• Steve Bunce

Fury in line for summer Klitschko clash

Steve Bunce April 17, 2012
Tyson Fury's southpaw experiment was bizarre and crazy, and he's now lost the element of surprise © Getty Images
Enlarge

Tyson Fury's southpaw experiment against Martin Rogan at the weekend was unique - many fighters switch to southpaw and have a round or 30 seconds in the stance, but I've never seen a fighter switch and stay in that position like he did.

The control he showed in the Irish title contest was quite incredible, especially once he'd dropped Rogan. The natural thing would have been to switch back to the style he knew best, where he's used to throwing punches - but he didn't do that, which impressed me. It is hard to stay southpaw.

That said, it was a bizarre and crazy tactic, and I think people are getting carried away by claiming it won the fight for him - let's face it, he was going to win anyway. It certainly helped him though, because it threw Rogan and disrupted his preparations. Rogan had previously handled tall southpaw Audley Harrison because he prepared for a tall southpaw.

However, the element of surprise is now gone - and I'm a bit surprised he wasted this trick on Rogan, who he could have hit all night long with his left jab. The shock aspect could have made it an effective ploy against, say, David Price or a Klitschko, just because they weren't expecting it. Simply coming up against a southpaw would be no sort of trouble for those guys, they've been used to it ever since the amateur days. But preparing for orthodox and then standing in front of a southpaw - hey, it wouldn't hurt Fury's chances.

Maybe I'm missing the point - maybe turning to southpaw was a smart move because it kept Tyson's brain focused, and meant he was always thinking about the way he was standing, rather than going in, letting his heart control him, and ending up in a slugging contest. It stopped him from doing anything stupid - and it would have been easy for him to get reckless, considering he was fighting for the Irish title in front of an Irish audience. Rogan could easily have got under his skin in those circumstances and in a slugfest Big Rogie had a chance.

Hopefully Tyson won't need a gimmick in future to get him concentrated - hopefully that was the kick-start to shift his brain into a different gear, one of control, when it comes to fights. I've been banging on for years about what a great prospect he is, and he needs to sharpen himself up to move to the next level.

The Klitschkos have started wheeling out guys they've already beaten, given the lack of options available to them © PA Photos
Enlarge

Having said that, part of his attraction is that he does leave himself open, exposed and vulnerable. Some people would say that's part of his problem, as well as his attraction. The more you slug, the more you're prepared to fight, the more chance you have of being hit on the chin. Tyson is taking that risk to entertain, and nobody can say he isn't entertaining - he's an entertainer!

For Tyson's next battle, the people that broadcast and promote him will have their eyes on a big, semi-fading name. I want to see timber: a good quality American going over - and I think we'll see that from one of the guys that have been queuing up to collect their million-dollar paypacket and fall over at the feet of the Klitschkos.

Tyson needs a win over one of those guys, because he's losing the PR battle with Price after vacating the British strap before purse bids were opened. Since then there's been a backlash, and people in the business are not happy with Fury. The millions watching don't care.

It wouldn't surprise me if Tyson was named as a Klitschko opponent some time towards the end of the summer. Not because he's ready - instead, because the Klitschkos have run out of contenders. Let's not mince our words. Fury could do with another four fights, but the way the Klitschkos are going, they're recycling not each other's opponents, but men they've already beaten easily!

The Channel 5 bubble won't burst if Klitschko were to beat him, because as the rounds progressed, you would paint a picture of just how good a Klitschko is. Look at Chisora: he lost to Vitali, maybe won four rounds and, if you take away what happened afterwards with David Haye, Dereck came on in that fight.

If Tyson were to fight a Klitschko on Channel 5 and lost on points, his reputation would be enhanced - fact. Simple as that.

Follow Steve Bunce on Twitter: @bigdaddybunce

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Feeds Feeds: Steve Bunce

Steve Bunce Close
Steve Bunce has been ringside in Las Vegas over 50 times, he has been at five Olympics and has been writing about boxing for over 25 years for a variety of national newspapers in Britain, including four which folded! It is possible that his face and voice have appeared on over 60 channels worldwide in a variety of languages - his first novel The Fixer was published in 2010 to no acclaim; amazingly it has been shortlisted for Sports Book of the Year.