By: Sean Crose
Widely circulated rumors were confirmed on Saturday night when Top Rank Promotions announced that Tyson Fury, the undefeated heavyweight who many feel is still lineal champion of the world, would be facing the widely unknown Tom Schwarz on June 15th , reportedly at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. It will be Fury’s first bout since signing a highly publicized and surprising contract with Bob Arum’s Top Rank promotional outlet several weeks ago. Fury was widely expected to rematch WBC heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder after their entertaining and controversial battle last December, which had ended in a draw. The Englishman decided, however, to team up with Arum and ESPN instead.
The 24-0 Schwarz is essentially an unknown commodity. He has never fought in America, and has only fought outside of his native Germany on a few occasions. Although undefeated, Schwarz has yet to face anyone of note, much less anyone as high-level as Fury. With Wilder scheduled to fight Dominic Breazeale on Showtime this May, and multi-titlist Anthony Joshua set to face Jarrell “Big Baby” Miller on the DAZN streaming service in June, team Fury had to look for an opponent unencumbered by the politics of contemporary boxing.
Fury, one of the more colorful figures in boxing, can regularly be expected to do the unexpected. After stunning the fight world by besting long reigning heavyweight king Wladimir Klitschko late in 2015, the now 27-0-1 Englishman descended into a world of depression, booze, drugs, and food. Emerging from the darkness, Fury then went on to surprise many when he almost beat the feared American puncher Wilder late last year. Now Fury has taken people by surprise again by teaming up with Arum and ESPN. Few, however, will likely expect any surprises when Fury steps back into the ring on June 15th in order to battle Schwarz.
With the heavyweight division now being more competitive than it has been in years, the three top fighters in the division, Fury, Wilder, and Joshua, are nonetheless fighting under different promotional banners, which will make any matches between two of the three men quite difficult to make from here on in. In terms of legacy, and also finances, each fighter – along with the fighter’s teams – will most likely want to eventually settle all matters in the ring, however. How such clarity will come about, remains to be seen at this point.