Boxing: Tyson Fury fails to understand that a boxer and a fighter are two different things

A meeting with Wladimir Klitschko might enlighten him

Perhaps Tyson Fury’s greatest gift is to persuade the neutral to stand in Dereck Chisora’s corner when they meet in Manchester on Saturday night.

Chisora’s charge sheet includes assaulting his girlfriend, possessing weapons, assaulting police officers, slapping Vitali Klitschko across the face during a press conference and brawling with David Haye at another, for which he had his boxing licence withdrawn.

So of what character must Fury be to make Chisora appear a choirboy by comparison?

Full marks to my colleague Alan Hubbard for confronting Fury at last week’s head-to-head, asking why it was that he could not open his mouth without spilling sewage, and this in front of children.

Fury said he that does what he wants. Get you, Tyson. His message was laden with profanities, expressed with added vehemence to make his puerile points. Hubbard could see it was pointless to press the case. Had he had the will he would have liked to broaden the conversation to embrace the matter at hand: the eliminator with Chisora that books the winner’s passage to meet the WBO gloves of Wladimir Klitschko.

Klitschko is, of course, a “pussy’” in the lingua franca of Fury, a terrified wimp on the run from the greatest fighter of this generation. This is the grandest delusion of all, that Fury, in his own tiny mind, is worthy of mention in the same sentence as the great Wladimir. Fury can fight all right. He’s a tough lad, loves a rumble, would take on all-comers on the same night. But fighting isn’t boxing, a subtle distinction way over Fury’s primitive head. Dereck Chisora And Tyson Fury go head-to-head as they make a £10,000 side-bet during a press conference to announce the upcoming fight Dereck Chisora And Tyson Fury go head-to-head on Saturday night

Boxing is a sport. The idea is to win. Not to kill. That death sometimes attends the pursuit is all the more reason to respect the bloke in the opposite corner. The idea is not to smash the skull of the opponent, not to maim or to cripple, but to triumph when the final bell sounds, to win by skill and endeavour, not brute force. Of course, pain and suffering are the inevitable consequences of combat but in the ring there is a civilising component governed by rules.

To be a boxer a man must acknowledge and accept the rules of the game. Respect lies at boxing’s noble core for it also acknowledges the sacrifices made by the other. We see a lot of enmity before a contest but it is hard to sustain hatred for a beaten man.

No one knows more than the boxer the sacrifice, effort, work, dedication etc invested in this professional life. Twelve rounds taking lumps out of each other has a funny way of inducing sympathy for the vanquished. When you stare into defeated eyes you know just how much a man has given and that understanding melts the hardest hearts.

Fury made no one laugh the other day, only cringe in desperate embarrassment for him and those who stand at his side. The British Boxing Board of Control has, at its own glacial pace, called him to answer for this obscene pantomime at a meeting in August. The very least it should do is withdraw his licence to box. Or invite Klitschko to take the hearing. That would be a lesson I’d pay to see administered.

First of all Klitschko would explain in any one of five languages that it is not for the individual to pass judgement on his own abilities but for others to decide if we are good, bad or indifferent. To proclaim ourselves the best there has ever been is not worth the breath expended since it locks us into the self-referential argument from which there is no escape. We all see top men when we look in the mirror. But if another makes the claim on our behalf then that is an entirely different matter and might prompt the rest in the room to pay attention.

Looking at the merit of this contest, it is a reflection of the state of the heavyweight game that either Chisora or Fury might gain entry to a world championship contest. Klitschko shares top billing with the great figures of the past, and would have troubled a few.

Chisora fought the elder Klitschko, who never had his brother’s range or talent, but was hard as tempered steel. Chisora looked OK that night but was exposed by the rapier fists of David Haye at Upton Park two years ago as a trier of limited talent.

It might be that Fury has the edge again on Saturday but there is nothing in his record to suggest he would fare any better in the highest class. I hope he gets his wish to meet Klitschko so that he might learn first-hand the difference between fighting and boxing, and discover what it takes to be boxer.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Office / Sales Manager

£22000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established and expanding South...

Recruitment Genius: Administrative Assistant / Order Fulfilment

£14000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join a thrivi...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones