Tyson Fury has talked himself into a Wladimir Klitschko KO
The Brit’s defensive frailties and emotions will be devastated by the long-time Ukrainian champion in Dusseldorf, Germany, on Saturday
The achievements of Wladimir Klitschko are remarkable.
Victory against Tyson Fury in Dussleforf, Germany, on Saturday would make it 19 consecutive title defences and nearly 10 years at the top of the heavyweight division.
Dr Steelhammer is 11 years' unbeaten and is 1/5 to retain his WBA Super, IBF and WBO world titles.
But unlike many of Klitschko’s defences, this certainly isn’t a formality.
At 6ft 9in, Fury is literally the biggest threat of Klitschko's career - no fighter to face the 39-year-old has ever been taller.
The Englishman can back his size up with skill, having rushed to a 24-0 record, including two victories against the well-thought of Derek Chisora.
According to BoxRec, Fury is the world’s third best heavyweight, but Klitschko is a huge step up from his previous opponents.
That is why the 27-year-old is the 15/4 underdog.
Having travelled to America for his last bout, Klitschko was always likely to return to his beloved Germany to fight Fury.
The ESPRIT Arena in Dusseldorf will pack in around 60,000 fans, the majority of whom are certain to make it a hostile evening for the challenger.
The Ukranian last fought there in 2012, KO’ing Jean Marc Mormeck in four very one-sided rounds.
Predicting how this fight plays out has been made more intriguing by Fury’s comments in the build-up.
The Mancunian has claimed that a KO win is his only chance of victory and that he’d rather be carried out of the arena than lose on points.
For many fighters, this could simply be disregarded as mind games. Looking at Fury’s previous fights, though, what he claims is probably true.
His best chance of victory is by knockout.
Klitschko has perfected his style of jab followed by one-two combinations and he does it with a speed and precision that Fury will not be able to deal with if he tries to box his way to a win.
The champion, don't forget, is an Olympic Gold-winning medallist and has boxing skills far superior to Fury’s.
For this reason, he is 2/1 to win on points.
There are signs in Fury’s technique, however, that means the trash-talking Brit could suffer a devastating loss.
Firstly, Fury is by no means untouchable despite his incredible 85-inch reach.
He has received two huge knockdowns in the second round against Neven Pajkic and Steve Cunningham, neither of whom as regarded as big punchers.
Despite climbing up to win those fights, he will not be able to do so against an opponent who has a 79 per cent KO ratio.
More worryingly for the self-proclaimed 'Gypsy King', the shots that downed him were both big right hands - the type of punch Klitschko has ended so many of his fights with.
The Brit tends to throws his jab from the hip - making it easy to counter over the top - and if that’s the case on Saturday it could be lights out.
Klitschko is 5/6 to win by KO.
Fury’s emotions could be his downfall.
A prideful man, he has refused to lose on points and that could make him desperate if things don’t go his way.
Fury does, however, carry his own threat.
His reach is the biggest in boxing and, if he can establish his jab and throw it with power, that could be a huge battle won.
Realistically, his best chance of unsettling Klitschko is to make the contest a brawl.
The Ukrainian has never fought someone as physically imposing as Tyson and the Englishman should pursue trying to walk him down and rough him up on the inside.
Fury has KO’d 75 per cent of his previous opponents is 12 years his opponent's junior, which could have a significant impact in the later rounds.
There is also a slight vulnerability surrounding Klitschko’s ability to take a punch.
The Ukrainian’s three losses were all brutal KO's and he has been floored a total of 11 times in his career.
No fighter has been able to hit the champion clean for about 11 years now, though.