When you think of it life is all about distance, the distance between us physically, the distance between us emotionally. How far we are away from the ones we love and how far we are from the ones we don’t. It’s the distance between our atoms that make us what we are.
Distant originates from an old English word meaning discord or debate, even further back its etymology stems from the Latin distantia meaning remoteness or difference. For Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson Fury, and their rivalry distance is integral. The older, more experienced Klitschko has ice running through his veins. He’s been there, seen it and bought the tacky merchandise. Fury is fire, quick to explode and difficult to predict.
Two men born on different continents, two men born in different eras the distance is huge. Klitschko born in Kazakhstan in the former Soviet Union to a Russian Air force Colonel eventually settled in his native Ukraine whom he represented at the 1996 Summer Olympics winning gold. Fury born to an Irish traveller family in Wythenshawe, Manchester. The challenger comes from a family with a rich boxing heritage his father John was a professional fighter and his cousins Andy Lee, Hughie Fury and Hosea Burton are all professional fighters.
The distance between Klitschko and Fury isn’t just geographical although Semipalatinsk and Wythenshawe are separated by 6913 KM, it’s in their demeanour. The Ukrainian champion is calmness personified a man who seemingly has ice running through his veins, never flustered and the epitome of laid back. Fury on the other hand, well, isn’t. He’s the pugilistic equivalent of pouring oil onto fire. Tasteless comments, veiled threats, not so veiled threats and a tendency to resort to childish, but, amusing insults.
Distance is something Wladimir usually has no problem in maintaining, at 6ft 6 inches he’s used to controlling the distance and his ability to tie his opponents up has a history of frustrating his foes. Against the 6 ft. 9 inches tall Fury can the champion control the distance? The clinch fest of the Povetkin fight and the snooze Fest of the Bryant Jennings are a testament to what happens once the Ukrainian begins to assert his will against his opponents.
Fury as we have seen throughout his career is wildly unpredictable at his best he’s a serious threat to Klitschko as we’ve seen in his fights with Chisora, his courage is undeniable and in Peter Fury he has a master tactician on hand to plot a strategy that might see the long reigning champion finally dethroned. Conversely, Fury can be overweight, under motivated and at times far too easy to hit as Steve Cunningham will attest to.
It all boils down to distance can Klitschko maintain it to win the fight? Or can Fury use it to his advantage and frustrate the champion?
Remoteness, space, expanse, detachment, aloofness, all are suitable synonyms for the key word all can be applied in a fistic setting, all could be important in the build-up and during the fight itself. Come November 28 we’ll know just who will control the distance.