CLAD in stars and stripes, Tyson Fury did his best Apollo Creed impression when making his ring walk in Las Vegas on Saturday (June 15) and then demolished an overmatched Tom Schwarz in two rounds.
Though he had boxed in America before, the Schwarz fight represented Fury’s Las Vegas debut and, thanks to his attire and performance, he went down a storm.
Now, backed by ESPN and Top Rank, there’s every chance America will want to keep Fury out there and next time he could oppose Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev or American Jarrell Miller, the two front-runners. Whomever the foe, one thing we know for sure is this: it’s going to be on US soil.
“The next few fights are definitely going to be in America,” said Fury after his win at the MGM Grand. “For the foreseeable future, it’s the USA, for sure.”
Pulev is a 38-year-old former world title challenger who recently courted controversy for kissing a female reporter on the lips following an interview. He boasts a decision win over Hughie Fury, Tyson’s cousin, and a loss to Wladimir Klitschko five years ago is the sole blemish on his 28-fight pro record. He would appear to tick a few necessary boxes, then, and, believe it or not, isn’t half as controversial a choice as Miller, a drug cheat, would be.
That said, the fight the world wants to see features neither Pulev nor Miller. Instead, that one sees Fury and Deontay Wilder trying to clear up all the confusion and controversy following their December draw.
“It’s up to both me and Deontay to do our jobs and make certain we don’t go the way of Anthony Joshua before we get back in the ring together again,” Fury said. “I’m sure we won’t.
“And this time Deontay won’t be fighting the ‘Gypsy King’ who had been out of the ring for years and just lost a ton of weight at the start of his comeback.”
No, he won’t. He’ll be fighting Apollo Creed, or Muhammad Ali, or Neo from The Matrix, or any one of the superheroes with whom Fury has been compared in the 48 hours following a facile victory against an unknown German.
Another British boxer keen to uproot and grab himself a big fight in America is IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington.
The hard-nosed Leeds man came through a tricky assignment against mandatory challenger Kid Galahad on Saturday (June 15) and escaped with a split-decision win (as well as no small amount of frustration). Now keen to unify his belt with another of the champions, Warrington accepts he might have to travel to get his wish.
“There’s no-one left for me to fight over here,” he said. “I’ve moved very quickly to the top of the tree and it’s the big fights I need here.
“I don’t want to be coming back here and defending the title against some bloke who works at the car-wash on the York Road.
“If I can get my own way, I’d like to go to America for the memories and the experience.”
At 28, there’s no time like the present. He is as good as he is going to get and, if Saturday’s fight is anything to go by, the biggest threat to Warrington should he stick around in the UK is overlooking a challenger or being gazumped by an awkward style.
What’s more, seven of Warrington’s last nine fights have gone the distance and most of them have been punishing. To prevent going stale, he might simply need a change and the chance to freshen up. He might need a rest.