Tyson Fury will fall short against Wladimir Klitschko, says Julius Francis
Last Updated: 25/11/15 6:18pm
Tyson Fury's bid to dethrone heavyweight kingpin Wladimir Klitschko will end in failure, predicts former British heavyweight champion Julius Francis.
Fury challenges the Ukrainian for his WBA super, WBO and IBF titles in Dusseldorf on Saturday night, live and exclusive on Sky Sports Box Office.
Francis says Fury is talented and skillful boxer but believes the undefeated Mancunian, who will enjoy a three-inch height advantage over the champion, will come up short against Klitschko.
"Tyson Fury is a very good boxer, he's very good at what he does as far as fighting is concerned. He can switch to southpaw; he's won fights as a southpaw which is not easy as an orthodox fighter," Francis told Sky Sports News HQ.
"He's got good skill, but I just think in this instance, against this opponent, and the way that Klitschko has seemed so focused and so one-directional, I don't think that Tyson can pull it off.
"Obviously, Klitschko being the champion, it just seems for me all the cards kind of fall on his side of the table."
Francis has been impressed by Fury's ability to handle the pressure in the build-up to the fight but says the reality of the task ahead will finally sink in on Saturday night.
"He's got a very relaxed attitude and a very relaxed kind of demeanour now, and this is three or four days away from the fight, but as the fight draws closer I think on the night of the fight when he's sitting there an hour before the bell goes, things start to change, you start getting darker and you start having to think about the serious side of everything you've been doing up until that point.
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"When the bells goes he's going to be looking at the guy across the ring from him, and I have to say the guy that will be across the ring from him Klitschko, is a very impressive unit.
"He's a big, strong guy with muscles and I think that he's got his game plan, I don't think that Tyson is going to be able to put him off of it.
Francis previously shared a ring with a Klitschko; Wladimir's big brother Vitali and was stopped in two rounds in 1998.
"It was very tough because going into the fight I did think I was fighting Wladimir because I think Wladimir was on the posters, but I obviously got the bigger brother which was Vitali.
"I think the only similarity as far as the two brothers are concerned is the height, one was bigger than the other, only slightly. They both can punch; they are both enormously big punchers.
"Tyson Fury is 6ft 8in, 6ft 9in, that's not going to make any difference for Wladimir because he obviously does spar with his brother and has sparred with his brother, so a guy being taller and bigger than him is not going to make any difference."
Fury dressed up as Batman for last month's press conference but Francis believes his pre-fight antics will not have their desired effect.
"Some of the things that Tyson Fury has done has only spurred and made Klitschko think to himself 'right, I've got a genuine contender in front of me, a big guy in front of me that really wants to rip away everything that I've got' and for me it's galvanised him, it's made him more determined.
"A couple of days ago I was watching one of the press conferences and just the look in Klitschko's eyes - it was like he was homing in on his prey and everything that Fury was saying, doing, his antics and everything, were just really just guiding him, he was like a falcon, seeing his prey and he's going to dive on it and he's going to devour it."
Wladimir Klitschko v Tyson Fury, exclusively live on Sky Sports Box Office on November 28, is now available to order via the phone and online.