Max Warren writes about the Tyson Fury showcase fight coming up June 15
In February, Tyson Fury surprised many when he announced that he was signing a co-promotional agreement with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc., as many expected him to make an announcement regarding a rematch against current WBC Heavyweight Champion Deontay Wilder.
The next question that came up was what will this mean for the heavyweight division? First and foremost, the co-promotional agreement with Top Rank clearly indicated that a Fury vs. Wilder rematch in 2019 wasn’t happening. Also, the new deal signaled that Fury’s next fight was not going to be against an opponent that the public was clamoring for him to face.
Typically, when a high-profile fighter inks a new deal with a major promoter or network, the boxer is granted a lay-up. For instance, when Floyd Mayweather signed a record-breaking deal with Showtime, his first bout with the network was a showcase match-up versus Robert Guerrero that Mayweather won handily.
Another more recent example is Gennady Golovkin’s deal with DAZN. His first fight under the new contact is against a relatively unknown fighter from Canada, Steve Rolls. Most expect it to be a walk-through for Golovkin. The situation is no different for Tyson Fury, as he goes into his first fight on ESPN against undefeated German heavyweight
Tom Schwarz on June 15th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Schwarz is just 24 years old, and has only fought in Germany and the Czech Republic. He isn’t mobile, which will allow Fury to be comfortable. Fury feints and moves his head well, and Schwarz hasn’t faced anything similar to what Fury will display on June 15th.
The match-up is designed to make Fury look good, win, and come out of the ring unscathed for more lucrative prizefights in the future. It’s meant to gauge Fury’s marketability in America. Top Rank wants to see how many people tuned in on ESPN + and the turnout in the arena, in order to measure his worth for when they are at the negotiating table.
Fury vs. Schwarz is a showcase event intended to test the waters for the “Gypsy King.” Legions of super-fans from the UK will make the trek to Vegas to attend the fight and enjoy a weekend getaway. Nevertheless, Fury’s lineal heavyweight title will be on the line and Schwarz will do anything he can to play spoiler.
Don’t expect a heavyweight classic. Instead, it will be a Tyson Fury coming-out party on ESPN. The network will make their case for Fury as the best heavyweight on fight night.