Thursday, April 19, 2018
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boxing

fury ends klitschko's title reign

DUESSELDORF, Germany — Tyson Fury beat Wladimir Klitschko by unanimous decision to end Klitschko's 91/2-year reign as heavyweight champion Saturday and take his WBA, IBF, and WBO titles.

After a bruising encounter that ended with cuts near both of Klitschko's eyes, referee Tony Weeks went to the judges' scorecards. Two scored it 115-112, and the other had it 116-111 in favor of the undefeated Briton (25-0, 18 KO).

Fury, 12 years younger than Klitschko, 39, taunted and baited the champion at various stages, prompting jeers from fans at the 55,000-seat soccer stadium where the fight was held. Klitschko (64-4, 53 KO) was cautious until attempting a recovery in the final rounds, but he suffered his first defeat since April 2004 and his first in 19 title defenses.

"I've said some stupid things," an emotional Fury said of his prefight talk and antics. "Wladimir, you're a great champion, and thanks for having me. It was all fun and games in the buildup."

In the morning, Fury threatened to pull out of the fight if the canvas wasn't changed, and he made a complaint to the British Boxing Board of Control and the fight commissioner. Fury's agent, Asif Vali, said officials removed a layer of foam to make the canvas firmer and the complaint was withdrawn.

Just before the fight, Fury's team was unhappy with Klitschko's hand wraps, and Klitschko had to cut them off and start again, Britain's Sky Sports reported.

Klitschko said there will be a rematch. "I was well prepared … but he was quick for his height," said Klitschko, about 3 inches shorter than Fury's 6 feet 9. It was the 28th title fight for Klitschko, the premier heavyweight of this era.

ET CETERA

autos: Nico Rosberg extended his streak of pole positions to six when he edged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in qualifying for today's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in United Arab Emirates. Rosberg's final lap was 0.377 of a second faster than Hamilton.

Golf: Second-round leader Matt Jones shot 3-under 68 to hold a three-stroke advantage over Jordan Spieth (67) at 10-under 203 after the third round of the Australian Open in Sydney.

soccer: Jamie Vardy became the first player to score in 11 straight English Premier League games in helping Leicester draw 1-1 with host Manchester United. Vardy beat former United star Ruud van Nistelrooy's record set in 2003. Manchester City reclaimed the league's top spot by beating visiting Southampton 3-1.

tennis: Britain was one point from winning the Davis Cup after winning the doubles against host Belgium in Ghent. Brothers Andy and Jamie Murray beat David Goffin and Steve Darcis 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 for a 2-1 lead going into today's reverse singles.

Times wires

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