The Ring’s Fighter of the Year: Tyson Fury

by
The Ring’s Fighter of the Year: Tyson Fury

The Ring’s Fighter of the Year: Tyson Fury

by
The Ring’s Fighter of the Year: Tyson Fury

The Ring, in defiance of the spirit of Nat Fleischer, almost always plays it safe. But this time it stuck its neck out.
The Ring, in defiance of the spirit of Nat Fleischer, almost always plays it safe. But not this time. This time it stuck its neck out.

The Ring used to be called “The Bible of Boxing.” Due to a loss of faith in boxing or a loss of faith in The Ring, that nom de guerre no longer applies. But The Ring, due more to its past than its present, is still a brand, and as such it continues to carry weight.

There are rarely any surprises when it comes to year-end awards. Despite the time devoted to making what we believe are the right year-end selections, the awards, with rare exception, end up validating the consensus choice as often as not.

In this year’s contest for Fighter of the Year, it looked like Gennady Golovkin, Canelo Alvarez, Roman Gonzalez, and Floyd Mayweather were the front-runners.

Few gave the nod to Tyson Fury, despite his having upset WBA/IBF/WBO/ RING heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko on November 28 in Germany. But among those few, The Ring, in defiance of the spirit of Nat Fleischer, almost always plays it safe. But this time it stuck its neck out by naming Fury Fighter of the Year, for having “breathed energy into a lifeless division.”

That he did.

Klitschko had not lost a fight in over a decade. He was being mentioned in the same breath as Larry Holmes, Muhammad Ali, and even Joe Louis. And Klitschko exemplified class, both in and out of the ring.

But for all his attributes, Klitschko had grown stale. Each fight seemed a carbon copy of the fight preceding it. Without Emanuel Steward prodding him on to greater accomplishments, it sometimes felt like Klitschko was on automatic. And at 39, an age at which most fighters have retired, Klitschko was beginning to slide, as aging fighters always do.

And along came Tyson Fury.

Fury is big. Fury is brash. And while he might not have fought his heart out when he won the title, it wasn’t necessary, since Klitschko did next to nothing.

“With his victory,” writes The Ring, “Fury also turned boxing’s traditional glamour division upside down. The heavyweights had become largely an afterthought because of the Klitschko brothers’ dominance. Now rising big men like Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua and Luis Ortiz—combined with Fury and a beatable Klitschko—have made the division interesting again.”

Fury has done that as well.

We’ll have to wait and see how Fury’s career develops. Will he fight the best of the best? Or will be content to rack up victories against men who, in Larry Holmes’ infamous words, aren’t fit to carry his jockstrap?

Time will tell.

This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.


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