When Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko faces Tyson Fury on October 24 in Dusseldorf, Germany, it will mark a record 28th title fight for the longtime champ. (The big Ukrainian is currently tied with Joe Louis at 27.) His opponent, Fury, is undefeated and 12 years his junior. But the Briton is a significant underdog in early betting lines.
Wladimir Klitschko: The Ukrainian champ, Klitschko is 64-3 in his career with 53 knockouts. His last loss came against Lamon Brewster in 2004, 22 fights ago. In April, he earned a unanimous decision against Bryant Jennings at Madison Square Garden, Klitschko’s first fight in America since 2008. 2014 saw him earn fifth-round stoppages over Alex Leapai and Kubrat Pulev. Three of his last six fights have gone to the scorecards, all resulting in unanimous decisions. He last fought an English boxer in 2011, winning a decision over David Haye.
Klitschko is a 4/17 favorite in the bout.
Tyson Fury: Fury is one of few legitimate heavyweight contenders who is bigger than the champ. At 6’9”, he has a three inch height advantage and four inch edge in reach. Fury’s last two fights have been won by referee stoppage, halting Christian Hammer in the eighth round in February and Dereck Chisora in the tenth round last November. The UK native is 24-0 with 18 wins coming by KO. Just one of his last nine fights has gone the distance, and five of them have have not reached the sixth round.
Despite the impressive resume, Fury is a 17/5 underdog.
The Outlook: Fury has fought good competition, and is among the better challengers Klitschko has faced recently. While picking the champ is the obvious prediction, the better value is with Fury at 17/5. However, the best number looks like over 9.5 rounds. Klitschko is not knocking out opponents like he once did, and the chances of Fury stopping Klitschko early are slim.
Betting Pick: Klitschko in a decision is our prediction, but the over is the way to play the fight.
(Photo credit: BerlinBeyond2011 (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)