Tyson Fury Needs To Lose The Gut And Tighten Up

The big man was impressive tonight against Nicolai Firtha, but he needs to watch the Klitschkos and train like a bastard to have a chance of being a true great...
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There is something very likeable about Tyson Fury. Maybe it’s because of the segment before his heavyweight bout against Nicolai Firtha showing how many sweets he used to eat in a day (a lot, enough Jammie Dodgers to fuel a group of cheerleaders ready to get slayed by the football team), maybe its because he is like a huge cyborg version of Ricky Hatton, and maybe because its he says he ‘needs to learn and is probably being fast tracked due to the paucity of the division’. Fair play to the big man, he put Firtha way which Povetkin couldn’t do (even if it was a criminally early stoppage), but he needs to wise up and fast if he is to really have a tilt at Heavyweight glory.

Before we get into the negatives, let’s look at the positives. He was the better fighter by a country mile, he used his jab well, followed up with big rights and showed enough lateral movement to make us believe that he can work on that to become a much, much, better fighter. But if he is to back up his promoters boast that ‘HE IS THE MOST EXCITING FIGHTER IN BOXING (he isn’t) and “HE’LL WIPE THE FLOOR WITH BOTH KLITSCHKOS IN 18 MONTHS (he might) then he needs to look at the stonefaced Ukranians for guidance.

Fury is redolent of a young Vitali. He treads where many big heavyweights fail to dare and, even from his 6’9” frame, tries to tear it up on the inside as well as the outside. But lets make no mistake about this, even if he tightens up his defence as he proclaimed to want to, if he fights like that against any of the top heavyweights. Haye included, he will get his a*se handed to him on a plate.

With the right mindset, the right training and the right management, I truly believe that he can be the next BIG thing in Heavyweight boxing

As things stand Fury's jab is only good (though his right hand, early in the round, can be killer). When he gets tired, which is often, his left arm fails to straighten and he sacrifices a bit of pop for quantity. How can he change this? By getting fit. Even if he has cut out the haribo and Mr Kiplings he still looks, well, a little flabby. If anyone reading this watched Vitali v Adamzek last week they will have noted how Vitali, not far off twice Fury’s age, was essentially made of iron. His muscles rippled, his physicality bristled and his excellence fizzled.

To go 12 rounds against the best of the best you need to be in prime physical shape. Frazier was, Foreman was, the young Tyson was, Ali was and Lewis was. It is pre-requisite. Floyd Mayweather, set to entice me into a 4am start tomorrow, never stops training. This is the life of a boxer. It is a monastic existence that pays dividends. Look at Bernard Hopkins at the age of 375; the executioner goes to sleep at 9pm EVERY night. It’s no surprise he outclasses younger opponents and does press-ups in between rounds.

When I was an amphetamine-fuelled idiot at 18 I would have loved Fury just as he is. I used to scream at Lewis for not putting the foot on the throat of his opponents, but with age comes wisdom and Fury should study tapes of the Klitschkos and see how they use their height (and jab-straight-cross combos) to dominate the ring and opponents.

He also needs to focus. Witness the Klitschkos in both of their recent fights and they were a study in concentration. Fury came out to a reggae song and high-fived every p**shead from Galway to Holywood.

Tyson Fury is very likeable, as a boxing fan and occasional writer I hope he can cut-up, learn to dominate the ring and also keep some of the box-office wildness that gets us off our seats. With the right mindset, the right training and the right management, I truly believe that he can has a genuine chance of a profitable career. But if he continues to rely only on his positives and ignore his negatives, then he will be a busted flush by the time he is 27.

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