Tyson "Tune-Up" Fury fights Tom Schwarz Saturday
By John J. Raspanti
After what Andy Ruiz Jr. did to Anthony Joshua a little over a week ago, it’s likely that every underdog will look to the fight for motivation.
Writers often highlight an unknown’s chances against the favorite. We saw this this past weekend when unheralded Steve Rolls took on former middleweight kingpin, Gennadiy Golovkin. The commentators must have mentioned the Ruiz victory a dozen times.
Rolls was brutally knocked out in round four. The underdog tale is a great one. Sylvester Stallone has made a trillion dollars since creating the ultimate on-screen underdog, Rocky Balboa in 1975. In the real world, the likelihood of a long shot winning, is slim, at best.
This Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, former lineal world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury will fight unknown Tom Schwarz. Fury is listed as a 50-1 favorite. Many were hoping that Fury would be rumbling with Deontay Wilder this weekend in a rematch.
Instead, he inked a multi-fight deal with ESPN, guaranteeing him 80 million dollars. Enter German heavyweight Tom Schwarz, undefeated in 24 fights with 16 knockouts. Schwarz has fought nobody of note with 23 of his fights happening on German soil. Still he’s roughly six-foot-six and weighs 240 pounds. He holds something called the WBO International heavyweight title. Yes, I know. It seems everybody has some kind of title these days. Don’t get me started.
Schwarz is relishing his chances.
“This is what I’ve been working for since I was a kid,” said Schwarz last month at a press conference. “A fight against Tyson Fury is a dream come true. I’ve got nothing to lose, and my twenty-fifth victory will come against Fury.”
Schwarz has some pop in his right hand, but is open for counters. The six-foot-seven-inch Fury will have a big edge in speed and cunning. He’ll likely have fun peppering Schwarz with shots, but Fury is a realist.
“I’m the best of my era and if I can’t beat Tom Schwarz, I might as well retire,” Fury told Telegraph Sport a few days ago. “If I can’t beat him (Schwarz) then what is the point in boxing anymore? I must be shot.”
Fury hasn’t boxed since last December when he threw hands with Wilder. It was fitting the fight was in Hollywood, the place of dreams, drama, and pathos. For Fury, even fighting Wilder was something of a miracle. He had gone into a tailspin of self-destruction after befuddling Vladimir Klitschko to capture the IBF, WBA, WBO, and IBO titles in 2015.
For over two years, he indulged in drugs, drink, and food. Lots and lots of food-so much that he gained one hundred fifty pounds. Gluttony had become his way of life.
He contemplated suicide.
Fury struggled on. He said he experienced an epiphany on Halloween in 2017. He prayed for recovery and redemption. He felt better. He made a decision. He got back to the gym, and over a span of months, shred the weight he gained. He was hungry in the right way. To box, to prove something. Fury won two comeback fights not impressively and then accepted a match with the flawed, but hard-hitting, Wilder.
To the naked eye, the gigantic Fury appeared to have done more than enough to deserve the decision. He boxed well, befuddling Wilder with clever movement and fast hands. Wilder made things interesting by flooring Fury in round nine.
The fight appeared over in the 12th round when Wilder landed two bombs to Fury’s head. On his back and not moving, Fury looked knocked out. But he got up, and a minute later, hurt the exhausted Wilder with a jolting right hand.
One would think that eight or nine rounds of sustained consistency would have been enough to overcome two knockdowns. Think again.
A gasp echoed through the crowd as judge Alejandro Rochin’s scorecard had Wilder winning the fight by an improbable 115-111 score. Maybe Rochin was gazing out at the crowd of celebrities during the bout. Or worse, perhaps he had fallen asleep. Whatever it was, he should never be allowed to judge a championship fight again. Robert Tapper saw Fury the winner by a 114-112 tally. OK, that’s better. The card of Canada’s Phil Edwards would be the decider. The announced crowd of 17, 678 buzzed in anticipation.
Edwards announced score of 113-113 evoked boos throughout the arena
For the record, Maxboxing had Fury the winner by a 114-112 score.
Both fighters complained about the decision-and each other. A rematch had to happen, or so it seemed. It still will, according to Fury and Wilder, but not until next year. Wilder knocked out Dominic Breazile last month – while Fury fights Schwarz this Saturday night in Sin City.
Fury should win easily, but Schwarz has a puncher’s chance. Don’t believe me? Watch the Joshua and Ruiz fight. Upsets do happen, just not as much as they do in the movies.