 4 rounds. Tyson Fury’s performance and physical condition in the Abell fight did not show anything to warrant much of a fuss, and did not put down much of a marker to the rest of the heavyweight division.
Fury then suffered a recurrence of his frustrations with Haye as Chisora pulled out of their rematch in July with a hand injury. Again Tyson Fury’s frustrations boiled over at the cancellation, resulting in charges and a fine. As a late replacement for Chisora, Alexander Ustinov was drafted in, however, due to family issues Fury withdrew from the fight. At this point it was difficult to see which way Fury would go.
Fortunately for Fury he seemed to find a renewed motivation and work ethic which saw him finally enter the ring again with Chisora in November of 2014. Fury entered the ring in far better shape and more importantly looked extremely calm and relaxed. The fight then took care of itself as Fury predicted easing to a 10th round stoppage victory over Chisora, using his superior size, technique and skills. Fury even switching to southpaw from the second round bamboozling an out of sorts Chisora. In stopping Chisora Fury did something that he did not manage in their previous meeting in 2011 and Vital Klitschko could not do in 2012.
So 2014 proved an up and down year for Fury. The positives see that Fury in the right frame of mind can box to a game plan and execute it perfectly, displaying good boxing skills in the process. Secondly, he can get into shape, which will be the minimum required to advance higher. In uncle Peter Fury, he undoubtedly has a very good trainer who can give him a winning strategy and get him into decent shape. Most impressively Fury went into and came out of the Chisora fight much calmer and more composed. This frame of mind will only hold Fury in good stead as he wants to rise higher in the division. Finally, emerging from a frustrating year as mandatory for the WBO World Title is a huge positive for Fury as he is in a perfect position to mount an assault on Wladimir’s title in 2015.
On the flip side of the coin 2014 can be seen as a year of missed opportunities for Fury, in part through little fault of his own. Ultimately ending the year fighting only twice, against opposition no better than what he had faced before. If the cancelled fights against Haye and Ustinov had of come off Fury would have gained valuable experience, which he has not gained by facing Abell or Chisora again. Haye a former world champion would undoubtedly have been a step up in class for Fury. Ustinov on the other hand, with a solid record, standing at over 6ft 7inches would have given Fury an insight into the physical challenges of facing Wladimir Klitschko.
Despite the missed opportunities in 2014 Fury has managed to land the mandatory shot. However, this does not guarantee a fight with Klitschko, or victory. There are lots of options out there for Wladimir the word so far does not see Fury in his plans. Looking to face an American, Jennings or possibly his stalker Briggs, that would build interest in the states for a potential unification showdown with the winner of the Stiverne Wilder bout. Fury does not seem to believe that he will get the fight with Wladimir either, so ultimately what has 2014 done for Fury? It seems like he will have to play the waiting game for Wladimir to decide if, when and where he will get his shot and potentially against who if he should choose to vacate. Hopefully if Tyson can stay active against beneficial opposition, stay in shape and keep the mentality shown in his rematch with Chisora. If this is the case we will see how far Tyson Fury can really go in 2015.