• Boxing

Fury closes on Klitschko by outclassing Chisora

ESPN staff
July 23, 2011

Tyson Fury moved a step closer to a fight with Wladimir Klitschko later this year by outpointing Dereck Chisora to win the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles.

Chisora had a couple of eye-catching moments, shaking Fury badly in the second, but generally it was Fury who looked quicker, more technically skilled and more motivated. Chisora looked drained of energy from as early as the third round, and he didn't throw anywhere near enough punches to give the judges a difficult decision. The judges gave it to Fury 117-112, 117-112 and 118-111.

After all the fireworks, all the animosity between the two, all the vicious rhetoric hurled between the camps, the fight started brightly and then descended into a flat, sluggish spectacle, with the referee regularly having to scrape the pair off each other in the late rounds.

Fury's record improves to 15-0 and, while he showed nothing to suggest he will give Klitschko any bother, he is likely to get a chance to fight for the WBA, WBO and IBF world titles in the coming months.

Chisora surprised most observers by weighing in heavier than he had before, and he caused a further stir by coming out to Irish music, a move presumably intended to goad Fury, whose father is from Irleand. When entering the ring Chisora made a beeline for his opponent, before being restrained by trainer Frank Warren.

The fighters were not permitted to face-off at the weigh-in on Friday due to security concerns - but, despite all the insults that have been traded, they did touch gloves ahead of the action, which began with Fury well on top, landing power shots at ease as Chisora, the heavier of the two, looked laboured in his movements.

Fury was in charge at the start of the second, with Chisora struggling to get into close range - and leaving himself wide open when he did - but he landed a huge, lunging left hook that left Fury wobbling, and then connected with another concussive overhand right in the dying seconds.

Although Chisora started the third quickly, energised by his success in the previous round, it was Fury who began to get his jab going, a strategy that dramatically reduced the effectiveness of Chisora's strategy of striding forward.

Fury dominated rounds four and five, even going so far as to start showboating to the crowd towards the end of the fifth. While Chisora looked for a heavy single shot, Fury was accumulating the punches with tidy combinations - and having to deal with nothing in return.

Chisora looked drained of stamina as the sixth and seventh rolled past, throwing off very few punches as Fury, whether sincerely or not, continued to appear entirely at ease, smiling directly into the camera and gesticulating to the audience as if to convince himself of his dominance.

The eighth descended into farce as Chisora, back to the ropes, implored Fury to start hitting him - an invitation that was refused, with both fighters apparently trying to grab a breather.

Before the tenth, Chisora's trainer informed his charge that he was on the brink of losing his titles - but that prospect didn't appear to serve as a motivational tool until two minutes had elapsed of the round, when Chisora unleashed a barrage of wild punches, a couple of which appeared to shake Fury.

As the 12th came around Chisora, reaching the final three minutes for the first time in his pro career, apparently couldn't muster the energy even to unleash a last-gasp, desperate swing. As had been the case throughout, Fury was busier, landing and throwing far more punches.

Only Fury celebrated at the final bell as Chisora, to his credit, accepted the first defeat of his career graciously.

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