Boxing: Fury in row over ring canvas for Klitschko fight

Klitschko (left) and Fury shake hands at the official weigh-in in Essen, Germany.
Klitschko (left) and Fury shake hands at the official weigh-in in Essen, Germany.EPA

BERLIN (REUTERS) - British challenger Tyson Fury complained about the condition of the ring canvas at Duesseldorf's Esprit arena as a fresh dispute erupted hours before his world title fight with heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko on Saturday.

Fury's handlers protested about the canvas being too soft and had warned the fight could be called off if the dispute was not resolved.

Yet after urgent discussions and alterations to the canvas, Fury's team were happy with the new ring and reported that the fight was still on.

Fury's agent Asif Vali said on Twitter: "It's on after two hours, it's fight time."

Unbeaten Fury, who at 2.06m is 8cm taller than his Ukrainian opponent, is out to snap Klitschko's 11-year winning run that has seen him win the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO crowns which will all be on the line.

Fury's team felt the ring's foam underlay was too soft and represented a health and safety issue for the heavyweights, who might damage their ankles.

This was just the latest controversy to hit the run-up to the fight with Fury initially rejecting gloves offered by Klitschko and demanding changes.

Fury had protested that the ones sent to him were unsuitable, and hurt his thumb. He finally agreed on a pair to the relief of organisers, with the fight having already once been postponed due to a Klitschko injury.