Big events in Las Vegas on Mexican Independence Day is nothing new in boxing, usually headlined by a big Mexican star, however, this weekend sees the headline act between a Brit and a Swede as the ‘Lineal’ Champion Tyson Fury takes on Otto Wallin.
The start of the week gave us the press conference for Regis Prograis vs Josh Taylor for the World Boxing Super Series final, a unification fight at the O2 in October between arguably number 1 and 2 in the Super Lightweight division, a truly competitive fight, many call a 50:50. Unfortunately, the Mexican Independence Day extravaganza this Saturday couldn’t be further from a 50:50 contest.
It has been widely documented the struggles outside of the ring that Tyson Fury has faced following a two-year exit from the sport, battling drink and drugs with mental health issues. Fury ballooned up to 27 stone and looked as if he’d never return to the ring again.
To his credit, he worked his way back to fitness under the watchful eyes of young trainer Ben Davison, losing a Vasyl Lomachenko in body weight. We all expected a slow return to work his way back to ring sharpness, and his first two comeback fights with Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pieneta in 2018 were to script. However, no one expected Tyson Fury to fight WBC knockout king Deontay Wilder in his third fight back.
Phoenix from the Ashes
The fight went viral due to the ‘Undertaker-like’ recovery Fury made in the 12th round when it seemed the fight was all over as he lay still on the canvas from a thunderous right and left hook combination from Wilder.
Fury rose like a phoenix from the ashes, somewhat poetic of his return to the sport from his dark place just a year or two earlier. Whilst the contest was scored a draw, Fury had won a mega contract with US-based promotional company Top Rank rumoured to be $80m for a five-fight contract. This was great for the Tyson Fury business, but not great for the fans. We were promised an immediate rematch with Wilder, but wily promoter Bob Arum made sure that didn't happen as he wanted to build brand Fury in the US.
Fury did more talk shows than you could count, you couldn't miss him on ESPN, his new American Broadcaster. We were promised a competitive first fight under his new promoter and ended up with Tom Schwarz, the German heavyweight ranked seventh in Germany and 56th in the world!
This could be excused, and by many it was. Fury was allowed this ‘free pass’ given the previous gruelling 12 months of camps, fights and media commitments. This was his showcase fight to his new audience and he didn't disappoint. The ring entrance was a spectacle itself, walking to the ring as Apollo Creed from Rocky 4, the showman was back. And in the ring, he did exactly what he said he would; he let his hands go and got Schwarz out of there in a second round TKO.
The Disappointing Second Album
We know the rematch with Wilder is on the horizon, but it was still expected his next fight would be against a genuine top 15 contender. Disappointingly, we get 6’ 5” Swede Otto Wallin, currently placed 46th in the world by Boxrec. Fury’s second fight with Top Rank once again leaves a lot to be desired.
Wallin had a less than impressive amateur career, most famous for fighting and losing to Anthony Joshua twice on points. As a pro, his opposition has been very poor, this is yet again another showcase for Fury and should be a completely one-sided affair. This is as close to a ‘gimmie’ in heavyweight boxing as he could get.
For all the boxing platitudes that have been rolled out in the build up to this fight, the WBC creating a special ‘Mayan’ belt for the occasion and the fight promoted as for the ‘Lineal’ title, everyone in boxing knows this will be a straightforward night for someone with the skill level of Fury.
The victory of Andy Ruiz Jr over Anthony Joshua in June has given a glimmer of hope for the boxing underdogs, once again exposing the old adage that ‘stranger things have happened’ and Fury will be fully cognisant of that. The riches of the Wilder rematch looms for Fury and anything other than a win would completely scupper the fight. Fury can’t be complacent; the American crowd expect drama and knockouts and he needs to deliver. And deliver is exactly what I think he will do and in emphatic fashion. This could be a carbon copy of the Schwarz fight, too big, too much movement, too much ring guile, too much power and an early stoppage.
All eyes will then turn to Wilder to come through his next test as we all look forward to Wilder Fury 2 in early 2020 and if that schedule runs true, these two showcases for Fury will be forgotten.
For Tyson Fury to repeat his second round KO victory against Tom Schwarz against Otto Wallin is 12/1 with GIVEMEBET!News Now - Sport News