Back in 2015 Tyson Fury earned his claim to fame when he became the first man to defeat Wladimir Klitschko in over a decade.
Fury out-classed Klitschko via unanimous decision in Germany. With the victory, Fury picked up the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles. Although Fury came away with the win, it wasn’t all smooth sailings for “The Gypsy King,” as he told talkSport.
The lineal heavyweight champion explained five ways that Klitschko tried to cheat before they shared the ring:
“I’m a boxing historian, especially when it comes to heavyweights. Klitschko was a good champion and done well in his career, but as a person I’ve no respect for him at all, none. The man’s a cheater, the man’s an out and out cheater, he’s a jealous person and he’s resentful. When I went to fight Klitschko, it was my first time stepping up and I was a ten-to-one underdog… The win meant so much to him that he was gonna do anything to get it, I mean anything and even when it means cheating.
“Even the week of the fight, they messed around with the weigh-in scales to start with. They said I weighed 17st 9lbs – I’ve not been 17st 9lbs since I was about ten years old. It was another mind game because you think you’ve lost a stone in weight. Even my uncle Peter said, ‘I thought you’ve been eating? Have you not eaten your food?’ I said, ‘I’m 18st 4lbs.’ We went back, on my scales – 18st 4lbs. So that was one little cheat. I said to him across the weigh-in, ‘You’ve rigged the scales, while you’re at it you can take them heels out of your shoes as well. He was as tall as me. Wladimir is 6ft 5ins, I don’t look up at a 6ft 5ins man. I said, ‘You’ve got stilts in your shoes, like platforms.’ So that was two things.”
Fury then explained that while he was moving around the ring canvas before the fight, as he traditionally does before he competes, he felt that the ring had been tampered with. Instead, the canvas felt like a memory foam mattress, as he believes Klitschko tampered with the ring to hinder Fury’s ability to move:
“Then, the day of the fight, I go down to the venue like I do every time, to check the venue out and check the ring out. I get in the ring and there’s ten inches of foam in this ring. It was like a memory foam mattress. I got on it and I said to my dad and my uncle Peter, ‘I cannot fight in this ring.’ I felt like I was on the moon. It’s energy sapping and the thing is that I’m a mover, so he wanted to take the legs away.
“Johnny Nelson [Sky pundit who visited Klitschko during preparations] told me he was training on the same canvas in Austria in his training camp. So he was used to it. For the first time in a long time he was boxing someone who wasn’t bothered about how much money he was getting, who wasn’t bothered about winning his belts. I was there to win. If he’s done that to me, how many people has he done it to over the career? And how many people needed that money and didn’t say anything? I was like, ‘I don’t need the fight anyway, so let’s just go home.’
Once the canvas issue was resolved, Fury pointed out that the gloves he had ordered for the fight were also tampered with. As the mandatory challenger, Fury was allowed to pick his own gloves for the contest. However, Fury was delivered the wrong kind of gloves with just an hour to go before the fight:
“With an hour left to go there was still no fight on, we were going home. I had my flights planned to leave. In the end, Vitali Klitschko said, ‘Take it out.’ And then it was a normal mattress. And then there was the problem with the gloves. In a world title fight as the mandatory challenger you can pick your gloves, whatever you wanna wear. The gloves I ordered were puncher’s gloves and the gloves they gave me were like two big cushions.
“They said, ‘These are the gloves we have, take them or leave them.’ I said, ‘You know what, give me the gloves, I’m not bothered about the gloves.’ At that point we couldn’t fly any gloves in, it was too late in the day. So we took the s***ty gloves that I didn’t want, that was another thing. In championship fights a person from the opposite team comes in the changing room and watches you get [your hands] wrapped up. Vitali was in my changing room, so we sent my dad to go into his changing room and watch him get wrapped up.
“But by the time my dad’s got there, he’s already wrapped up, bandages on, gloves on, ready to go. So dad says, ‘Take them off or we’re going home again.’ Anyway, my dad stormed out the changing room and had an argument with his manager, he said, ‘Come on, let’s go home, they’re cheating c***s. At that point I’m thinking, ‘God almighty, does it mean this much? Do you have to mess around this much to get a victory over a ten-to-one underdog?
“Every single cheat he tried, we pulled him up on it, we made him change and play fair… I believe Wladimir Klitschko was already beaten before he got in the ring on the night. Watching him walk to the ring, he had the face of a loser straight away because all of his little antics didn’t work. All I had to do was go in there, play my part and win.”
Since the victory over Klitschko, Fury has emerged as one of the sport’s biggest stars. He’s on a three-fight win streak, with one of his contests (against Deontay Wilder) going to a Draw. Now, he’s expected to take one more fight before rematching “The Bronze Bomber” in early 2020.
What do you think about Fury’s comments regarding his fight with Klitschko?