Tyson Fury and The Pantomime of Boxing

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By Richard Adams

British boxing has had an uplift of late. Froch vs Groves (I and II) were british bouts with a level of excitement not experienced since Benn vs Eubank twenty five years ago. But this excitement was generated by the fights themselves as opposed to the actual fighters.

It’s been a long time since we have had some real characters who don those padded gloves. The nineties were full of them. Chris Eubank posturing between rounds, Prince Naseem flipping into the ring in Leopard print shorts, it has all become a hazy memory of more exciting times.

Step up to the plate Tyson Fury. He sounds like a character from a video fighting game. The name alone would make you want to know more about him. The first time I saw him fight was against John McDermott back in 2010. Standing 6”9 and not of your usual Heavyweight physique it was difficult to know what to make of him. But you could immediately see he had potential, especially with his body shots.

As he has succeeded through the ranks, and had more exposure on terrestrial television, his character came more to light. Clearly eccentric, and almost uncontrollably open with his emotions, he has become a fighter people remember after seeing him, inside and outside of the ring.

His rants become sports headlines, his quotes ring in your ears like a left hook to the head, and when he serenaded the crowd at Madison Square Garden after knocking out Steve Cunningham I could only watch through the gap between my fingers of the hand that was covering my face.

He is quickly becoming the boxer fans love to hate. And I love him for it. He is our new Eubank, our new Naseem. Now that the fight with Klitschko is cemented for September one thing is for sure. Win or lose it will be one of the most entertaining fights of the year, and besides from the few who only watch sport to gamble, why else are we boxing fans?