Wladimir Klitschko is expected to grind Tyson Fury’s world heavyweight title dreams to dust inside the distance in Dusseldorf.
The sheer weight of advantages commanded by the reigning WBA, IBF, and IBO champion make the 1/2 about his victory an appealing prospect.
It’s a price that’s waved away though, in favour of the 91/100 about the Ukrainian prevailing inside the distance by way of KO, TKO or disqualification.
Doctor Steelhammer’s 23 bouts at world-title level are more than any other heavyweight in history besides the late, great Joe Louis.
Fury, by contrast has fought just once at this strata, when retiring the then 17-3 Christian Hammer in February and that was on home turf at London’s O2.
He must now face a vastly-experienced campaigner in the latter’s own appropriated backyard (50 of Klitschko’s 67 fights have been in Germany).
The Briton has fought outside the United Kingdom just three times to date and never at anything close to this level.
He will have to contend not only with the Ukranian world champion and a partisan crowd, but with the potential for ‘sympathetic’ home refereeing.
Given Klitschko got away with initiating 180 separate clinches against Russian Alexander Povetkin in the latter’s home land (going 11 rounds before being docked a point) that has to be a worrying prospect Fury fans.
Even if the challenger can extricate himself from the champion’s tentacles without falling foul of the referee himself, his own suspect chin may ultimately prove his downfall.
Fury was dropped by Steve Cunningham, a cruiserweight conceding him 44lbs in weight, on his last international foray.
Against Klitschko, who has stopped six of his last ten opponents at world title level, he may not be able to get back up again so easily.