Tyson Fury: It's that reach, man
Many of us are asking why a presumably rusty Tyson Fury is taking on WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder so soon after a 2 1/2 year hiatus.
Wilder vs Fury is December 1.
Surprisingly, some are even picking Fury to win and the close odds suggest as such.
What makes Tyson Fury, who didn't look great against two previous made-to-order opponents, a live dog against Wilder?
Heavyweight tough guy Kevin Johnson, who has fought a slew of top heavyweights over the years, chimed in on a hypothetical bout between Fury and WBA/WBO/IBF Heavyweight Champion Anthony Joshua:
"Tyson Fury has one thing that many people can't beat." Johnson told iFLTV.
"He didn't do that because he has more skill, everybody knows that Klitschko would knock him out, but you've got to get past that reach.
"It's like giving somebody a sniper rifle and asking somebody 20 yards away to run up on him."
At 6'9", Tyson Fury boasts a reach between 85 and 87 inches, 2 to 4 inches longer than Wilder whose reach is also impressive.
And Fury was able to use his reach advantage, nimble feet and a quick, stingy jab to keep the tentative Klitschko at bay, forcing Wlad to play the role of an aggressive slugger, something he isn't accustomed to or comfortable with.
Fighting forward effectively takes an entirely different skill set and some fighters, especially technical boxers, aren't nearly as proficient when forced to be the aggressor.
... But Deontay Wilder, unlike Wlad, is an effective aggressor. Nevertheless, combine Fury’s height and reach with his unusual athleticism, excellent footwork and overall ring intelligence and it's easy to understand why he's so formidable, even if a bit rusty.
Kevin Johnson, who was KO'd in 2 by Anthony Joshua and lost a points verdict in 10 to Tyson Fury, boasts wins over Francesco Pianeta, Alex Leapai, Albert Sosnowski, Julius Long and Francesco Pianeta.
In addition to Vitali Klitschko, Fury and Joshua, he's also faced Manuel Charr, Andy Ruiz Jr, Kubrat Pulev, Dereck Chisora and Christian Hammer.