By: Sean Crose
Tyson Fury put his 27-0-1 record on the line Saturday night when he faced off against the unheralded 24-0 Tom Schwarz of Germany. Many had expected Fury to engage in a rematch with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder after their controversial draw last December. Fury opted to sign with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Promotions, however, and so ended up fighting Schwarz rather than Wilder. ESPN made much of Fury’s claim to the lineal heavyweight championship, perhaps because the Englishman had no major belts to enter the ring with. He did have an exact knockoff of Apollo Creed’s Uncle Sam outfit however, which he strutted into the ring with at the MGM Grand, accompanied by James Brown’s “Living in America.”
Fury controlled the movement and tempo of the first.
Fury came out in the southpaw stance and began landing effectively in the second. Schwarz started bleeding while Fury began showboating. So dominant was Fury in the second that the fighter began mimicking Ali avoiding punches. Seconds later, Schwarz was on the mat. The brave German slugger got up, but wasn’t able make it to the end of the round. Referee Kenny Bayless wisely stopped the bout before the bell ended the round. It was a total wipeout, though not an entirely unexpected one.
The post fight interview was gracious at first, then went the Tyson Fury route. After thanking Christ, Fury acknowledged the American audience. “Thank you America,” he said. “and God bless you all.” Admitting that he wanted to enjoy himself in the ring, Fury claimed that he wanted Deontay Wilder next year after fighting again in 2019. And then the fighter was asked to entertain the audience. Without missing a beat, Fury belted out an Aerosmith song, much as he did after shocking Wladimir Klitschko in 2015.
It was an easy night’s work over a man he was clearly expected to beat. Still, with Andy Ruiz having recently stunned Anthony Joshua, there had been an air around the fight world that anything could happen. Yet Schwarz had neither the skill nor the experience of Ruiz, which essentially meant he didn’t have the chance at an upset that Ruiz had.
Earlier in the evening, veteran light heavyweight Sullivan Barrera dropped a UD decision to Jesse Hart. It was an ugly, grueling fight, one which made it clear that Barerra’s days at the top echelon in the division might be winding down, for the man took a considerable amount of shots to the head.