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across the face during a press conference and brawling with David Haye at another, for which he had his boxing licence withdrawn.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.

Life and Style
love + sex
Life and Style
Tikka Masala has been overtaken by Jalfrezi as the nation's most popular curry
food + drink
News
people
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - London - up to £44,000

£38000 - £44000 per annum + bonus and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manag...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Application Support Analyst

£25000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A global leader operating...

Recruitment Genius: Quality Control Manager

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing company is a ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultants - Liverpool

£27300 - £36400 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Self-employed B2B Sales Consult...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn