Tyson Fury defeated Wladimir Klitschko by unanimous decision Saturday to become the heavyweight champion of the world.
The two boxers had much different experiences with the Olympics.
Fury, a 6-foot-9 fighter named after Mike Tyson, hoped to compete at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. But countries are limited to one boxer per weight class, and David Price was chosen to represent Great Britain.
Fury had lost to Price in 2006 as an amateur.
“I knocked him down in the fight, but lost it on points,” Fury told The Sunday Telegraph in 2008. “It seemed nailed down that Price would be the superheavyweight fighting for Britain. I wasn’t selected because of politics.”
Price went on to claim the super heavyweight bronze medal at the 2008 Games.
A proud Irish Traveller who calls himself the “Gypsy Warrior,” Fury also tried unsuccessfully to qualify to represent Ireland.
Shortly after the 2008 Olympics, Price turned professional, and Fury seemed destined to represent Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics. But Fury decided to turn professional himself.
“It would have been great to try for the Olympic team and box in London in 2012, but I could see from the start that boxing politics was going to get in the way,” Fury said, according to The Sunday Telegraph.
Klitschko won the Atlanta 1996 Olympic super heavyweight gold medal.
He has said it would be “a dream” to compete at the 2016 Games, 20 years after his lone Olympic appearance. He will be 40 years old.
But Klitschko’s Olympic eligibility remains unclear.
In February, boxing’s international governing body (AIBA) stated that Klitschko “is not eligible for any of the qualifying paths” for the Rio Olympics. Then in October, AIBA’s communications department wrote in an email, “We have no comment at this stage concerning particular boxer presence at Rio 2016. The eligibility will be determined by December 4th 2015 and will be communicated accordingly by each National Olympic Committee.”
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