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Tyson Fury ends Wladimir Klitschko’s heavyweight reign

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DUESSELDORF, Germany (AP) — Tyson Fury defeated Wladimir Klitschko by unanimous decision Saturday to end the Ukrainian’s 9 1/2-year reign as heavyweight champion and fulfill his father’s prophesy from the day he was born.

Born three months early and weighing just one pound (.45 kg), Fury wasn’t given much chance to live, but John Fury told doctors it was his destiny to live and become heavyweight champion of the world. He named the second of his six sons Tyson, after Mike Tyson.

Twenty-seven years later, the 2.09-meter (6-foot-9) Tyson Fury, who is of Irish-Gypsy heritage and comes from a bloodline of bare-knuckle champions on both sides of his family, finally lived up to his name.

“It’s something I’ve been working on for my whole life,” Fury said. “I’m bred to be a fighter.”

After a bruising encounter that ended with cuts near both of Klitschko’s eyes, referee Tony Weeks went to the judges’ scorecards.

Cesar Ramos and Raul Caiz Sr. scored it 115-112 each, while Ramon Cerdan had it 116-111 in favor of the undefeated Briton (25-0, 18 KO).

Fury took Klitschko’s WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight belts, as well as the minor IBO title, and attention turned immediately to a potential rematch.

“We have a rematch clause in the contract,” Klitschko promoter Bernd Boente said.

“I’m a fighter so I will take on all challengers,” Fury said. “I came here tonight, took the world title. Whatever happens next is a blessing. The interest in the next fight will be huge.”

Fury, 12 years younger than the 39-year-old Klitschko, taunted and baited the champion at various stages, prompting jeers from fans at the 55,000-seat soccer stadium in Duesseldorf.

Klitschko (64-4, 53 KO), contesting his 28th title fight, was cautious until attempting a recovery in the final rounds, but suffered his first defeat since April 2004.

“The speed was missing. Reach played a big role. I tried but it didn’t work,” said Klitschko, who at 1.98-meters (6-foot-6), was in the unusual position of facing someone taller. Fury, who weighed in at 112 kilograms (247 pounds) also had half-kilo (1.1 pound) weight advantage.

“I saw my face in the mirror and it didn’t look so nice. But that’s boxing,” Klitschko said.

Klitschko, the premier heavyweight of his era, relinquished the IBF belt he had held since 2006, the WBO title he’d owned since 2008, and the WBA crown he’d had since 2011.

The other major belt, the WBC title, was held by Deontay Wilder of the U.S. That was vacated in 2013 by Klitschko’s older brother Vitali, the current mayor of Kiev, Ukraine.

The buildup to the fight had seen Fury dressing as Batman and serenading and insulting Klitschko, and even complimenting him on his scent.

“I’ve said some stupid things,” an emotional Fury said of his pre-fight talk and antics. “Wladimir, you’re a great champion and thanks for having me. It was all fun and games in the buildup.”

Earlier Saturday, Fury threatened to call off the bout unless an issue with the canvas being too soft was resolved.

There were also issues over gloves and glove-wrapping. Vitali Klitschko oversaw Fury’s glove-wrapping, but the Fury camp was incensed when the younger Klitschko wrapped the gloves without any of them present. That spat was resolved when he agreed to re-wrap.

Fury was itching to go from the start, and he ran into the first round to put Klitschko off kilter. The Briton also goaded Klitschko during and after the round.

Fury then landed a big right on Klitschko in the fifth, when he opened a small cut under his right eye, and taunted him again.

The Briton’s intensity seemed to drop as Klitschko improved, but still he needled him in the seventh, when he urged Klitschko to “come on” and baited him with his hands behind his back, prompting more jeers.

Klitschko replied to an uppercut in the ninth with a big right of his own before Fury was warned for punching the back of his head. But then he had Klitschko in trouble in the corner.

Klitschko needed a response, and sought it in the 10th, by which time there was blood coming from his left eye, too.

Fury had a point deducted for hitting behind the head in the 11th and both fighters gave their all in a furious final round before raising their arms in celebration. The Fury camp’s celebrations seemed more sincere.

“I am perhaps the sixth or seventh British heavyweight champion of the world and I believe I am the first Irish heavyweight champion of the world, so big that up,” said Fury, who also revealed that his wife, Paris, is expecting their third child.

“I got the news yesterday that we were pregnant. We were trying for two years so this is obviously the icing on the cake,” Fury said.

Boxer LaMotta, immortalized in ‘Raging Bull,’ dies at 95

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MIAMI (AP) Jake LaMotta, the former middleweight champion whose life was depicted in the film “Raging Bull,” has died at the age of 95.

His fiancee, Denise Baker, says LaMotta died Tuesday at a Miami-area hospital from complications of pneumonia.

The Bronx Bull, as he was known in his fighting days, compiled an 83-19-4 record with 30 knockouts.

LaMotta fought Sugar Ray Robinson six times, handing Robinson his first defeat. He lost the middleweight title to him in what became known as the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.

In his previous fight, LaMotta saved the championship in movie-script fashion against Laurent Dauthuille. Trailing badly, LaMotta knocked out the challenger with 13 seconds left.

LaMotta threw a fight against Billy Fox, which he admitted in testimony before a U.S. Senate committee. He said he was promised a shot at a title.

On June 16, 1949, he became middleweight champion when Marcel Cerdan couldn’t continue after the 10th round.

The 1980 film “Raging Bull” was based on LaMotta’s memoir. Actor Robert DeNiro won an Academy Award for it.

Canelo and Golovkin fight to controversial draw

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Gennady Golovkin retained his middleweight titles Saturday night, fighting to a draw with Canelo Alvarez in a brutal battle that ended with both fighters with their hands aloft in victory.

The middleweight showdown lived up to its hype as the two fighters traded huge punches and went after each other for 12 rounds. Neither fighter was down and neither appeared seriously hurt but both landed some huge punches to the head that had the crowd screaming in excitement.

Golovkin was the aggressor throughout and landed punches that had put other fighters to the canvas. But he couldn’t put Alvarez down, and the Mexican star more than stood his own in exchanges with Triple G, from Kazakhstan. The two were still brawling as the final seconds ticked down and the fight went to the scorecards.

One judge had Alvarez winning 118-110, a second had it 115-113 in Golovkin’s favor while the third had it 114-114. The Associated Press scored it 114-114.

Golovkin, who has never lost in 38 fights, retained his middleweight titles with the draw. But Alvarez showed that he could not only take Golovkin’s punches but land telling punches of his own.

A frenzied crowd of 22,358 at the T-Mobile Arena roared throughout the fight as the two middleweights put on the kind of show that boxing purists had anticipated. They brawled, used sharp jabs and counter-punched at times, with neither one willing to give the other much ground.

“Congratulations all my friends from Mexico,” Golovkin said. “I want a true fight. I want a big drama show.”

There was plenty of drama late in the fight as Alvarez seemed to rally and rocked Golovkin with uppercuts and big right hands. But just as soon as he landed he often took one back from the slugger so feared that most other fighter avoided him.

“I won seven-eight rounds easily,” Alvarez said.

It was a battle from the opening bell as Golovkin tried to walk Alvarez down but often found himself getting hit from sharp counter punches.

“Today, people give me draw. I focus on boxing,” Golovkin said. “Look my belts, I’m still champion. I’ve not lost.”

Golovkin predicted before the fight that the late rounds would resemble a street fight, and in a way they did. Both fighters were willing to trade, and both had no problems landing hard shots to the head.

Golovkin had chased Alvarez for nearly two years, trying to get the signature fight that would pay him millions and make him a pay-per-view draw on his own. Alvarez finally agreed after Golovkin looked vulnerable earlier this year against Daniel Jacobs in a decision win that stopped his knockout streak at 23 fights.