Fury edges closer to Wilder rematch with devastating second-round win
It was impossible not to smile when Tyson Fury danced to the ring in a stars-and-stripes outfit from Rocky IV, and even harder not to wince as his fists ruined Tom Schwarz in round two at the MGM.
Poor Schwarz had tried to survive, had tried to stand his ground, dig his boots deep into the canvas, but was left helpless, bleeding and retreating early in round two as Fury transformed the young German's face with every punch. When the towel was thrown in, it didn't come as a surprise.
Fury delivered the perfect five minutes and 54 seconds for his Las Vegas debut to set in motion the fabulous dreams and schemes of boxing fans, television executives and his promoters, Bob Arum and Frank Warren.
There is a real curiosity about Fury here. That curiosity grows in tandem with the prospect of a rematch with Deontay Wilder.
The savagery of his ring appearance under the MGM's neon was a perfect contrast with the singing, dancing and the heartfelt confessions of the months and weeks since the fight was announced.
There is only so much convincing a man can do with a song-and-dance routine - boxing demands something extra of the heavyweights it adores; Fury had that extra against Schwarz and has promised more of it.
There is nothing in sport quite like the prospect of a heavyweight showdown, and one that carries more than just hype, millions of euro and a plastic narrative.
The so-called real fights in heavyweight boxing's last two decades - not a golden spell, that is for sure - have seldom come with the type of expectation that Fury meeting Wilder will again stir.
Even in the stunned wake of Anthony Joshua's shock loss to Andy Ruiz, a fight with a rematch clause that matters, there is little doubt that Fury v Wilder II is a fight to break and set records.
It would be a pay-per-view event to rival the ridiculous successes of Floyd Mayweather, where revenue could top €500m.
There were critics of Schwarz's credentials, but his ruin in less than two completed rounds did little to dampen the wild post-fight chat.
"I knew after five seconds what I could do," insisted Fury. "I turned him, switched to southpaw, mixed the shots. That was good tonight."
It was good, and the few occasions when Fury was able to float out of a corner, leaving Schwarz's desperate punches in thin air, and then turn on his opponent were quite brilliant.
Fury is a natural boxer, a born fighting man, and he moves like a boxer from a lighter division. There is a fight planned for New York in either September or October, and it will probably be under the lights at boxing's most revered of venues, Madison Square Garden.
Late on Saturday night, as Fury and Schwarz embraced, the reality of Fury's handiwork was visible. There were cuts to Schwarz's nose and above his brow.
He wore cotton swabs and plasters to stop the flow of claret. But there was no hiding the look of hurt in his wet eyes.
"So good, so good," Schwarz muttered. Fury praised him, told him that he would come again and then left for an after-fight engagement that could also serve as a launch party for the next chapter of his career. It promises to be fascinating.
Independent News Service