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Klitschko, DeGale, Charlo Put World Titles At Risk Tonight

It's a big night at the fights with three world title bouts featured in three different countries this evening and we start this review by heading to Germany, where heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko puts the WBA, IBF and WBO crowns on offer against opinionated challenger Tyson Fury at Esprit Arena in Dusseldorf.

Finally, Fury, 24-0 (18), gets a seat at the captain's table after insulting Klitschko, 64-3 (52), for the last couple of years but will the trash-talking challenger have the skills to back up the pre-fight boasts of his own greatness?

This bout presents the 6'6 Klitschko with the rare occasion of facing a taller opponent as Fury stands a full 6'9, and he can move and box quite well for a man of his size.

Usually the champion can stand off from his opponent, controlling the contest with his outstanding jab and just grab and hold if his adversary does gain proximity.

That probably won't work against Fury, who claims he will be pressuring "Dr. Steelhammer" and forcing him to fight, which could present real problems for Klitschko as, from Team Fury's perspective, that should put him in an unfamiliar and uncomfortable position.

But the chin of Fury, who was dropped hard in a previous contest by former cruiserweight world champ Steve Cunningham, will probably be the deciding factor in the fight as Klitschko, who punches much harder than Cunningham, will almost certainly hit the target with his powerful right hand.

An interesting complexity of this contest is that the chin of Klitschko, knocked out previously by Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster, hasn't always proven to be made of the most sturdy material either, leading to the interesting possibility of a knockdown fuelled thriller.

The most likely outcome will see Klitschko's massive skill and experience advantages overcoming the edge in size and confidence that Fury enjoys, with Wlad stopping the towering Englishman inside the distance.

Jumping over to The Great White North, the Canadian boxing stronghold of Quebec once again gains the spotlight, this time at Centre Videotron in Quebec City where adopted favorite son Lucian Bute, 32-2 (25), attempts to regain the IBF super middle title that he held for five years before getting hammered by Carl Froch in 2012.

Standing in the way is current IBF title holder and former Olympic gold medallist for the UK James DeGale, 21-1 (14), who picked up the vacant belt in May by dropping Andre Dirrell twice enroute to posting a UD in Boston.

This one should be an interesting all-southpaw clash with the taller Montreal-based Bute looking to work behind the jab, landing combinations and body shots while DeGale has a very awkward, free-form style that is almost certain to cause the challenger real problems.

Bute has never been the same fighter, confidence-wise, since getting KO'd by Froch, going 2-1 over the last three years, winning a controversial UD over Denis Grachev, losing at light heavyweight to Jean Pascal in a massive domestic showdown before halting an overmatched Andrea Di Luisa in August.

London based DeGale's weakness is that he can "switch off" and go defensive in bouts for fairly long periods of time, something that could be fatal to his title reign in a very pro-Bute environment should this bout go to the judges.

DeGale has vowed to KO Bute within three rounds but that seems to be a long shot as the British fighter isn't really a concussive puncher but he will likely retain his IBF title by decision unless the local man can turn back the clock and pull off a vintage performance.

The undercard features an intriguing matchup at light heavyweight in a final eliminator to see who will become mandatory challenger for WBC champ Adonis Stevenson.

In one corner stands Montreal based Eleider Alvarez, 18-0 (10), while in the other, Issac Chilemba, 24-2-2 (10), with the winner getting one of the highest profile opportunities in the weight class.

Sharp boxing Alvarez is the local man and has the better record on paper but awkward, cagey Chilemba is the taller man and has faced the better competition, making this one a toss up, with the hometown advantage of Alvarez probably playing a role should the bout go to decision.

Heading south, we stop at our final destination, the Bomb Factory in the American city of Houston where local hero Jermall Charlo, 22-0 (17), will look to make the first defense of the IBF super welter belt that he won by dropping reigning champ Cornelius Bundrage four times before producing a third round stoppage in September.

Challenging Charlo is the relatively unknown Wilky Campfort, 21-1 (12), who has never gone past eight rounds but does have 19 straight victories, although against lower level competition.

This is a big ask for Campfort, who will be at a decided disadvantage against heavily favored Charlo, who has been heavily-hyped as the next big thing in the super welter division.

But, this is boxing and upsets do happen. Just not very often at this level.

About Hermann Helmut

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