In Depth

Tyson Fury Batman stunt video: Klitschko bemused by 'clown'

However he fares in the ring, British boxer will be remembered as a 'genuinely strange man in a strange sport'

Tyson Fury

Boxer Tyson Fury opened up a bizarre new frontier in the world of boxing hype this week by appearing at a press conference dressed as Batman and leaping over the table to grapple with an intruder dressed as The Joker.

The British heavyweight is fighting Wladimir Klitschko in Dusseldorf next month and is obviously anxious to raise awareness of the world title bout.

He arrived at the press call 15 minutes late, but his entrance was worth waiting for. The 6ft 9in fighter emerged from a yellow Lambourghini dressed as the caped crusader before bursting into the room and running around the audience as the Batman theme played. Even Klitschko seemed amused, and footage of the stunt soon spread across social media.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_original","fid":"84797","attributes":{"class":"media-image"}}]]

But there was more to come when another man in a Joker costume entered the fray, and the 27-year-old Mancunian vaulted the table to fight him. Batman was, unsurprisingly, victorious and after monstering the Joker, jumped up, berated Klitschko and his camp on the top table and left the room.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_original","fid":"84796","attributes":{"class":"media-image"}}]]

Fury returned in a suit a couple of minutes later, claiming he was late because of the traffic.

Nothing could have prepared Klitschko for the "Tyson Fury show", says Ron Lewis of The Times. "The fun and games are unlikely to help Fury when he competes for the title in Dusseldorf... but at least it promises to be entertaining, something heavyweight boxing has been all too rarely of late."

It was "one of the most bizarre pre-fight stunts in the history of boxing", writes Gareth A Davies of the Daily Telegraph. As Fury in his batman costume rolled around on the floor with The Joker, "the champion's three world title belts were scattered to the ground [and] Klitschko, unbeaten in 11 years, looked on bemused".

There was more traditional boxing fare once Fury had dispensed with the superhero outfit. When Klitschko damned Fury with faint praise, called him a "clown" and said he should get a job with Cirque du Soleil, the Mancunian threw off his jacket and offered to fight him on the spot. The Russian declined the invitation. 

Kevin Mitchell of The Guardian insisted he was not so much surprised as intrigued. "This was the sort of behaviour familiar to those whose beat is the outskirts of sporting weirdness, and it lent a layer of the surreal to what promises to be a rollercoaster of stunts between now and 24 October, when they share a ring in Düsseldorf to dispute the Ukrainian's WBA, WBO and IBF belts."

Klitschko, who is undefeated in 53 fights, described Fury's "jokes" as "demotivating". He added: "I think there are some screws loose in his mind. Deep inside he is insecure and when you are insecure you put up a wall as cover and act the way he does... It is going to be an interesting challenge for me, but it is going to be really challenging for Tyson Fury. I hope there will be no excuses after the fight."

But Ben Dirs of the BBC says that, whatever happens in the ring, Fury's "greatest triumph was to stand out as a genuinely strange man in the strangest of sports".

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