Major fights sometimes resemble and compare to previous fights from history – not just physically but also emotionally and personality-wise: Mike Tyson vs Larry Holmes was Jack Johnson vs Tommy Burns – Gene Tunney vs Jack Dempsey was Holyfield vs Mike Tyson – Ricardo Mayorga vs Vernon Forrest was James Toney vs Michael Nunn.
If there’s any historical fight that compares to Wladimir Klitscho vs Tyson Fury I suggest perhaps it’s Cassius Clay vs Sonny Liston I. Let me explain why: Clay’s the talented misunderstood young tiger with the crazy colorful personality against the aging but seemingly indestructible super champion who is seriously intent on pummeling his disrespectful whippersnapper challenger.
In his own ways Fury has played the “Clay” role perfectly so far – perhaps even better than Clay himself. Fury’s theatrics and eccentric behavior and shenanigans have irritated the champion but rather curiously also thoroughly amused him and the general public as well. Note Fury’s serenading Klitschko yesterday at the public workouts – which evoked a smile and approving applause by Klitschko and his team. This was an astonishing achievement by Fury to make his rival smile and applaud him – in such a moment of tension so close to their fight three days later. I don’t think Clay ever inspired Liston to crack a smile or clap his hands for his charisma – nor did Sugar Ray Leonard show any affection to Roberto Duran before their Montreal clash.
Klitschko has revealed a sense of respectful awe of Fury and the big question is if this important feeling can transfer into the fight itself. I remember Oliver McCall shouting repeatedly at Lennox Lewis “I’m gonna KNOCK YOU OUT” at their final press conference in London – and I still remember the reaction of Lewis and how he had his head turned to the right and was looking at the standing tall McCall as he told him his humiliating fate – it was as if Lewis was absorbing and accepting the belief that The Atomic Bull was giving to him.
Of course it remains to be seen if Klitschko is as impressionable and if he will subconsciously comply with Fury’s agenda – also if Fury is nearly as confident vehement and adamant with his belief and conviction as McCall was before he challenged Lewis. Astute ring observers know Klitschko has the quality of transforming himself on fight night into a different animal – a most focused, vicious, ruthless, career destroyer, with absolutely ice cold killer eyes – Klitschko without a doubt is one of the most dominant and devastating heavyweight champions in history.
Clay shocked the world vs Liston. And it’s been quite a long time since the heavyweight division experienced a similar earthquake magnitude upset. There are so many angles and elements, so much power and energy which will combine to electrify and explode ini Dusseldorf, Germany on Saturday night. – Scoop Malinowski