It was as if the ESPN talking heads were trying to convince anyone who knows even a shilling of boxing that Tyson Fury was “the heavyweight champion of the world.”
The iconoclastic British heavyweight is not.
Fury can fight coming forward. He can fight off his back foot. He can switch to southpaw. He can fight orthodox. Many of the things he does are unconventional. He possesses hand speed. He possesses power. He possesses the kind of bombastic personality to fill the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
The one thing Fury doesn’t possess is a heavyweight championship belt.
Fury (28-0-1, 20 knockouts) did what he was supposed to do before 9,012 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena and stop terribly overmatched German Tom Schwarz (24-1, 16 KOs) at 2:54 of the second round.
It didn’t prove anything—regardless of how good Fury looked. It wasn’t a star-turning performance. Schwarz was nothing more than a breathing punching bag.
“The key to tonight was to enjoy myself,” said Fury, the so-called lineal champ. “I used the jab, I was slipping and sliding, hands down, I switched up to southpaw. I caught him with a straight left that was a good shot that would have out anybody away.
“I put on an extra 12 pounds and I really, really feel it. The Mac is back, bring them all on.”
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 16, 2019
In the first round, Fury, with his 85-inch reach, used a good jab and on occasion dropped his jab to the body. Fury also looked the best he ever has physically. There was no jiggle to his movement, which fans have been accustomed to seeing from the awkward, 6-foot-9 Fury.
He didn’t use the special high stool he had the Nevada State Athletic Commission approval between the first and second rounds.
Fury came out southpaw in the second and completely baffled Schwarz.
With 1:56 left in the round, Fury nailed Schwarz with a solid left. Schwarz didn’t even see it coming. That was the beginning of the end for the German heavyweight.
With 1:20 left, Fury pounded Schwarz with another left hand, and adding more spice to attack, “The Gypsy King” had both hands down as Schwarz covered up.
About 10 seconds later, Fury had opened a considerable cut on the bridge of Schwarz’s nose. Blood began gushing from the opening, as Fury, sensing closure, zoomed in.
Perhaps Fury’s most impressive display was avoiding four Schwarz punches while up against the ropes with less than a minute in the second.
Fury showed amazing upper-body dexterity for someone his size.
With :37 left in the second, a straight Fury right dropped Schwarz. From there, referee Kenny Bayless started looking in closely, before Bayless finally stopped it at 2:54.
It didn’t really mean anything—just another easy notch in Fury’s belt.
Just not a championship belt, however.
Fury mentioned another fight on September 21 or October 5, and then a rematch with WBC champion Deontay Wilder next year and “make him give me that green belt,” Fury said.
Then, Fury was given the mic and closed the night by singing a pretty good rendition of Aerosmith’s “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” to his wife Paris.
It wasn’t Fury-Wilder II, but Fury did promise to entertain—and he did, possibly more so with his voice than his fists.
“That was amazing,” Hall of Fame Bob Arum said. “Tyson Fury is a force of nature. This was one of the great shows I’ve ever seen and not just because of the boxing. He’s an entertainer. He is truly unique.”
“Now that he’s in shape, he can knock out every heavyweight in the world. I haven’t seen a fighter with that much charisma since Muhammad Ali.”
The only thing missing is a world championship belt.
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