Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko fight on after canvas row – BBC Sport

Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson Fury

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Wladimir Klitschko v Tyson Fury: Where will the fight be won and lost?

Tyson Fury’s world heavyweight title fight against Wladimir Klitschko on Saturday is set to go ahead after a row over the thickness of the canvas.

Fury, who will face the WBA, IBF and WBO champion at about 22:00 GMT, had complained the canvas was “too soft”.

The underlay in the ring in Dusseldorf, Germany, has been torn up and the canvas re-laid which could result in a fight on the undercard being lost.

Fury’s agent Asif Vali tweeted: “It’s on after two hours, it’s fight time.”

Singer Rod Stewart, who is set to perform in the build up to the fight, was also inconvenienced after his soundcheck was delayed because of the last-minute canvas alterations.

Vali said British challenger Fury had complained to both the British Boxing Board of Control and the commissioner of the fight about there being too much foam under the canvas.

Fury, 27, and his camp believed it to be five inches thick, which Vali said was a health and safety issue.

Layers of foam removed from the ring in Dusseldorf

BBC Sport’s Ben Dirs in Dusseldorf

“Boxing is the ultimate ‘pop-up’ sport, in that shows take place wherever a promoter fancies. As such, there are no set conditions, which often leads to pre-fight rows over the size of the ring, tightness of the ropes or, in this case, the thickness of the canvas.

“It was evident at Klitschko’s training camp in Austria that his ring was particularly spongy and that’s how he likes it – it reduces an opponent’s mobility while giving him extra purchase. It might seem unfair, but in boxing it’s a champion’s prerogative.”

Why was Fury unhappy?

Boxing analyst Steve Bunce told 5 live Sport the concerns in the Fury camp were that more foam beneath the ring would impinge their man’s mobility.

Bunce said it would prove a serious problem for Fury and “nullify most of what he’s prepared for”.

“They will have seen a lot of footage of Fury being incredibly mobile, and of course his plan tonight will be to be very mobile and make Klitschko chase him,” he added.

The fight

Manchester’s Fury, who dedicated his version of the Bette Midler ballad Wind Beneath My Wings to the Ukrainian during the weigh-in, will challenge 39-year-old Klitschko at the 50,000-capacity Esprit Arena.

Klitschko, a two-time heavyweight world champion, has not been beaten since 2004 and has had 27 world title fights and made 23 successful defences.

Fury is unbeaten in 24 professional fights, with 18 knockouts, is challenging for a world title for the first time and is a heavy underdog.

Fury had complained the canvas was “too soft” and his team felt it would affect his mobility
Singer Rod Stewart’s soundcheck was delayed because of the last-minute canvas alterations
Tyson Fury scaled 17st 8lb at Friday’s weigh-in

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