By Mark Elezaj (Photo Credits – Miley Williams/Top Rank)
Las Vegas – The Gypsy King Tyson Fury returned to the T-Mobile Arena last night and put on a show in front of 8,249 fans. Fury had to overcome not only a tough opponent, but two cuts over his right eye.
From the opening bell, Wallin looked to pressure the taller Fury by throwing punches and pushing the action, landing hooks to the body and chest and keeping the champion backing up. Fury remained on the defensive, looking to avoid his opponents onslaught.
Fury came out in the second round and stepped it up. He landed a hard left hand with just under a minute to go in the second round. Wallin looked to return punches, but a left hand from Fury landed causing Wallin to retreat. Right before the round ended, the lineal champion caught Wallin with a counter right hand.
In the third round, Fury started to find his range, setting up the right hand and scoring consistently with it. Wallin, who was looking to answer Fury’s onslaught, landed a left hand that caused a huge cut over Fury’s right eye toward the end of the round.
Wallin attacked a wounded Fury over the next two rounds. He targeted the eye and landed punches on the champion while Fury boxed off of his back foot trying to keep the challenger away.
Wallin came out strong in the sixth round. As he continued to attack, referee Tony Weeks stepped in and stopped the action to have the ringside physician look at Fury’s cut.
Fury came out in the seventh round with a sense of urgency, throwing and landing more punches on an opponent who was already showing signs of fatigue. Fury continued to apply the pressure over the next few rounds, and at the end of the ninth, he backed right before the bell sounded, saving Wallin.
Wallin continued to fight hard but Fury’s ring IQ was too much for him. In the eleventh round, Wallin looked ready to go. Fury continued to attack with a series of body shots.
In the final round, Wallin stunned Fury with a right hand to the head. He began to chase him around the ring looking for the upset victory but Fury would tie him up to slow down the action. Fury was able to regain his composure and coasted to the final bell.
Tyson Fury (29-0-1) found himself in a rough and tumble fight with a tough Otto Wallin (20-1, 13 KOs). All three judges had Fury winning the fight, scoring i118-110, 117-111 and 116-112 for the Lineal Champion. The Fighting Voice scored the fight 116-112 in favor of Fury.
According to CompuBox, Fury landed 179 of 651 punches, and Wallin landed 127 of 334. Wallin landed more punches against Fury than any of his prior opponent in 15 of his fights tracked by CompuBox.
Wallin came into the fight a huge underdog but put up one hell of a fight against the champion. Despite the loss, he remained humble.
“I did everything I could. I tried my best, and Tyson is a great champion,” Wallin said.
“The way I fought tells me that no one can question my heart or question that I am a good fighter.”
When asked about the cut over Fury’s eye, he responded,
“I tried to hit it even more,” he said. “I know it was a punch that did it. I was happy that he was cut, but I wish I could have put more pressure on it.”
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum praised Fury.
“Once the referee ruled the cut was from a blow, it means if the fight was stopped he would have lost,” Arum said.
“He fought back with the blood, a lot of blood. I thought it was a great performance and a terrific fight. We knew the Swede wasn’t a quitter. He was a hell of a fighter. And Fury is a real warrior.”
Fury retained the lineal title for the fifth time, doing his part to secure the rematch with Deontay Wilder.
“It was a good performance. I got a good 12 rounds in,” Fury said. “It was a great fight. I got cut on the eyelid and changed the fight completely. I couldn’t see out of the eye, and there was a lot of (head) clashes. I am the ‘Gypsy Warrior,’ and this is Mexican Independence Day! Viva Mexico!”
“Congrats to Otto and God bless his father and let him rest in peace,” Fury continued. “He would be very proud of Otto’s performance. The Viking Warrior!”
“It is all heart and determination,” Fury said when he was asked about getting through the tough rounds. “If I can keep going, I will keep going. He’s a tough guy. I hit him with some chin shots and some body shots, and he kept coming. He was undefeated, but tonight I was the man.”
And in closing, Fury let everyone know Wilder is next!
“Deontay Wilder, I want you next, bum! It is all preparation,” Fury said.
“I had a long time out of the ring, but next is the big boy, the big ‘Bronze Bomber’ on Feb. 22., but first “I’m going to go home and relax with the family.”
~ The Fighting Voice ~