By Scott Gilfoid: Lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury says he’ll be three times in total in 2019. He’ll be facing Tom Schwarz (24-0, 16 KOs) this Saturday night on ESPN at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas, Nevada. After this fight, Fury plans on fighting in September, and then December.
The quick turnaround for the three fights suggests that Fury will be facing two additional soft opponents after this Saturday’s fight against German heavyweight Schwarz, who many boxing fans view as a poor opponent. This is arguably a test fight for Fury to see if he’s still together physically after the way that he was brutally knocked down by Deontay Wilder last December in the 12th round. It was a miracle that the referee didn’t stop the fight on the spot after Fury was knocked flat by Wilder. The referee took an old school approach to the knockdown by giving a count despite the fact that Fury looked to be out cold.
Fury says he’s fighting Wilder twice in 2020
After Fury’s three fights in 2019, he says he’ll be coming back to face WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in two fights in 2020. That’s right, Fury says he’s going to fight a trilogy match with the unbeaten Wilder (41-0-1, 40 KOs) in 2020. That news isn’t going to make Matchoom Boxing promoter Eddie Hearn happy, because he said there’s going to be serious issues if Wilder and Fury look to face each other in a trilogy match without his fighter #1 WBC Dillian Whyte getting a title shot.
Fury must take care of Tom Schwarz on Saturday
Schwarz, 24, isn’t viewed as being a threat to Fury, but you never know. If Fury is too focused on other fights, he could get beaten in the same way former IBF/WBA/WBO champion Anthony Joshua was beaten by Andy Ruiz Jr. earlier this month on June 1 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Schwarz, 6’5″, has excellent size, he’s young, and he hits about as hard as Fury does. In other words, Schwarz is a slapper like Fury. When you get two slappers in the ring, there’s no telling which of them will prevail.
Fury, 30, did a good job of evading many of Wilder’s power shots in his last fight in December, but ultimately the ‘Bronze Bomber’ caught up with him and dropped him twice. The second knockdown was scary, because Fury was badly hurt. He looked to be hurt far worse than Anthony Joshua was in his seventh round knockout loss to Andy Ruiz Jr.
Is Fury’s punch resistance still the same?
When a fighter has been knocked down the way Fury was in the 12th round by Wilder, sometimes they’re never the same again. We’re going to find out on Saturday whether Fury can still take a good shot. Obviously, Fury’s new promoters at Top Rank didn’t take any chances of putting him in with a heavyweight with any kid of punching power after the way Wilder poleaxed him last December.
Schwarz’s punching power is on the lowest end of the scale at heavyweight. This writer would put Schwarz at about a 2 on a 10 scale in terms of power. However, if Wilder shook something loose in Fury’s head with the devastating right-left combination that he dropped him with in round 12, it might not take much from Schwarz to upend Tyson on Saturday.
You can say this about Schwarz: once he gets one of his opponents in trouble, he’s a great finisher. Fury has never beaten anyone solid at heavyweight other than an old 40-year-old, gun-shy Wladimir Klitschko, who could no longer pull the trigger on punches by that point in his career. Unfortunately, Fury hasn’t beaten anyone good that was in their prime, and that’s why Saturday’s fight is hard to predict a winner in. Fury should have lost to Wilder by a knockout if the referee had stopped it in the 12th after he was knocked unconscious.