By Keith Idec
Tyson Fury scoffed Monday when asked if he has watched footage of Tom Schwarz’s fights.
The undefeated former IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion claimed during a conference call that he doesn’t need to study Schwarz’s style to feel confident about beating his largely unknown opponent. He’ll learn all he needs to know, according to Fury, as soon as their scheduled 12-round fight starts Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
“You think I need to look at videos of boxers?,” Fury said during a conference call. “Please. Come one. Who are you talking to? You’re talking to a king! I’ll figure him out within the first five seconds of the fight. That’s what I do, figure people out. So, within the first five seconds, I’ll know exactly what to do with him.”
The 6-feet-5, 240-pound Schwarz (24-0, 16 KOs) hasn’t beaten a ranked heavyweight, yet the 25-year-old contender is rated No. 2 by the WBO and No. 8 by the IBF. That was enough for veteran promoter Bob Arum and his team to select Schwarz as the first opponent for Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) in the entertaining Englishman’s new deal with Arum’s Top Rank Inc. and ESPN.
“We looked at the rankings, and we saw that [in] virtually all the organizations, Schwarz was a top-five guy,” Arum said. “Top-two in the [WBO]. We had never promoted him or had anything to do with his people, and we reached out to them to see if they would be interested. He’s an undefeated fighter, popular in Germany, 24 wins and no defeats. We felt that he was the best possible opponent for Tyson Fury.
“One thing we wanted to make sure is we didn’t match Tyson Fury with a small heavyweight, because obviously, long-term, his goal is to fight [Deontay] Wilder. And at that point, [Anthony] Joshua. Of course, that’s less likely now. So, we wanted a big guy. Schwarz is 6-foot-5, and we felt that it would be an interesting fight and a good fight.”
ESPN+ will offer Fury-Schwarz as the main event of a stream scheduled to start at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.