By David Robinett
Photos: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Following Tyson Fury’s impressive second round knockout of Tom Schwarz in defense of his lineal heavyweight title Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Fury and his promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, spoke about their future plans and how the “Gypsy King” fared in his Las Vegas debut.
“I felt like this was my coming out party,” explained Fury (28-0-1, 20 KOs). “You saw me fight in December of last year [against Deontay Wilder], I had to lose 147 pounds for that fight, so I wasn’t at my strongest. Maybe I shouldn’t have taken that fight as soon as I did but I did anyway. This time I had enough training time, I was strong, I was fit, I was ready to put on a show.”
Fury also talked about how comfortable he was in the ring with Schwarz (24-1, 16 KOs), changing stances and pummeling his German opponent with both hands. “I’m ambidextrous,” joked Fury. “I can punch with the left as well as the right and I wanted to show a few things to the American public to introduce myself.”
“All week I felt calm and relaxed and confident in my ability,” Fury added. “I worked really hard for this fight. I trained in training camp for eight weeks. I came into the camp fit anyway, I had no time off, I’m active, I’m match fit again. I’m more active now than I’ve ever been in my whole career, apart from my first year. This is Tyson Fury at his most active. I always wanted to stay active in my career and I’m finally getting the opportunity to do that.”
Fury was also asked to compare his performance to that of his compatriot Anthony Joshua, who was stunningly upset earlier this month in defense of his heavyweight titles. “I saw a British fighter travel to America last week or the week before and he looked like he didn’t want to be in there, for whatever reason,” observed Fury. “But tonight it was Tyson Fury. It was Las Vegas. It doesn’t get any bigger than this. This is the biggest thing that has happened in my career so far, topping the bill at the MGM Grand.”
The questions eventually shifted to Fury’s future opponent, WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, whom Fury has reportedly agreed to fight in 2020 in a rematch of their memorable draw last year, should both he and Wilder win their bouts in the interim.
“Deontay Wilder is coming, this fight is going to happen,” declared Fury. “There were three horses in the heavyweight division, and now there’s two. And he ain’t going to get the 50% Tyson Fury, he’s going to get a Tyson Fury that’s 100%, that’s match fit.”
Fury’s promoter Bob Arum weighed in as well on the rematch with Wilder, predicting it could surpass the magnitude of the last megafight in America, the 2015 matchup between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. “If both guys get through their next fights, the fight will be in the first quarter of next year,” said Arum. “I really believe, and I’m not blowing smoke, I can’t see why that fight won’t equal or surpass numbers that were done on the Mayweather Pacquiao fight. Two little guys, great fighters, that was built up for many years, but still, they’re not heavyweights of this caliber or notoriety.”
While it remains to be seen if Fury vs. Wilder will generate that type of interest, on this night, nobody was in the mood to pour cold water on the best laid plans of the heavyweight champion and his team. And, in the spirit of celebration that permeated the post-fight press conference, Fury concluded things as he usually does – with song, leading the assembled press, team members, and even Arum himself, in a sing along of “American Pie.”