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across the face during a press conference and brawling with David Haye at another, for which he had his boxing licence withdrawn.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

Recruitment Genius: Photographer / Floorplanner / Domestic Energy Assessor

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Surrey - £40,000

£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Assistant

£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £35,000

£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence