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14 NOVEMBER 2018

Where am I? Home Columns Marc Livitz

Klitschko Talks Fury, Floyd And Future

By Marc Livitz: It’s hardly been 48 hours since boxing’s pound for pound champion took part in his supposed final bout, yet some of the corresponding rankings which list the best in the sport have abruptly changed. Such a drastic switch in the listings of the cream of the crop that the sport has to offer has fittingly placed the universally recognized heavyweight champion of the world at its pinnacle. Atop the rundown of boxing’s best is where we’ll find Wladimir Klitschko (64-3, 53 KO’s). For nearly two decades, the Ukrainian titleholder with an advanced education in sports science has proven over and over why he remains the man to beat in the heavyweight ranks.


Although the thirty nine year old champion pugilist has a few blemishes on his ledger, he hasn’t lost, let alone been thoroughly challenged in the ring in over a decade. He’s won twenty one consecutive contests and is second all time to only the late, great Joe Louis in terms of the length of his championship reign. On Saturday, October 24th, Klitschko will defend his WBO, WBA, IBO, IBF and perhaps most important Ring Magazine heavyweight titles against brash, outspoken as well as undefeated Englishman Tyson Fury (24-0, 18 KO’s) at the ESPRIT Arena in the German city of Dusseldorf. Fury is one of the few fighters that the 6’6" Klitschko has faced who is taller than him. Tyson stands at a towering 6’9".


Over the past several years, Wladimir has become a favorite in Germany as evidenced by entire football stadiums being packed to the roof with fans whenever he fights. The gracious and well educated heavyweight king took some time out of his training camp in Florida alongside trainer Johnathon Banks to field some questions from the media as part of an international conference call. Selected highlights are listed below.




Klitschko on Fighting a Taller Opponent: "I’m going to fight a guy who is younger, taller, heavier and with a longer reach than me. Mariusz Wach was the first fight with Jonathan Banks (November 2012) in my corner. He was taller than me and I’ll go at this in the same way. I’ll act with more aggression. We need to all wait until October 24th to see how that will go. I’m ready to change my game plan if needed."


On Landing More Shots to the Body: "The space is right there for body shots on taller man. He has long legs and arms, so I hope I have enough space and activity for those types of punches."


The Question of Retirement: "I’ve been asked that over the past two years more than any other question. I’m looking to stay at the peak of my performance. I keep looking to get better. We’re always looking to make things more efficient in every camp. I’m aware that it won’t last forever. Two major points, though. As long as I have my health and motivation, then I will continue."


If He Thinks Floyd Mayweather will Stay Retired: "I think he still has at least one fight left. I think "50-0" is tempting to top Rocky Marciano. There’s a lot pf pressure when you get to historical points. I understand him, but I still think he will fight at least once more."


The Erratic Behavior of Tyson Fury: "He has been mentioning things about my former trainer (Emanuel Steward) and saying that he was overrated. Then he said some things about Lennox Lewis. First he said that he appreciated him, then he said that he didn’t accomplish much. He changes his mind a lot and that looks like an unstable person. He acts funny like a clown sometimes."


"He said he’ll retire if he loses and I think he’s bipolar. He’s almost like a psychopath because he doesn’t know what he’s going to do next. I also believe that I can change him as a person. I helped David Haye and I’ve seen him since then. He became a better person. I’m sure that as a experienced therapist that I can help him, too. If he wants to be a clown, then after I beat him, I can find him a job with my contacts at Cirque du Soleil. He’ll have a great second career after boxing."


Training since the Passing of Steward 3 Years Ago: "Emanuel is always with us. Jonathan and I talk about it everyday. He used to come and go from camp because he also worked for HBO. He loved us and put into us a good philosophy of boxing that he wasn’t our trainer. He was our teacher and I’m happy that we had him for such a long time. We were together for almost a decade. He was a big part of our lives. He was a loyal man and always available to help."


On WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder: "We know each other well and I wish him well. I understand that it’s not his fault who he fights. His manager and promoter make decisions for him. He doesn’t pick his opponents, but he’s getting criticized for it. I’ve been in the same situation. I remember when I didn’t choose who I fought. I had no power through the contracts to change anything. He’s facing the same thing. He’s extremely talented and an outstanding athlete. His knockout percentage speaks for itself."


If Wilder Fought Alexander Povetkin: "Wilder and Povetkin would be extremely entertaining. Povetkin has a big amateur background. That fight could go either way. There would not seem to be a favorite. I would love to fight the winner of that bout because I have never held the WBC belt. I’ve just never had the opportunity. I’m not desperate to have that title, though."


On Being Ranked #1 Pound for Pound: "I don’t want to compare myself with other guys, so I’d never do that. People can think whatever they want. If I’m number one, that’s okay with me and if not, then that is alright with me, too. That decision is not in my hands."


Final Statements: "Whatever his issues are, this will be a very difficult fight for me. Tyson Fury is young and ambitious. It will be very challenging. I don’t see this as an easy night."


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September 15, 2015

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