This afternoon at 4:45 pm EST from Germany, Wladimir Klitschko returns to face one of his loudest and most boisterous challengers to date, as he takes on England's Tyson Fury in the main event. HBO will have live TV in the United States, along with RTL in Germany, and Sky Box Office in the United Kingdom.
Klitschko (64-3, 53 KO) is strongly favored to retain his title, but the odds aren't outrageous as they often have been during his dominant reign at the top of the division. Fury (24-0, 18 KO) has some things going for him, including youth, and height and reach listed as longer than that of Klitschko.
If nothing else, the 27-year-old Fury has talked a great game to get himself here, but today we find out if the talent is real, or if this is simply a bridge too far for him. Fury's opposition hasn't been horrendous, but it's a far cry from Klitschko.
This is one of the more highly-anticipated fights of the year, so make sure you're with us for the live coverage today.
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Tyson Fury def. Wladimir Klitschko by unanimous decision (115-112, 115-112, 116-111)
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ROUND BY ROUND
WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO vs TYSON FURY
Round 1: Fury talked and talked as soon as Wladimir got into the ring. Talked through the anthems. Talked through the introductions. And he's got the look of confidence during the referee's instructions. Referee is Tony Weeks. Fury coming out flicking his jab and moving, bobbing his head around. Both guys feinting, eyes locked on the opponent. Fury with a jab that slips in there. Fury fighting orthodox, hasn't gone southpaw yet. Fury with a jab to the chest. Fury with another jab that sneaks in. These are just touching shots, nothing big. Fury playing around, hands behind the back and such. Fury misses a right, Wladimir ties him up, Fury hits him with a rabbit punch. Fury ties up when Klitschko corners him. Another clinch as they get close at mid-ring. Klitschko poking with his jab, Fury ties him up again. Fury with a jab and a right that might have scraped in there. Fury talking a LOT. Very animated. Fury 10-9
Round 2: Both guys jabbing a little more loosely to start the second round. Fury's a lot of nervous energy so far. Klitschko just Klitschko. Fury with a left jab that sticks in decently as he charges forward on Klitschko. Klitschko landing a few jabs, not unfurling his right hand as of yet. Fury walks into a touching left from Klitschko. That counts as a "power punch," Wlad's first of the fight. Fury 10-9, 20-18
Round 3: Fury turns southpaw here in the third round, at least by circumstance. Klitschko just not throwing punches. The feints and upper body movement of Fury are giving him fits, sort of. Fury holding his hands below his waist, daring Klitschko to do something. Long left to the body from Fury, not a hard shot but he touched him. "Touched" has been the story of the fight so far. Klitschko misses a straight right, aimed for the chest. Fury not doing anything this round either, but he's outthinking Wladimir and throwing a little more, it would appear. Fury back to a right handed stance with about 30 seconds left in the round. Fury with a rabbit punch. I go Fury again on activity. Fury 10-9, 30-27
Round 4: More feinting. More nothing. HEY! Wladimir actually throwing a right hand in this round! Not landing it, but throwing it. Fury into the southpaw stance, switches right back. Fury poking the jab in again. Klitschko finally lands a right hand. Wladimir takes a round for me. Klitschko 10-9, Fury 39-37
Round 5: Klitschko has a small cut under his left eye. Fury going to the body a little. Wladimir is just doing nothing. There are whiffs of a guy who's getting old and can't pull the trigger, but Wladimir has struggled against people with a game plan before, too. In bits this reminds me of the Povetkin fight. Fury with a long right, not a huge punch but it got there. Fury is outboxing Wladimir Klitschko. Klitschko glancingly lands a right late in the round. Fury 10-9, 49-46
Round 6: Between rounds, Johnathon Banks was all but begging Klitschko to throw punches to the body, specifically the right hand. Povetkin’s head movement stifled Klitschko, too. Fury doing that and feinting and is very tall. Klitschko looks lost in this fight. Nothing is working for him. Fury just poking, poking, poking with the jab, feinting between, talking and keeping Klitschko at bay. Wladimir can't win this fight at distance so far and it's totally neutering his offense. Fury not doing anything exceptionally on offense but he's TOTALLY causing Klitschko to shut down. And that's been the difference. Fury 10-9, 59-55
Round 7: Fury lands a little shot, then another, Wladimir with no response. Fury with a little flurry when they get close, lands a couple potshots. Fury has not really landed anything significant but it's more than what Klitschko has done, and demonstrably so. Fury with a little rush forward, nothing landing big, but throwing and making Klitschko move backwards. Klitschko's right hand a total non-factor. Well, so is his left. Fury with a jab in there. Fury 10-9, 69-64
Round 8: Wladimir Klitschko badly needs Emanuel Steward screaming in his face right now. Badly. Klitschko with a stiff jab, that one counted and Fury takes it OK. That's where we're at. "He took that jab well!" Klitschko with another jab that gets in there. Fury tying him up now, wearing on him. He's the bigger man, and can employ that Wladimir-style tactic if need be. More clinching on both sides. Fury getting a little lazy this round, I think. Fury works every time they clinch, Klitschko doesn't, as Roy points out. It's driving Roy nuts. Wladimir pokes in a couple jabs. Touching jabs, but in this fight significant. Closer round since Wladimir landed a couple good jabs. Klitschko 10-9, Fury 78-74
Round 9: Klitschko gets in a nice right about a minute in, and that may have hurt Fury just a bit. But he's standing and shaking his head. Fury receiving a final warning about rabbit punching. Klitschko starting to unleash the right more this round. Might feel the pressure. Fury with a quick hook, then a BIG HOOK that may have stung Wladimir! Klitschko lost his way for a second and Fury pounced. Wladimir ties up. Fury starting to heat it up at mid-ring, and they clinch again. Fury with a jab that touches again. Fury 10-9, 88-83
Round 10: Back to nothing in the first half of this round. Feinting and posturing. Klitschko poking again with the jab. Poking poking poking. Poking. Poking. POKING. Pokey Reese. Fury going southpaw, again holding his hands way low. Fury switches back to right and lands a body shot. Wladimir DOING NOTHING in this round again. Fury 10-9, 98-92
Round 11: Johnathon Banks and Stitch Duran both tell Wladimir he needs a knockout to win between rounds. Klitschko showing a bit of fire, maybe just cosmetically. Fury with shots inside as Klitschko comes in. Klitschko doing nothing again. His corner can't communicate the urgency enough to convince Wladimir, or Wladimir is just done. Fury showing more again this round. Left hook from Fury catches Klitschko clean. And another lands. Weeks is going to take a point from Fury for rabbit punching, and it's earned. Fury 10-9, -1 Fury, 107-101
Round 12: Well, one way or another, the boxing world is going insane this round. Weeks trying to get the fighters to keep things clean as this starts a little rough. Fury showing real aggression with the left hooks. Wladimir holding. More holding. Big shot from Klitschko! Right hand got in there and Fury holds. Left hook from Klitschko. 1:40 to go and he's finding something, anyway. But Fury taking the shots fine. Fury the one clinching now. Another hook from Wladimir! More clinching in the final minute, Fury initiating some and Klitschko OK with it. Fury takes another hook. Another one gets there. The fight is over. Klitschko 10-9, Fury 116-111