Tyson Fury eased to victory on the occasion of his first fight in Las Vegas as he furthered his reputation as the world’s finest heavyweight by stopping Germany’s Tom Schwarz in the second round.
Fulfilling a lifelong ambition of finally fighting in the Sin City, at the revered MGM Grand, he showed a destructive edge he has rarely previously demonstrated to justify the significant interest he has generated in the US since his fight with Deontay Wilder.
Fury had perhaps re-established himself as the world’s leading heavyweight with December’s thrilling draw against the American, when his performance deserved victory, and his reputation grew to such an extent he signed a lucrative contract to fight on ESPN out of the US against an unremarkable opponent.
Concerns persisted that the rounded abilities he traditionally favours over power and strength meant he would win without the sense of drama generated against Wilder and instead effortlessly out-jab Schwarz in the same way he once did Dereck Chisora, but he instead fought to make a statement and succeeded in doing exactly that.
Wearing the US stars and stripes to and in the ring in an obvious attempt to further his growing popularity among Americans, he made a typically fast start to highlight the extent of the challenge the 25-year-old Schwarz faced.
It is little secret Fury expects to fight Wilder in a rematch next year, and having planned to fight at least once more before the end of 2019.
Top Rank's CEO Bob Arum, who co-promotes Fury, believes his boxer will take Wilder apart in the rematch.
"There is no heavyweight in the world that can beat him. Now that he is in shape, Deontay Wilder is not going five rounds with him. We will have another fight, then we will fight Wilder. Nothing is signed [for the rematch]. They both want to fight. There are two networks and it's 50/50. It's easy to do. You've got my word it's going to happen. First quarter of next year. Right here [in Las Vegas]," Arum said.
"Fury took off 144-pounds to prepare for Wilder the first time around. I don't care who you are, that's not good."