Former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (29-0-1 20 KO) overcame two brutal cuts to the eyebrow and eyelid on Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas to outpoint Otto Wallin (20-1 13 KO), who was anything but a soft touch for Fury. The official scores read 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112, all for the “Gypsy King”, Tyson Fury.
Both fighters got off to a bit of a slow start to begin the bout, as they were simply feeling each other out. Fury employed his long reach and superior foot movement, while Wallin pressed forward, just trying to touch Fury anywhere he could.
In the third round, a left hand shot from Wallin opened up a wide cut on Fury’s right eyebrow, and blood began to stream down the face of the former champ immediately.
The next couple rounds saw a distracted Fury, constantly pawing at the cut to wipe the blood off his face. Meanwhile, Wallin continued to advance, roughing Fury up against the ropes and in the clinch.
During the rest period after the fifth round, the ESPN commentary crew noticed a second, smaller cut on Fury’s eyelid. With blood streaming down his face profusely in the sixth round, Fury appeared to feel a sense of urgency, as he started to back Wallin up and throw punches on the inside.
Since the cut on Fury’s eyebrow was created by a punch and not a headbutt, if the fight were to be stopped, Wallin would win by TKO. With the rematch against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder hanging in the balance, Fury dug deep against Wallin to preserve the big future payday.
The body attack from Fury slowed Wallin down considerably, and by the later rounds, Wallin was spending a lot more time on the ropes taking punches.
Fury continued to dominate the last few rounds, until the 12th and final round, where it appeared that Tyson Fury was hurt by a Wallin combination. Despite the big final round from Wallin, Fury unquestionably earned the decision.
In a post fight interview with ESPN’s Bernardo Osuna, Fury, as expected, called out the WBC heavyweight champ.
“Deontay Wilder! I want you next, bum,” Fury shouted into the microphone.
In the co-main event, WBO super bantamweight champion Emanuel Navarette defended his title by TKO against Juan Miguel Elorde - the grandson of Filipino boxing great Gabriel “Flash” Elorde - in the fourth round.
After a slow start in the first round, Navarette began to find his rhythm in the second, particularly with the left uppercut.
At the end of the third round, Navarette sent Elorde reeling into the ropes with a left hook. Even though Elorde did not actually hit the canvas, referee Russell Mora ruled it a knockdown, as the ropes were the only thing keeping Elorde up at that moment. After beating the count, Elorde wobbled back to his corner.
Elorde continued into the fourth round, but was quickly stopped by Navarette after taking a clean right hand that wobbled him again. This win was the second successful title defense for Navarette in just four weeks.
Also on the card was former two-division titleholder Jose Pedraza (26-3 13 KO), who lost via unanimous decision to Jose Zepeda (30-2 25 KO) in a junior welterweight bout. All three official scorecards read 97-93, all in favor of Zepeda.
Zepeda, who was the underdog coming into the fight, put on a boxing exhibition. He stayed behind the jab throughout all ten rounds and followed up with quick counterpunches when necessary.