By Mark Elezaj
Las Vegas- When we last saw Heavyweight lineal champion Tyson Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs), he got up twice from the canvas, and scored a very controversial split draw decision against WBC champion Deontay Wilder back in December.
This Saturday night, we will see Fury back in the ring when he faces Germany’s Tom Schwarz (24-0, 16 KOs) in the main event of a Top Rank on ESPN+ card, live at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Schwarz, who has won four of his last five fights by stoppage, will be fighting in the United States for the first time in his career.
Fury is the odds on favorite to win Saturday night but has said that he cannot make the same mistake Anthony Joshua made against Andy Ruiz Jr.
“As we saw last week, you can’t overlook anybody,” Fury said. “This is heavyweight boxing and Tom Schwarz knows if he beats Tyson Fury, then he’s set for life. He becomes a multimillionaire, he gets to headline big shows and all his dreams come true.
“But you’re talking to a king. I’ll figure him out within the first five seconds of the fight. Because that’s what I do. Within five seconds I’ll know exactly what to do with him.
“When you get paid as much as I am, motivation is easy. Very easy,” Fury said, slipping into the one-liners that come easily to him but are only one facet of the fighter’s complex persona. “This is a massive attraction of a fight, the UK, Europe, America. This is going to be epic. This is going to be a boxing behemoth.”
Fury has also claimed that Saturday nights fight could also be for the WBO heavyweight title.
There’s a possibility that Ruiz Jr could be stripped of the WBO title if he pursues a rematch with Joshua instead of fighting the WBO’s mandatory challenger who is expected to be announce following the Fury vs. Schwarz fight.
“I’m hearing now that it could be on the line on Saturday night,” Fury told Press Association Sport. “That’s inside information so maybe I shouldn’t have said that, though I’ve said it now anyway, so maybe it’ll be on the line on Saturday night.
“There is a chance. It’s highly doable, so I’ve been told, so maybe it’ll be for the WBO championship as well.
“When you’re the lineal champion that’s as big as it gets. It doesn’t get any bigger than that. It doesn’t matter how many belts (the other heavyweights) have got; they’ve got to beat Tyson Fury to be number one.
“(If not) the winner of me and Tom Schwarz will be mandatory for the WBO, because it’s number three and number two (in the rankings) fighting each other.”
Bob Arum, Fury’s co-promoter, believes the interest levels in Fury are high, comparing him with the likes of Ali and Foreman, and feels that Fury is the man to bring a new audience to ESPN+.
“Tyson Fury is right up there with those two guys as the people’s fighter, the fighter that people can relate to. I’ve never seen the outpouring of fans like we have now who absolutely root for Tyson Fury.
“He has the ability to capture the imagination not only of boxing fans but of sports fans and the public at large,” Arum said. “Tyson Fury is the people’s fighter.”
Fury responded, “It’s an easy job for Bob,”
“He has promoted the best fighters in the world and now he gets to promote the most talkable character, the lovable rogue, the handsome British guy.”
This Saturday nights fight against Schwarz is the first of a five-fight deal worth a reported 80million US dollars with ESPN.
~ The Fighting Voice ~