Wladimir Klitschko thinks he’ll batter Tyson Fury in about a year

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If he meets with “Dr. Steelhammer,” Tyson Fury will be in a world of pain.

The Ring, IBF, IBO and WBO heavyweight king “Dr. Steelhammer” Wladimir Klitschko predicts he will batter Irish heavyweight champion Tyson Fury within “the next year.”

Klitschko (58-3, 51 KOs), who has triumphed in 15 consecutive bouts since being TKO’d by Lamon Brewster in April 2004, pummeled and outclassed mandatory challenger Tony “The Tiger” Thompson en route to a dominant sixth round TKO to successfully defend his titles in their rematch on Saturday afternoon in front of 32,000 fans at the Stade de Suisse in Berne, Switzerland.

Hours after “Dr. Steelhammer” again emerged triumphant, Fury (19-0, 14 KOs), an English pugilist of Irish heritage who is capable of scrapping in either an orthodox or southpaw stance, earned the WBO Inter-continental belt with a fifth round TKO victory over a tomato can named Vinny Maddalone.

“I think we could end up fighting very soon,” said Klitschko, 36, a 1996 Olympic gold medalist who hasn’t been overcome since the end of George W. Bush’s first term in office and has now managed to defend his belts on 13 straight occasions. “Probably in the next year.”

The massive, and indomitable, Ukrainian, who has improved with age and could threaten Joe Louis’ longstanding record of safeguarding his crowns against 25 straight challenges, praised Fury’s maturation as a prizefighter.

“From fight to fight he’s just going to get better,” said Klitschko, undoubtedly one of the greatest heavyweights to ever grace the sport.” I doubt [a fight] is going to happen this year, but probably next.”

Fury, a former British and Commonwealth heavyweight titlist, holds himself in a comically high regard and contends he can handle “Dr. Steelhammer.”

“I think I can win,” said Fury, 23, who was named at birth after “Iron” Mike Tyson. “Wladimir Klitschko hasn’t fought anyone like me. I bring ambition, youth, power and determination. There’s never been anyone like me. I am unique.”

At 6-foot-9, 257 pounds, the only thing “unique” about Fury is his size.

Unfortunately for Fury, the 6-foot-6, 243 pound Ukrainian is virtually equal in physical stature.

Mike Cappiello, who captured the New England super featherweight championship in 1990 and finished his professional career with an impressive record of 33-6, wasn’t brazen enough to choose Fury.

However, Cappiello does believe that Klitschko is ready to again be floored for the count.

“Wladimir Klitschko can be beat,” said Cappiello, who once fought for the flyweight title and retired with an impressive mark of 33-6. “He is always fighting on the outside because he knows he doesn’t have a solid chin.”

Considering the dearth of quality competition, and the Ukrainian’s otherworldly skills, it is currently hard to fathom that “Wladimir Klitschko can be beat.”

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