TYSON FURY eased to victory on the occasion of his first fight in Las Vegas as he furthered his reputation as the world’s finest heavyweight by stopping Germany’s Tom Schwarz in the second round.
Fulfilling a lifelong ambition of finally fighting in the ‘Sin City’, at the revered MGM Grand, he showed a destructive edge he has rarely previously demonstrated to justify the significant interest he has generated in the US since his fight with Deontay Wilder.
Fury had perhaps re-established himself as the world’s leading heavyweight with December’s thrilling draw against the American, when his performance deserved victory, and his reputation grew to such an extent he signed a lucrative contract to fight on ESPN out of the US against an unremarkable opponent.
Concerns persisted that the rounded abilities he traditionally favours over power and strength meant he would win without the sense of drama generated against Wilder and instead effortlessly out-jab Schwarz in the same way he once did Dereck Chisora, but he instead fought to make a statement and succeeded in doing exactly that.
Wearing the US stars and stripes to and in the ring in an obvious attempt to further his growing popularity among Americans, he made a typically fast start to highlight the extent of the challenge the 25-year-old Schwarz faced.
He landed with two strong left hands, and then began to regularly land with the jab to both head and body while using his range and mobility to negate Schwarz’s ineffective aggression.
So comfortable was Fury that he remained on his feet instead of sitting on his stool at the end of the round, and when the second started he just as effortlessly intensified his efforts to ruthlessly and swiftly secure the stoppage.
After hurting Schwarz with a combination, the 30-year-old landed a powerful left hand, danced his way out of the corner to resist his opponent and then leave him vulnerable, and then landed another hurtful combination and a left uppercut.
Schwarz’s face and nose were by then already bloodied, and his struggles increased as he continued to take powerful punches.
Fury’s fine reflexes and head movement meant the German’s last attack made no impact, and he then went down for the first time when he took a straight right while trapped against the ropes.
The Briton pursued victory the instant Schwarz returned to his feet, backing him into a corner where he continued to hurt him to both head and body and attracting the close attention of referee Kenny Bayliss until, with only 10 seconds of the round remaining, his trainer Rene Friese rightly threw in the towel.
If his main rival as the world’s best heavyweight had been Anthony Joshua, the former IBF, WBA and WBO champion’s recent shock defeat by Andy Ruiz Jr means he will not be considered a realistic contender until he avenges that loss, and his latest convincing performance means he no longer has such a rival.
It is little secret Fury expects to fight Wilder in a rematch next year, and having planned to fight at least once more before the end of 2019, he revealed he already has dates of September 21 or October 5 agreed in principle before continuing to play the showman by singing a song for the 9,000 present in the arena.