In praise of Tyson Fury, a champion by virtue of making it into the ring

Tyson Fury took Deontay Wilder to the very brink in his heavyweight title bout in Las Vegas. (AFP)
Updated 03 December 2018
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In praise of Tyson Fury, a champion by virtue of making it into the ring

LONDON: It might not have ended exactly how the self-proclaimed “Gypsy King” would have wanted, but Tyson Fury has won more fans in drawing with Deontay Wilder than he ever had in all his previous victories.
Like him, or loathe him — and he is a very divisive character — Fury’s story is one of overcoming adversity and personal demons. And tenfold.
He shocked the world in 2015 by beating Vladimir Klitschko to become a world heavyweight champion, but his decline in the aftermath was painful to watch for his fans.
Controversial comments, drug bans, a personal fight with substance abuse and a very public suicidal depression battle saw the charismatic champion fall from grace and seemingly toward oblivion. His destructive lifestyle led to Fury ballooning to 400lbs in weight, and his boxing career looked over.

So, his performance in Las Vegas this weekend against a formidable opponent in Deontay Wilder makes his story all the more incredible.
In beating his demons, getting back into top physical shape and even entering the ring again against Wilder, he had already won a monumental battle.
Once in the ring, Fury out-boxed his much-favored opponent for large parts of the fight and even picked himself up off the canvass twice — the second time when he it looked he had been knocked out cold — and went the distance with a man who had only once before been in a fight that had gone the distance.
Whether he gets a rematch with Wilder remains to be seen. But, in the eyes of boxing fans around the world, Fury etched his name into the pantheon of greats simply by entering the ring this weekend, an inspiration to millions.


Finch's century helps fire Australia to eight-wicket win over Pakistan

Updated 23 March 2019
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Finch's century helps fire Australia to eight-wicket win over Pakistan

SHARJAH: Aaron Finch's fine century drove Australia to a convincing eight-wicket win over a new-look Pakistan in the first one-day international on Friday.
The Austraian skipper scored 116 off 135 balls for his 12th one-day international century that helped his team overhaul the 281-run target in 49 overs on a flat Sharjah stadium pitch.
The win gives Australia the lead in the five-match series and has come on the back of their 3-2 series win in India earlier this month.
Finch's match-winning knock overshadowed Haris Sohail's maiden one-day hundred (101 not out) which helped Pakistan to 280-5 in their 50 overs.
The 32-year-old smashed Shoaib Malik for a huge six towards deep mid-wicket to complete his century -- his first since June last year against England at Chester-Le-Street -- off 120 balls.
Finch, who knocked four sixes and eight boundaries, added an innings-building 172 runs for the second wicket with Shaun Marsh who scored an unbeaten 91 off 102 balls with four boundaries and two sixes.
With 46 needed Finch became Mohammad Abbas's maiden wicket but Peter Handscomb hit 30 not out to help Marsh cross the line.
Finch and Marsh came together after opener Usman Khawaja fell for 24 to medium pacer Faheem Ashraf, the only other success Pakistan's new-look bowling attack could achieve.
Pakistan rested six of their key players including regular skipper Sarfraz Ahmed in order to keep them fresh for the World Cup starting in UK from May 30.
But the young and inexperienced Pakistan led by Malik proved no match for Australia, who are on a roll after their win in India earlier this month.
Left-hander Sohail, who reached 1,000 runs in his 27th one-day international when on 40, anchored Pakistan's innings, adding 98 for the third wicket with Umar Akmal who made a 50-ball 48 in his first international match for two years.
Sohail took a single to complete his hundred in the last over, finishing with six boundaries and a six.
Pakistan had handed one-day debuts to opener Shan Masood and Abbas -- who have played 15 and 14 Tests respectively.
Masood put on 35 in an opening stand with Imam-ul-Haq (17) before off-spinner Nathan Lyon dismissed Imam in the seventh over, caught and bowled.
Masood, who hit five boundaries in his 62-ball 40, was then bowled by paceman Nathan Coulter-Nile who finished with 1-38 in his 10 overs.
Umar smashed three sixes in one Jhye Richardson over but fell one short of his half century.
Malik fell for 11 and Ashraf and Imad Wasim scored 28 each.
Wasim hit four boundaries and a six during his 13-ball unbeaten knock, helping Pakistan to 55 runs in the last five overs.
Sunday's second ODI is also being played in Sharjah, with the third in Abu Dhabi (March 27) and the last two in Dubai (March 29 and 31).