MANCHESTER'S Tyson Fury has been crowned the new heavyweight champion of the world after ending Wladimir Klitschko's nine-year reign with a slick points win in Dusseldorf.
The self-styled 'Gypsy King' bullishly claimed he expected an easy fight against the WBA, WBO and IBF title holder as he attempted to become Britain's eighth world heavyweight champion at Dusseldorf's ESPRIT Arena.
The Mancunian, a 4-1 underdog, baffled Klitschko with a stylish, measured performance in which he utilised his height and youth perfectly to earn a superb win with scores of 115-112 twice and 116-111.
"You're a great champion Wlad, thanks very much for having me," said Fury, moments after his win was announced.
"It was all fun and games in the build-up, I just wanted to be confident, young and brash."
He then burst into a rendition of Aerosmith's hit ballad I Don't Want To Miss A Thing, dedicating it to wife Paris and his fans in Ireland, the UK, the United States and Germany.
Fury said: "I always said what I'd do and I've delivered tonight. I didn't have this confidence for nothing.
"I knew I could come here and upset the apple cart.
"I knew all along I could win the fight. Wladimir knew, his full team knew tonight.
"I saw in his eyes tonight he was going to lose the fight and he saw the new, hungry champion in me.
"I never took my eyes off him during the stare-off. I wasn't fazed by the crowd or nothing because I knew I was going to be the new heavyweight champion of the world.
"God gave me the ability to do like I've done and I want to thank him for that. With God, anything is possible.
"Thanks very much and happy Christmas."
The build-up to the fight had been colourful and controversial, ranging from Fury's entrance to a London press conference dressed as Batman to threats by the Briton that he would pull out of the contest altogether due to issues over gloves and the ring canvas.
Indeed, the controversy continued right until the first bell as Klitschko apparently had his hands wrapped without a member of Fury's team watching, as is customary. They therefore demanded the champion cut them off and start again, delaying the start.
Fury's hopes of victory pinned largely on his height - three inches taller than Klitschko at 6ft 9ins - and his age, at 27 being 12 years younger than the champion.
The unbeaten Fury (24-0,18KOs) had even claimed the bout against the hugely experienced Klitschko (64-3, 53KOs) would be "an easy fight", but he obviously started a heavy underdog.
However, with question marks over both fighters' ability to take a shot, Fury had a decent 'puncher's chance'.
He looked relaxed as a sizeable travelling army of supporters cheered his walk to the ring.
Fury ran across the ring towards Klitschko at the first bell, a bundle of nervous energy. An early right hook nearly landed as the pair fenced with each other.
The second was just as cagey but Fury, feinting constantly, landed a couple of half-decent left hooks which arguably won him the round.
Fury, switching stance to southpaw and show-boating, was boxing well without landing much.
Fury landed a right in the fifth but a Klitschko right hand was arguably the best punch of the fight at that stage. Klitschko, meanwhile, suffered a cut on the cheek.
Klitschko, who is used to fighting shorter opponents who he can keep at arm's length, was looking every one of his 39 years as his ponderous, orthodox style threatened to lose him the fight.
As dull as the action was, Fury was boxing beautifully and seemed to be having the time of his life.
Klitschko finally opened up with the right hand in the ninth, landing it properly twice. Fury dealt with it well, however, landing a big left hook in return.
The Ukrainian landed a thudding one-two in the 11th as opinion among observers differed as to whom was winning.
Fury began the 12th aggressively and a left hook hurt Klitschko and chants of "Fury, Fury" rang out. Klitschko landed a ferocious right hand again but Fury shook it off well as the fight finally caught fire. Fury was hurt by another, however, but held on for the final bell.
Both men claimed victory but when the scores were announced it was Fury's moment of glory.