Fight Revisited: The birth of a new heavyweight superstar in Germany

Dressed as batman, winning the sauna battle and threatening to pull out on fight night: how Fury became heavyweight world champion in Germany.

The unbeaten Tyson Fury wrestled his way to a mandatory position for the world title after years of hard work climbing the heavyweight ranks.

The final step of this was fighting Derek Chisora in an eliminator for the WBO title. In his second fight with his fellow Brit, Fury again outclassed his rival to earn a victory by TKO when Chisora didn't return off his stool after the 10th.

If you think Dillian Whyte had been waiting a long time for his chance at world glory then you have not followed the journey of the "Gypsy King" who had overcame Kevin Johnson in a WBC eliminator and Steve Cunningham in an IBF eliminator in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

Fury called out Klitschko in the ring after beating Chisora and his shot at the world title was finally set in stone.

The British heavyweight took a tune-up fight with Christian Hammer before facing Klitschko. This took place at the end of 2014 and Fury dominated it before finishing the fight in the eighth round.

Fury then set his sights on Klitschko, with the original date for the fight set for October 24, 2015. However, the fight got postponed after Klitschko suffered a calf injury and was moved to November 28, 2015 at the Esprit Arena, Dusseldorf, Germany.

The psychologist and the Furious One

It was an intriguing matchup. In one corner you had "Dr. Steelhammer'' - one of the longest reigning heavyweight champions in history, who had a PHD in sports science, spoke four languages and was a psychology specialist.

In the other corner, you had a Mancunian maverick, hell-raising fighting man who promised fans there was "not a man born from his mother who could beat me."

Despite totting up an unbeaten professional fight record of 24, which included 18 via TKO/KO, not many considered Fury to be a credible world title contender.

His record suggested otherwise with impressive wins but he was lacking that big name on his resume, something which could have looked different had David Haye not pulled out of their supposed grudge match in 2013.

Who was the last man in the sauna?

Fury definitely ramped up the mind games against Klitschko, beginning with the 'sauna story'.

Engaging in a psychological battle with Klitschko during their meeting on the Gloves are Off. The Briton recalled how he won a 'mental battle' during a training camp under the late Emanuel Steward.

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"I'm at his [Klitschko] training camp, there's about ten guys in the sauna," he explained

"It came down to me and Wlad in the sauna. Do you remember?

"It gets down to us two and - I've only had 12 or 13 fights at this point -- but still, in my mind I was mentally in a competition with him.

"I was prepared to die in that sauna before I got out. I stayed in for like 40 minutes.

"He got out first. I thought 'mental victory.'" Klitschko looked on bewildered.

Press conference antics

The first press conference included a prolonged tirade from Fury where he tore into the Ukrainian, labelling him boring inside and outside of the ring.

Uncharacteristically for Klitschko, he engaged in this back and forth. Fury had won the first proper mental battle between the duo.

Then came the second press conference in London. Fury has always been a showman, but he truly outdid himself here.

Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson Fury ahead of their showdown
Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson Fury ahead of their showdown

With Klitschko waiting at the table, Fury sprinted into the building dressed as Batman of all people. Fury takes his seat before charging down someone dressed as the Joker (yes, really).

All of this was going on while Klitschko looked on in complete bemusement as his world titles fell off the table onto the floor. The drama did not end there as Fury went in on Klitschko, claiming that he had only been a world champion for so long because it was a weak era for heavyweight boxing.

Ring issue

During the whole build-up, Klitschko was telling Fury that he would be in therapy after the fight and that the Briton was a clown.

This all worked in Fury's favour, however, because it was clear that the champion did not consider the Gypsy King to be a credible challenger for his titles. Either that or he had been playing at his own game and was mentally broken ahead of the showdown.

As the start of the fight was closing in, the drama continued to intensify even as we were just hours and minutes before the starting bell.

Team Fury were unhappy with Klitschko's gloves. Before the fight, the Ukrainian's team were forced to rewrap his hands because there was not a member of Fury's team present to observe it the first time.

Then there was a heated back and forth about the amount of padding used for the ring canvas. Fury's team fought to remove some of the padding, which was eventually agreed upon after threats of pulling out.

Dusseldorf drama

The fight did happen, and in front of 55,000 in Dusseldorf, Fury and Klitschko finally met in the ring for the unified world titles.

From the very first round, the tone of the fight was set. Fighting off the back foot, using a lot of feints and his speed to beat an ageing Klitschko to the punch, Fury was pumped up and ready to deliver a huge upset.

The style of both boxers meant that this world title fight was not the easiest on the eyes but Fury looked comfortable inside the ring against the all time heavyweight great.

Dancing around the ring and mocking his opponent with disturbing regularity, Klitschko looked rattled and was unable to deal with the movement of Fury. It was the first time we had witnessed Klitschko looking in trouble for over a decade.

Klitschko looked a shadow of his usual self as the fight progressed through the rounds. Fury was far too mobile and smart for the champion, as he was picking up round after round on the cards.

Tyson Fury lands a right hand on Wladimir Klitschko
Tyson Fury lands a right hand on Wladimir Klitschko
Wladimir Klitschko cut above the right eye against Tyson Fury
Wladimir Klitschko cut above the right eye against Tyson Fury

Johnathon Banks - trainer of Klitschko - encouraged his fighter to pick up the pace knowing he was behind on the scorecards. Looking to hurt the Englishman, Klitschko attempted to unruffle Fury's feathers by big hooks thrown and even an illegal headbutt to which the referee did not acknowledge.

Fury appeared completely unfazed in this, his career-defining fight. He was revelling in the limelight and delivered the best performance of his career to date against the dominant figure of heavyweight boxing.

The fight went the distance and as the final bell went, both men lifted their hands in the air in belief they had done enough to win. Fury, who had unfairly had a point deducted in the bout, was elated alongside his team while Klitschko looked tired and deflated.

The judge's cards were then read out. 115-112, 115-112, 116-111. All in favour of the NEW unified world heavyweight champion - Tyson Fury.

Surprisingly after a tense build-up, everything was very jovial in the ring after the fight.

Klitschko, the great champion he is, admitted the right man had won on the night and brushed off rumours of him going into the bout injured.

Fury paid tribute to the two-time champion and declared that he would be happy if he could be "half as good a champion" as Klitschko had been.

He also apologised to Klitschko for some of their verbal sparring in the build-up. This was before he belted out his own version of Aerosmith's "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" in tribute to his adoring wife Paris in the ring.

We all know what would happen after this. A rematch fell through before Fury spiralled out of control. Cocaine use, drink binging and massive weight gain followed alongside mental health struggles.

But the subsequent comeback was unbelievable with Fury shredding over 100-pounds and eventually dethroning Deontay Wilder in 2020 to become WBC champion.

Fury is credited as being the fighter who created excitement back to the heavyweight division.

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