June 10, 2018
June 10, 2018
Tyson Fury

Action Images/Andrew Couldridge

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TYSON FURY is a boxer again and Sefer Seferi was almost as bad as the critics feared. The second best cruiserweight in Albania, only allowed anywhere near Tyson Fury because Tyson Fury had not been a boxer for a long time, quit on his stool after four rounds.

But did we learn anything from this mismatch? Fury took a while to get going and looked a long way off his best. But don’t forget that he often looked clumsy and easy to beat unless he was facing someone he respected. In fact, he’s only been at his best once, when he defeated Wladimir Klitschko in 2015.

So why Sefer Seferi and not someone just a little bit better? Someone who might have given Tyson something to think about. It’s true that Fury was coming back a long, long way. But not far enough to justify this.

Okay, Seferi’s glossy record may have looked and sounded okay to untrained eyes and ears but come on, this is 2018. With BoxRec and YouTube on the end of our thumbs, it doesn’t take much to expose such statistics and Seferi was woefully out of his depth from the moment this bout was announced. But mismatches often follow long layoffs and for that reason alone tonight’s farce will probably be forgiven.

And for the first two rounds it was a farce. After dropping a (reciprocated) kiss on Seferi before the opening bell, Fury had no interest in dropping his opponent. Trouble broke out in the crowd, Fury and Seferi stopped – mid-round – and watched before Tyson, perhaps struggling to switch from celebrity to boxer, was warned by the referee for crudely showboating. It was frankly terrible fare.

Afterwards Fury said he wanted to get some rounds in and was enjoying himself, yet his awareness that Seferi had zero chance of winning was obvious. And if the past has taught us anything about Fury, it’s that he needs to fear his opponent to perform impressively.

As Dillian Whyte pointed out beforehand, there were surely better opponents to allow Fury – only 29 and in camp for the same length of time as he would have been for a world title fight – to wriggle free from the ring rust. This was not just anyone returning after a break, this was a man calling himself the lineal heavyweight champion of the world.

Now the layoff is over Fury should look to rivals who are a better fit for his talents. If not, if the ‘bum of the month’ schedule he has mentioned continues, he must cease calling himself the best fighter in the division because best fighters in divisions do not face fighters like Sefer Seferi.

Ultimately, Fury has put in a lot of hard work and should be admired for that. He turned his back on the mother of all party lifestyles to shed fat and stick his middle finger up to the depression that continues to tease him. His failed drugs test, which triggered this whole mess, remains a dreadful blot on his formbook and while that shouldn’t be forgotten, it’s now time to look forward.

Because Tyson Fury is a boxer again, at last. But Sefer Seferi must be the first and last Sefer Seferi of the comeback if Tyson Fury is to be a champion again.