Wladimir Klitschko will be determined to seek revenge for his defeat at the hands of Tyson Fury in their WBA, WBO, IBO heavyweight title match.
The Brit ended the 40-year-old’s recent dominance of the division with a victory through a unanimous points decision in their bout in Berlin.
Fury was the underdog when heading into the contest, with pundits claiming that the Ukrainian would be able to win the fight, at the very least on a points decision.
A tumultuous build-up to the fight culminated in threats from the Fury camp about canceling the bout due to the title holder illegally wrapping his hands along with concerns over the ring canvas.
However, the contest went ahead as scheduled and the 27-year-old’s movement around the ring caused Klitschko problems in the early rounds as the Ukrainian failed to connect with early strikes.
Fury’s switch to a southpaw stance also knocked the reigning champion out of his rhythm, and matters got worse for Klitschko when the challenger landed a couple of right hands to produce a cut above his eye.
The Mancunian taunted the then 39-year-old before he finally responded with a strong display in the ninth, but it was not enough to disrupt Fury who added further jabs to the face late in the bout.
Fury’s victory was confirmed on a unanimous points decision 115-112, 115-112, 116-111 by the three judges to secure WBA, IBF and WBO crowns.
The 27-year-old vowed to hand a rematch to the Ukrainian, forcing him to vacate the IBF crown having passed on the opportunity to fight Vyacheslav Glazkov.
The two men are now locked into their meeting at the Manchester Arena, United Kingdom on July 9, with the Brit boasting odds of 10/11 to retain his titles with a second victory over the veteran fighter.
Fury has as already claimed that the bout will be the final of his career, citing the desire to spend more time with his family as the reason to step away from the ring.
The war of words between the two men has already begun as Klitschko goaded Fury over his weight, only for the latter to hit back, saying: “Shame on you, you let a fat man beat you.”
Fury has not been beaten in his 25 professional fights, but he will need to raise the level of his game to ensure that he bows out on the highest notes.
The Ukrainian will have learned a great deal about the Mancunian’s fighting style in the first encounter, and will have put plans in place to dismantle his defenses second time around after failing to land many telling blows on him in Berlin.
Conditioning will also be key for Fury as his ability to maneuver around the ring played a crucial factor in his victory.
His weight was called into question during the press conference when announcing the bout and he will need to work extremely hard over the next eight weeks to get back into fighting shape.
Even at the age of 40, Klitschko will pose a serious physical threat to Fury so he needs to ensure that he is in peak condition in order to retain his titles come July.