Harty on . . . Fury vs Klitschko and a charity rugby evening

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BACK in the day, youngsters of a certain age could almost certainly rattle off the answers to the following four questions.

One: The name of the current Prime Minister?

Two: The scorer of the winning goal of the previous FA Cup final?

Three: Which artist or group was top of the hit parade that week?

Four: The world heavyweight champion?

I think probably from about 1973 to the early 1980’s, I could have have rattled off all four answers fairly quickly.

As for today, I can clearly name David Cameron, but no idea about the goalscorer or the chart topper. And it’s light years from the times when there were only eight boxing weights and therefore only eight world champions. Great Britain now finds itself top of the boxing pile, with ten fighters currently holding versions of world titles.

On Saturday night in Dusseldorf, Germany, it could be 11 as Tyson Fury aims to become another British heavyweight world champion, following in the footsteps of Lewis, Bruno and Haye.

Not quite returning to the Halcyon days of Marciano, Louis, Ali, Frazier and Foreman, but his opponent Wladimir Klitschko is perceived to be, even at nearly 40 years old, the best heavyweight on the planet.

It is a fascinating contest, if only for the enigma that is Fury. Love or loathe him, he’s certainly entertaining and very watchable. He’s made no secret of the fact that he believes himself to be the best boxer since Muhammad Ali, belief in itself knows no bounds. I’ve sat in pubs and watched people believe they can sing but they couldn’t!

Is Fury the real deal or merely another sporting version of the Emperor’s New Clothes? Saturday night will tell us everything we need to know. As far as I’m concerned, the hype has already worked, I’ve paid Sky for the fight, the Corona is in the fridge and the lime is in the fruit bowl.

For what it’s worth, I’ve changed my prediction on the contest a couple of times already. Now I’m in a quandary, part of me initially thought Fury was out of his league, now my doubts switch to the champion and has he still got it at nearly 40?

Fascinating stuff, whatever the eventual result...

Next up is a classic combination of a top quality speaker and a very worthy cause when TV and radio’s John Inverdale hosts an evening at Worthing Rugby Club next Friday (December 4), in aid of the RAF Benevolent Fund.

John’s CV is an eclectic mix of sport, ranging from Olympic Games to BDO World Darts at Frimley Green but he is commonly most associated with his excellent coverage of rugby.

This year’s event comes on the back of last year’s dinner, at which English rugby great Rob Andrew was the guest.

Both gentlemen waived their normal speaking fees in recognition of what the charity does for former Air Force personnel.

There are still some tickets available for the event, which includes a three-course dinner and wine, at £55. Please contact Worthing Rugby Club on 01903 784706 for more details.

And, finally, this column gives me the chance to wish my father-in-law, great mate and former Worthing Football League stalwart Harry Giles, a happy landmark birthday this Saturday.

I won’t give his age away but can point out you can buy candles in multiples of ten!

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