TYSON FURY makes his Las Vegas debut against Tom Schwarz – two weeks after Andy Ruiz Jr’s shock win against Anthony Joshua.
Ruiz was a 25-1 outsider before he dethroned Joshua of the unified titles on the Brit superstar’s US debut.
Now Fury, who is 1/100 on to beat Schwarz, must avoid a banana skin and an embarrassing defeat Stateside.
With a rematch against WBC king Deontay Wilder already signed for next year, SunSport investigates how Fury matches up against tune-up opponent Schwarz.
Schwarz, like Fury, in unbeaten heading into the match-up at the MGM Grand Arena.
However, the Gypsy King is vastly more experienced when it comes to competitive ring action – boxing for the world title on two occasions.
Fury won the WBA, IBF and WBO titles after outpointing Wladimir Klitschko in Germany four years ago – though he lost the belts due to personal reasons out of the ring.
He was unfortunate not to walk away with the WBC strap in December after he outboxed Wilder in Los Angeles, despite being dropped twice.
Schwarz, though, is yet to be tested, despite being ranked second in the WBO standings.
He found himself in a competitive fight with Senad Gashi last year – the man who hardly threw a punch against Dereck Chisora in April.
Gashi was disqualified in round six for headbutting but he had Schwarz in trouble several times before then.
However, the German's lacklustre display against Chisora proves he is no world-beater.
Only now has it been highlighted how vastly experienced Ruiz was in the unpaid ranks – leaving the amateurs with a record of 105–5 and competing in the 2008 Olympics.
The new unified champion’s 143 bout experience came into play against Joshua as he outpunched the Brit in mid range and systematically broke him down with body shots and combinations.
Schwarz in comparison won bronze and silver medals at youth level but turned pro early in 2013 age 19 meaning he cut short a senior amateur boxing career.
Fury left the unpaid ranks with a record of 31-4 having represented both England and Ireland while also winning silver at the European championships and bronze at the Worlds.
Schwarz will not be able to take in the vastly greater ring experience against Fury which ultimately acted as a great advantage for Ruiz’s stunning upset win.
Schwarz does not possess anywhere near the speed that allowed Ruiz to shock the world and – with the German instead more robotic in his boxing.
However, despite being a flat footed come forward boxer, Schwarz can definitely punch – especially with the overhand right – the same shot Steve Cunningham floored Fury with in 2013.
Schwarz is relentless on the front foot and does not shy away from letting his hands go in close and has the power to send his opponent to the deck.
Fury, though, renowned for his incredible footwork, should be too elusive for the underdog to let his slashing hooks rip and could end up completely outboxing Schwarz as he marches towards the Englishman.
Schwarz can be likened to Chisora in the way he comes forward looking for a shot over the top – and trades heavy hooks inside.
But this is music to Fury’s ears – having twice outboxed Chisora with the second a 10 round stoppage after a masterclass in London.
Fury switched stances all night peppering Chisora with the jab and leaving his eyes closed up in the shape of golf balls after relentlessly scoring with the uppercut.
The 6ft 9in slickster could give Schwarz a long painful night if he chooses to replicate this 2014 performance.
Equally Fury comfortably outboxed Francesco Pianeta in Belfast, Ireland last year choosing not to look for the finish in order to get rounds under his belt.
But six months on from his nailbiter at the Staples Center with Wilder – and six years removed from his dramatic KO win against Cunningham – Fury may feel obliged to once again thrill the US audience.
WHAT THEY SAID
Fury (to Daily Telegraph) : “I’m the best of my era and if I can’t beat Tom Schwarz, I might as well retire.
“There is a difference between a man who fights well under pressure, and the man who goes to the office not feeling great and still gets a victory.
“I can have a bad day, but I can still grind victories out of bad days.
“It’s a difference in champions. If I can’t beat Tom Schwarz then what is the point in boxing any more? I must be shot.
“We won’t know until we get in there. A lot of people say I might be chinny after the Deontay Wilder fight. We don’t know. It’s exciting times.”
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