By David Greisman
Tyson Fury Has Even Easier Night Than Expected, Stops Tom Schwarz in Two
One of the most thrilling truths about boxing? Anything can happen. But what makes the unexpected so thrilling is because of what we expected to begin with.
That’s what made Andy Ruiz’s upset victory over Anthony Joshua even more exciting two weeks ago. Few people favored Ruiz against Joshua that night in New York City. Far fewer gave Tom Schwarz a chance against Tyson Fury this past Saturday in Las Vegas.
Boxing matches aren’t won on paper — there’s a reason they fight the fights. Yet a second straight upset was highly unlikely. Ruiz, while the underdog, is a good fighter. Schwarz, while previously undefeated, is not.
And so what was expected to be an easy night in a showcase bout for Tyson Fury ended even more quickly than expected. Fury toyed with Schwarz, dropping him in the second and then stopping him later that round for a technical knockout victory.
Schwarz, virtually unknown even among many of boxing’s most hardcore followers, was plucked from relative obscurity for a reason. He was there both because he was undefeated and because he was going to lose. He was there to help feature Fury in the first fight of his deal with ESPN and Top Rank.
He was there so that the announcers could rave about how skilled the 6-foot-9 Fury is at boxing. And he was there for the highlight reel knockout.
It’s funny, given that Fury accomplished more acclaim in an actual competitive fight last December, when he boxed brilliantly for much of his bout with Deontay Wilder, while also rising from the canvas dramatically in the 12th round, somehow surviving a huge Wilder right hand to leave with the draw.
One of the most maddening truths about boxing? Not every fight is going to be competitive. Wilder came back last month against Dominic Breazeale, flattening him in one round. Breazeale was at least expected to put up a fight for as long or as little as that fight lasted.
Not much was known of Schwarz. But those who knew what little of Schwarz there was to be known didn’t expect much of him. And in this case, Schwarz lived down to those expectations.
Fury decided to stick and move from the beginning. While Schwarz was the one pressing forward, Fury was the one in control with his activity and movement. He sent out hooks upstairs and jabs to the body. He feinted and weaved to throw Schwarz off, and he avoided what Schwarz threw. He punched in different combinations and from different angles, tactics that made him even more unpredictable. Schwarz stalked but barely threw and rarely landed. There was a shot earlier in the first that landed between Fury’s punches. There wasn’t much else. Schwarz threw just 30 punches and landed only six in two rounds.
Fury changed things up further in the beginning of the second round, coming out as a southpaw rather than in his usual orthodox stance. He led with a jab, followed with a left, dodged three of Schwarz’s punches, then delivered a left uppercut. Schwarz continued to stalk, and he was walked into a good left hand about a minute in.
Fury was confident, and he had no reason not to be. He kept his gloves down, believing he could see Schwarz’s shots coming and dodge them. He tapped Schwarz with a southpaw jab, quickly turned it into a right hook around the guard, and then followed with a left hand between the gloves. Blood came from Schwarz’s nose. Schwarz tried to even the score, pressing Fury to the ropes, only to telegraph every punch and miss by a mile as Fury weaved away from each.
Schwarz didn’t have the same skill. Fury soon had him on the ropes, and he didn’t miss. He landed a left uppercut, then moved to the same combination that brought success earlier, a distraction jab, a right hook, and a hard left cross, adding a right down the middle to finish things up.
Schwarz went down. He beat the count, but time was running out. Fury put Schwarz into the corner. Schwarz covered up but didn’t throw. Fury patiently potshotted him, landing until referee Kenny Bayless jumped in.
The ESPN announce team marveled over what they had just seen. Those of us who don’t have a job marketing Tyson Fury recognized that we’d essentially just seen a cat toying with a mouse. Anything can happen in boxing. Nothing is a sure thing. But 99 times out of 100, Tyson Fury is going to beat Tom Schwarz. Maybe 100 times.
Sometimes an easy win can nonetheless serve as a demonstration of a fighter’s talent. In those cases, it’s not just who a fighter beats, but how he does it.
In this case, all we can take away from Tyson Fury vs. Tom Schwarz is that we don’t need to see Fury against someone who doesn’t belong in the same ring as him. He’s not a developing fighter. Nor is he a recovering one. He’s one of the best heavyweights in the world. His opponents should be the same, or at least be a deserving contender.
The good news is that Fury, now 28-0-1 with 20 KOs, is expected to be back soon — he said in a post-fight interview that his next date will either be on September 21 or October 5. And the even better news is one of the names being floated as Fury’s next foe — contender Kubrat Pulev, according to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated.
Pulev is 27-1 with 14 KOs and has won seven straight since getting knocked out by Wladimir Klitschko in 2014. There’s also a revenge factor for Fury — his cousin Hughie lost a decision to Pulev last year.
And then there’s the rematch with Wilder, which has been agreed upon and should happen sometime in 2020.
The last Wilder-Fury fight was a thrill. The next one should be similarly full of suspense. Hopefully we’ll get something else to enjoy from Fury before then.
Schwarz is now 24-1 with 16 KOs.
Mikaela Mayer Handles Crespo for Unanimous Decision
Olympic bronze medalist Mikaela Mayer notched her 11th pro win, handling a determined challenge from Lizbeth Crespo.
Crespo is shorter and naturally lighter, but she fought with volume and grit, coming forward and sending out punches and trying to bother Mayer with activity. Mayer adjusted, though, using her height by landing and then moving — particularly with right hands from afar.
She also used Crespo’s aggression against her, feinting to draw Crespo forward and then scoring with hard uppercuts and hooks as Crespo came in. Mayer’s punches landed harder, and Crespo’s activity began to slow, no longer coming hard for all two minutes of each round, therefore allowing Mayer to get in more work, and to rest when needed.
One judge had it a shutout, 100-90, 10 rounds to none. The others gave Crespo (now 13-5 with 3 KOs) a little more credit, seeing it 99-91, or nine rounds to one, and 98-92, eight rounds to two.
This fight was exactly the kind of lesson a developing fighter should learn and exhibit in this kind of bout. And now Mayer, 11-0 with 4 KOs, can continue to move forward toward a title shot.