Tyson Fury finally and fully introduced himself to the US boxing world last night in Las Vegas. This event was about much more than his 2nd round TKO of German heavyweight Tom Schwartz.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, Tyson Fury looked, acted and performed like the best Heavyweight boxer in the world. His full range of skills were laid out for all to see, added to this was a venomous edge not always associated with the Gyspy King.
The last 30 seconds of the fight was clinical. The referee stopped the fight at the exact same moment the Schwartz corner threw in the towel. Moments earlier Fury dropped a visibly slowing Schwartz to the canvas with a left right combo. It was exactly what an expectant media wanted to see. Tyson Fury the finisher.
I understand that Tom Schwartz is not a world class heavyweight despite what his 24-0 record might fool people into believing, but the big German definitely did come to fight. He was just completely outclassed.
This is Fury’s 4th fight on the comeback trail and it’s the first where his undoubted boxing brain and ability was backed up with his athleticism. He put on an extra 7 pounds for this fight.
This was not an accident. It was very much by design. It was not 7 lbs of Snickers bars but 7 lbs of additional firepower.
In the first round of last night’s contest Tyson threw 45 jabs. A very high percentage of them connected. Fury used most of that first round taking the measure of his opponent while also inflicting damage. Bouncing on the balls of his feet around the ring.
In the build up, the Nevada Athletic Commission, granted a request from the Fury camp, to allow them to use a specially built ring stool. Given the man mountain’s 6’9″ frame a stool about 15-20 cm higher than the standard stool used by boxers was on standby. Yet it was never used.
Tyson strolled back to his corner at the end of the first round and merely stood with his back to the ropes. Completely relaxed and at home in the MGM Grand. The contrast with Anthony Joshua’s demeanor two weeks earlier in Madison Square Garden couldn’t have been more starkly striking. Here was a man entirely at ease with the job ahead of him.
Fury switched to a southpaw stance at the beginning of the second round, at one point he dropped both hands to his side and started flicking out jabs from his hips like he was absentmindedly swatting flies.
At the halfway point of the round Schwartz’s nose was a bloody mess, with the rest of his body tiring rapidly and this is where I have some respect for him. He went for it. His window of opportunity already small was diminishing rapidly. He tried to unleash a five or six punch salvo with Fury backed up languidly against the ropes. He cocked, loaded and swung four times in a row. Four times he found fresh air. Fury ducked and dived his way away from danger. Demoralizing defeat was now a mere 40 seconds away from him.
Incidentally, in the immediate aftermath of the contest it was the evasive beauty of this defence sequence from Fury that caught fire on social media.
In six minutes Tyson Fury somehow managed to demonstrate to the watching American public his vast array of skills. Like a tasting menu for their perusal. Without a doubt they will be back for more.
Tyson Fury is one of the most accessible combat sports stars alive today. In fact, his whole family are accessible. In the 24 hours before the fight his wife and brother gave 40 minute interviews apiece to media outlet Kugan Cassius of IFL. It is clear from listening to them that they are not reading from a script. It is completely refreshing.
Shane goes into detail about how the training camp for the Wilder fight could and should have been a helluva lot better. How they missed the input of their father John Fury on that occasion.
Paris confesses that she thought Tyson was dead after that 12th round knockdown against Deontay Wilder. Of how she was shouting and pushing Shane Fury over the barrier to go and get to her husband. These are not the admissions or revelations of the media trained. They just tell it like it is or how it felt.
Tyson Fury is finally getting recognised for what he is: one of the best boxers not just in heavyweight boxing but in all of boxing. Despite two previous fights in the States, last night saw his skills on full display to a wide North American audience for really the first time. Against Deontay Wilder, physically, Fury looked like a man that had just lost 140 pound in weight, in Las Vegas he looked and moved like an athlete. He is revving close to 100% match fitness now.
Teddy Atlas, the recently inducted Hall of Fame coach, put it best in the aftermath when he said
” He moved like a lightweight even-though he is a Heavyweight, He thinks a bit like an underdog, like a David but in the body of Goliath”