After Beating Klitschko, Fury Wants To Be 'Great Champion'
He threatened to walk away from boxing if he lost to Wladimir Klitschko, or even if he won. Now the always unpredictable Tyson Fury says he intends to be a great heavyweight champion.
“I hope to have many more defenses of these titles in future,” Fury said after outpointing the Ukrainian Saturday night and taking his WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight belts in a huge boxing upset. “If I could be half as good a champion as Wladimir Klitschko, I’d be very, very happy.”
The 39-year-old Klitschko had reigned for 9 ½ years since beating Chris Byrd for the IBF belt in Mannheim in 2006. He defended the title 18 times and hadn’t been beaten since losing to Lamon Brewster in Las Vegas in 2004.
But the unbeaten Fury — 12 years Klitschko’s junior — made the older man look ordinary at the 55,000-seat soccer stadium in Duesseldorf, as the Briton lived up to the promises that few had taken seriously beforehand.
A rematch beckons, a stipulation the Klitschko camp insisted upon in the fight contract.
“So, to be continued. But we can’t yet say how or when or where,” Klitschko said.
Fury, now 25-0 with 18 knockouts, said he would happily fight again in Germany.
“It doesn’t really matter to me where I fight. If you say I’m fighting in Japan, Turkey, Azerbaijan, America, wherever it has to be, it has to be,” Fury said. “I’d like to come back to Germany again to fight Wladimir. I enjoyed it. I got a great reception from the German fans. The German people really did show me some love.”
Fury had been entertaining them all week. He serenaded Klitschko with his own version of the Bette Midler song “Wind Beneath My Wings” on Wednesday, and he celebrated beating him by singing Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” in the ring to his wife Paris, who is expecting their third child.
The build-up to the bout had been dominated by Fury’s antics and trash-talking, as well as disputes over the gloves, canvas and finally the hand-wrapping before the fight. The next will likely be more of the same, with a lucrative payout for the participants.
“The interest in the next fight will be crazy,” said Klitschko’s older brother Vitali, the former WBC champion. “We know Wladimir’s potential and that’s the question: In a rematch do we see him back in his old form or that today was no accident? Only he can answer this question. I’ll just say that we didn’t see much of Wladimir’s potential (against Fury).”
Klitschko dropped to 64-4 with 53 knockouts after contesting his 28th title fight. Time is not on his side with his 40th birthday coming up in four months. Fury, on the other hand, is only likely to improve.
“I’m a fighter, so I will take on all challengers. I want to be a great champion. So I could do it all again. I came here tonight, took the world titles, so whatever happens next is a blessing,” said Fury, who is of Irish-Gypsy heritage and comes from a bloodline of bare-knuckle champions on both sides of his family.
“It’s a very great honor for me to be sat here, champion of the world four times over. It’s not come easy. Twenty-five fights now, three world title eliminators, so I earned my right to be here. I wasn’t given anything for free,” Fury said. “Everybody wrote us off, said we had no chance … we all believed we could do it, we came here and we done it.”
Fury was scornful when asked about a potential bout with Deontay Wilder to unify the four major titles. The American holds the WBC title that was vacated by Vitali Klitschko to concentrate on politics in 2013. The older Klitschko is the current mayor of Kiev.
“Can you not count? I’ve got four,” Fury said as he counted the belts. Then: “Why do we need to mention Deontay Wilder? Let’s have a laugh at his name shall we?”
But Fury was keen to pay tribute to Klitschko, before verbally punching Wilder again.
“This man has been on top for so long, he’s reigned as champion of the world for the longest,” Fury said. “If Deontay Wilder wants a unification fight he’s going to have to wait, because Wladimir Klitschko has a round two — ding ding ding!”