Friday 30 September 2016

‘Can't beat the fighting Irish’ – Fans react as Tyson Fury claims world heavyweight title

Published 29/11/2015 | 10:47

Tyson Fury celebrates winning the fight
Tyson Fury celebrates winning the fight
Tyson Fury celebrates winning the fight

Three years ago Tyson Fury predicted he would make history by becoming the number one heavyweight and in Germany last night he was true to his word as Irish fans heaped praise on the world number one.

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The self-styled 'Gypsy King' defeated Wladimir Klitschko to claim the WBA, WBO and IBF titles and become Britain's eighth world heavyweight champion at Dusseldorf's ESPRIT Arena. With a strong Irish heritage – Fury was born into a family of Irish Traveller heritage with his grandmother from Tipperary and mother from Belfast and represented both Ireland and England and amateur level – he acknowledged his Irish fans in the post-fight celebrations.

“I am going to be the first Irish heavyweight champion of the world,” he said in November 2012 ahead of his fight against American Kevin Johnston and last night that came to pass as judges awarded Fury the win with scores of 115-112 twice and 116-111.

Twitter was awash with messages of support for the Fury and his Irish heritage.

“Can't beat the fighting Irish...big love to @Tyson_Fury tonight! Congrats brother!!,” said one Tweet.

“The Irish heavyweight champ has become world champion. Tyson fury tactically spot on last night. Huge credit to Peter Fury,” was another comment.

Fury looked calm from the outset and  ran across the ring towards Klitschko at the first bell, a bundle of nervous energy. An early right hook nearly landed as the pair fenced with each other.

The second was just as cagey but Fury, feinting constantly, landed a couple of half-decent left hooks which arguably won him the round.

Ukraine's Wladimir Klitschko, left, and Britain's Tyson Fury exchange blows in a world heavyweight title fight for Klitschko's WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts in the Esprit Arena in Duesseldorf
Ukraine's Wladimir Klitschko, left, and Britain's Tyson Fury exchange blows in a world heavyweight title fight for Klitschko's WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO belts in the Esprit Arena in Duesseldorf

Fury, switching stance to southpaw and show-boating, was boxing well without landing much.

Fury landed a right in the fifth but a Klitschko right hand was arguably the best punch of the fight at that stage. Klitschko, meanwhile, suffered a cut on the cheek.

Klitschko, who is used to fighting shorter opponents who he can keep at arm's length, was looking every one of his 39 years as his ponderous, orthodox style threatened to lose him the fight.

As dull as the action was, Fury was boxing beautifully and seemed to be having the time of his life.

Klitschko finally opened up with the right hand in the ninth, landing it properly twice. Fury dealt with it well, however, landing a big left hook in return.

The Ukrainian landed a thudding one-two in the 11th as opinion among observers differed as to whom was winning.

Fury began the 12th aggressively and a left hook hurt Klitschko and chants of "Fury, Fury" rang out. Klitschko landed a ferocious right hand again but Fury shook it off well as the fight finally caught fire. Fury was hurt by another, however, but held on for the final bell.

Both men claimed victory but when the scores were announced it was Fury's moment of glory.

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