Fury ready to prove the bookmakers wrong
Tyson Fury last night invoked the spirit of Muhammad Ali and Buster Douglas as he declared that he would pull off one of heavyweight boxing's great sensations by ending Wladimir Klitschko's seemingly eternal reign as world champion in Dusseldorf tonight.
Unbeaten in 11 years and making a 19th title defence in his second reign as champion, the German-based Klitschko is a heavy favourite to silence the mouthy Fury, who talks a good fight but cannot persuade the bookmakers.
Indeed, they reckon that if the 27-year-old Briton with an Irish Traveller heritage can defeat the man 12 years his senior, it will be a shock to rank up there with Douglas's victory over Fury's hero Mike Tyson 25 years ago.
"I relish the underdog tag," he told Sky Sports at the weigh-in in Essen after scaling 17st 8lb - a pound heavier than the champion.
"I'm a 4/1 underdog but Cassius Clay (later to become Muhammad Ali) was a big underdog against Sonny Liston and he knocked him out. And so was Leon Spinks against the great Muhammad Ali and he won as well," Fury said.
Fury v Klitschko, Live, Sky Sports Box Office, 10.00