By Keith Idec
Tyson Fury hasn’t had any difficulty remaining motivated for his fight with Tom Schwarz on Saturday night.
The brash British heavyweight didn’t need Andy Ruiz Jr.’s huge upset of Anthony Joshua to remind him that anything can happen in boxing. All Fury has had to do is remember just how much money he’ll be paid as part of his new deal with Bob Arum’s Top Rank Inc. and ESPN to keep himself focused on the task at hand.
The unbeaten, ex-IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO heavyweight champion realizes that a loss to Schwarz wouldn’t just ruin his eventual rematch with Deontay Wilder. It also would cost him a lot of money, just as Joshua’s seventh-round, technical-knockout loss to Ruiz cost him.
“When you’re getting paid as much as I am – ask Bob, he’ll tell ya – you know, motivation is easy,” Fury said during a conference call Monday. “Very easy! So, this is a big boxing fight. This is a massive attraction fight in the UK, Europe, America. This is gonna be epic.”
Fury signed a multi-fight agreement with Top Rank and ESPN that’ll help pay him eight figures per bout. Arum, whose company co-promotes Fury with England’s Frank Warren, doesn’t suspect focus or motivation have been problems for Fury while he has prepared for his first fight since his controversial draw with Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) on December 1 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
“That’s why we haven’t even discussed future fights with Fury,” Arum said. “Fury is gonna sit down with us, as soon as he’s successful Saturday, and plan out his future. But obviously, a Wilder fight next year would be very, very appealing. But he’s not looking past this fight. He is a very intelligent fighter, and he realizes in boxing anything can happen. And, you know, it’s OK for American sportswriters to say, ‘Who is Schwarz? We’ve never heard of him.’ That’s great. But these organizations, and this is well before I even knew of him, these organizations have seen him fight and have rated him so highly in their organizations. And these people are experts.”
The unproven Schwarz (24-0, 16 KOs) is ranked No. 2 by the WBO and No. 8 by the IBF. Fury, however, will be a huge step up in competition for the 6-feet-5, 240-pound German in their ESPN+ main event (10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT).
The 6-feet-9, 260-pound Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs) is touted as the lineal heavyweight champion. Many fans and reporters believe, too, that he did enough to beat Wilder, despite that Wilder knocked him down once apiece in the ninth and 12th rounds.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.