While most of us were still making our way out of a Thanksgiving food coma this past Saturday, boxer Tyson Fury was making history by defeating longtime championWladimir Klitschko in Dusseldorf, Germany, to take the Ring, WBA, IBF, IBO and WBO heavyweight titles by unanimous decision. The win itself was shocking enough; Klitschko had been champ for nine years and hadn’t lost a fight in 11, but what Fury did afterward is what had everyone talking.
Following the obligatory kudos to Jesus, an emotional dedication to his late Uncle Hughie, and offering apologies to both Kiltschko and boxer-turned-boxing-commentator Lennox Lewis for his verbal grandstanding in the months leading up to the fight, Fury took the mic and delivered on a pre-match proclamation that he would sing a song if he won, which has become something of a post-fight tradition for the undefeated (25-0 with 18 KOs) Brit. And what song did he choose? The Diane Warren-penned ballad which Aerosmith recorded for the sappy 1998 film Armageddon, of course.
“I promised everybody I’d sing a song after this fight,” Fury began. “So this is to my UK fans, my Irish fans, my American fans and my new German fans; and most of all, this is a dedication to me wife.”
Admittedly, it goes on for an uncomfortably long time. It’s been derided by the more caustic critics in the worldwide media. Both Wladimir and his older brother Vitali, the boxer-turned-Mayor of Kiev and sometimes trainer, glared with murderous intent while Fury warbled through a verse and a chorus of the track. But when Vanyaland reached out to Joe Perry, the Aerosmith guitarist was downright ecstatic about the performance and the fact that it was dedicated to the new champion’s wife, Paris, who found out she was pregnant with the pair’s third child just days before the fight.
“I thought it was great!” Perry tells us. “[It was a] real honor to hear him sing it. Diane Warren — our friend who wrote it — must’ve done a back flip! To belt it out like that… talk about being in shape. My hat’s off to him; and to sing to his wife… he’s a class act!”
This wasn’t Fury’s first go round with some in ring karaoke; following his knockout of Steve Cunningham in 2013 at Madison Square Garden, he belted out the Ricky Van Shelton hit “Keep It Between The Lines.” And before the Kiltschko bout, he serenaded Wladimir with the Bette Midler weeper, “Wind Beneath My Wings.”
It’s unclear who Fury will defend his titles against next, though Klitschko has a rematch clause built into their contract, its uncertain if he will indeed use it or retire.