Tyson Fury’s trainer believes Tom Schwarz has become a more dangerous opponent as a consequence of Andy Ruiz Jr’s shock stoppage of Anthony Joshua.
Saturday’s fight at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand between Fury and Germany’s Schwarz has largely been made with the intention of furthering the former’s profile in the United States ahead of a lucrative rematch with Deontay Wilder next year.
But the fact it comes only a fortnight after Joshua was dramatically stopped in seven rounds by Ruiz Jr, losing his IBF, WBA, IBO and WBO heavyweight titles on his US debut amid a wider plan of enhancing his popularity, emphasises the risks Fury could face.
Ruiz Jr has transformed his life when so few had given him hope of succeeding and Fury’s trainer Ben Davison believes Schwarz will have watched and been inspired by his remarkable success.
The new champion had to recover from a heavy knockdown before landing the third-round punch Joshua was still struggling with when he was stopped in the seventh, potentially giving 25-year-old Schwarz extra confidence for what is expected to prove his most difficult fight.
“He would have watched that thinking, ‘Joshua will probably blast Ruiz out’,” Davison told Press Association Sport.
“And then that happens and he’d have thought, ‘Do you know what? If he can do it, I can do it. Things do happen. It’s possible’. One hundred percent.
“Not that we would be overlooking him, but it’s an extra reminder that nobody can be overlooked.
“One of his biggest assets is he’s a bit of an unknown quantity because he’s never been at this level. I’m not trying to convince people he’s this or that. He could turn up on the night and absolutely s*** himself, be like a rabbit in headlights.
“Or he could turn up there and thrive and rise to the occasion, and be 50 per cent, 10 times the man he is normally. You don’t know, so you can never underestimate him.
“(But) Tyson’s not that type of person who would feel pressured by someone else’s performance. He has his own beliefs and he sticks by them.”
While Davison’s inexperience was questioned before Fury was so convincing against Deontay Wilder in December, his expertise has since been proven and, unlike against Wilder, he has had to prepare for an opponent who by comparison is little known.
“It’s my job to study him, and I’ve seen habits and patterns and behaviours in his style and boxing that we can exploit.” he said. “There’s definitely mistakes we can capitalise on.
“He’s young, fresh, has had to dig in in fights before and got it done. He has a tight defence, is relatively light on his feet and has relatively fast hands.”