Updated: Oct 15, 2020
Succeeding every great event arrives an inevitable comedown; when the crowd, glitz and hullaballoo are replaced by desolation, quiet and normality. That transformation is post-Vegas-fight-week as the Tyson Fury show leaves town.
The fight played out the mismatch many predicted. This was not about a fight for the ages, more an introduction to Fury, his charisma and the raising of his profile prior to lucrative future-stateside-showdowns.
The Queensberry, BT and Top Rank promotional teams invested heavily in Fury and he delivered in kind. Whereas we have seen WBC champion Deontay Wilder create his public persona around menace, power and malice and recently-dethroned former IBF, WBO, IBO and WBA (Super) champion, Anthony Joshua as the detached populist, as ubiquitous upon haute-couture advertising hoardings as he is synonymous with the ring, Fury has positioned himself as a many of the people; a man fallible and flawed, who is here to do things in own way.
His unique brand of charm and originality saw him and his team leading improvised singalongs at the press conference and Tyson pose alongside Schwarz for faux-cool face off photographs. It was only during the weigh in, where Fury finally displayed any pre-fight aggression, taunting Schwarz that he would knock him out in the first round.
In the end, it took two rounds. Schwarz’s corner, having seen their man felled with a straight right hand, swallow regular jabs and unblocked around-the-guard hooks, rightly threw in the towel. Accusations that Fury, entering the ring the sixth heaviest of his career, had not taken the fight seriously, where both subtly alluded to and contradictorily quashed by Fury who explained that in this second act of his career, he will be looking for more eye-catching knockouts, to sit down on his punches and, in typical Fury lyricism, to ‘go swimming without worrying about getting wet’.
Victory was followed, as in Dusseldorf, by a dedicated serenade to his wife of Aerosmith’s ‘I don’t want to miss a thing’. This was a shrewd choice and marks a corresponding counterpoint to the lows following that night.
There will certainly be greater tests ahead; this is only Fury’s first fight in a reported £80m five-fight deal. But as the party headed into the Las Vegas night, the positive performance and even greater public relations victory, combined with Joshua’s chastening defeat in New York, has more than just a few believing that we are finally witnessing the beginnings of a new heavyweight dawn, led by the undefeated Briton, Tyson Fury.