Wednesday 21 August 2019

Tyson Fury serenades Wladimir Klitschko in the ring with Wind Beneath My Wings

Tyson Fury dedicates his version of the Bette Midler ballad to the Ukrainian, who was ringside, singing: "For I'm the one with all the glory, and I'll be the one with all the belts"

Eccentric: Tyson Fury enjoys playing up to the crowd
Eccentric: Tyson Fury enjoys playing up to the crowd

Gareth A Davies

Tyson Fury took to singing in the ring to Wladimir Klitschko at a public workout on Wednesday, ahead of Saturday's heavyweight world title showdown in Dusseldorf, as 'Glovegate', which threatened to postpone the bout, appeared to be resolved.

Fury, 27, challenges WBA, IBF and WBO champion Klitschko, 39, at the 50,000 capacity Esprit Arena, and from a ring set-up in Dusseldorf airport, his latest stunt was to dedicate HIS version of the Bette Midler ballad Wind Beneath My Wings to the Ukrainian, who was sitting ringside.

Fury lost all his inhibitions and took to the microphone, just as he did after defeating Steve Cunningham at Madison Square Garden on his US debut in April 2013 when he gave an impromtu rendition of Ricky Van Shelton's song Keep it Between the Lines.

"For I'm the one with all the glory, and I'll be the one with all the belts," sang Fury, as German fans appeared to revel in his eccentric performance and clapped and cheered along with the 6ft 9ins fighter.

"I'm not coming to Germany to win on points, I'm going to do a demolition job on Wladimir. I expect a knockout victory," declared Fury, who had looked light on his feet in the workout itself, throwing out jabs with his 85ins wingspan reach as trainer Peter Fury, his uncle, went through their routine on the pads.

"Klitschko's past opponents came to Germany in the belief they were going to lose," said Fury. "They came for money but money isn't my motivation, winning is my motivation. He's going to wish he'd never met Tyson Fury, but I can't make him more nervous than he already is - he's shaken. Not only am I winning, I'm going to win it in style. I believe this is my destiny. And then I'll sing everybody a victory song."

In response to Fury's latest crooning antics, Klitschko said: "Tyson Fury belongs on Britain's Got Talent. I don't want to compete with him in a singing contest. I definitely would't make it. He has better talent than I do in singing."

The Ukrainian then went through his moves, also light on his feet, a huge physical specimen, the prominent veins on his powerful arms testament to the power he possesses and which he has utilised to reign just six months short of a decade. For once, though, in this contest, it is the champion who will have to find a way past the longer reach of the challenger. It will be one of the technical aspects of this match-up.

Meanwhile, the German boxing authorities have insisted that 'Glovegate' will be resolved by Friday and that manufacturers Paffen, who will supply the gloves which both champion and challenger will wear, have dispatched new handwear.

Klitschko claimed that the 'Glovegate' dispute was created by Fury as "mental warfare". "There are rules and contracts that need to be adhered to," said the long-reigning champion.

German professional boxers' association (BDB) CEO Thomas Puetz said that "any attempt at the rules meeting to demand different gloves will not be accepted by the BDB".

Fury's camp had claimed this week that the original gloves sent to him were unsuitable, and were damaging his thumb in sparring. Another pair had been promised but the Briton threatened to cancel the fight if they were not delivered on time.

Mick Hennessy, Fury's promoter, told The Daily Telegraph that he had been given assurances by Tom Loeffler, the K2 Promotions CEO, that the gloves were ready, and added that "thousands of travellers and British fans" were expected in Dusseldorf on fight night.

Hennessy, nonetheless, expressed "disappointment" that Friday's weigh-in would not be open to the public. It will take place in a sports store in Essen, 40 miles from Dusseldorf. "We've been told it had to be that way because of security measures," Hennessy said.

Experienced American referee Tony Weeks was announced as the referee in charge of the fight. He has previously been the third man in the ring for two Klitschko title defences, in 2008, and last year against Kubrat Pulev.

The judges have been named as Cesar Ramos (Puerto Rico), Ramon P. Cerdan (Argentina) and Raul Caiz, Sr. (USA).

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