Weekend aftermath: Fury in Vegas, Warrington squeezes home & WBSS drama
Photos (top to bottom): Steve Marcus/Getty Images; Steve Marcus/Getty Images; Nigel Roddis/Getty Images
Tom Craze, Andrew Harrison, Callum Rudge, Lee Gormley and Oliver McManus react to a busy weekend of boxing, as Tyson Fury impressed, Josh Warrington struggled and the WBSS cruiserweight semi-finals provided drama and controversy...
BM: What did you make of Tyson Fury in Las Vegas?
TC: Fury did exactly what he should have: dispatch a woefully overmatched opponent early and without fuss. This was always a fairly cynical mismatch - not that those are uncommon in boxing - and the only thing lacking was a highlight reel KO for social media hype later on. Tom Schwarz had no right to be headlining at the MGM Grand and will drop back to the obscurity from whence he came, while Fury can move onto the type of match-up more deserving of his ability.
AH: Frank Warren and Bob Arum couldn’t have scripted a better exercise in promotion than Fury’s visit to Las Vegas. He wowed the media in the build-up and the performance was perfect (albeit against hand-picked opposition). Fights are so often converted to memes these days, often before the fighters have hit the showers, and the takeaways from the Schwarz fight will be the Apollo Creed homage, Fury's slipping of punches on the ropes, the stoppage itself and then the serenading of wife Paris afterwards. Bite-sized snippets of Fury’s character that will play well in the States and ensure the Wilder rematch is a money-spinner. To paraphrase Oz from British sitcom Auf Wiedersehen Pet (when explaining his audacious plan to dismantle the Transporter Bridge): “Yes, it’s monstrous, it’s gargantuan, it’s outrageous. That’s the point!”
CR: Fury did what he should against a man who was nowhere near his level. There is another universe where Fury would have just toyed him with Schwarz for 12 rounds but credit to him, he saw gaps and showed spite in exploiting them. He needs a big step-up for his September / October fight though.
LG: Fury looked brilliant, albeit against a hand-picked opponent, and definitely made a big impact in Las Vegas. A top performance mixed in with all the usual bravado. Wilder rematch next please!
OM: That's the Tyson Fury I wish we could see every fight - a quick exercise of everything he does brilliantly. His movement was wonderful and he had the spite to finish the contest; several had pondered whether he'd toy with Schwarz for the duration of the contest in glorified sparring so it was pleasantly surprising to see the opposite. A perfect start to his new chapter in America.
BM: Warrington vs Galahad - any controversy there or a fair verdict?
TC: I actually felt Galahad did enough to nick it after a strong first half of the fight, but don’t think a Warrington win is in any way controversial. It was a bitty, ugly fight, and not at all easy to score. Finding eight rounds for the Leeds man - as two of the judges did - feels a stretch, but any cries of robbery are misplaced.
AH: I thought Warrington just about edged a really scruffy, bitty, eyesore of a fight. Galahad was excellent at moving, dictating the pace, and nullifying Warrington’s attacks, but he didn’t do enough offensively to win sufficient rounds (though some of them were about as close as it gets). I can see why some will feel Galahad was hard done by – more often than not, when a fighter controls the ring, they win the fight. Warrington, though, found a way to win, outworking Galahad inside, whenever he could free his hands from the Sheffield man’s constant clinching. It wasn’t pretty but that won’t bother Warrington. Onwards and upwards now. I’d like to see him fight Leo Santa Cruz, perhaps in a double-header with Carl Frampton against Oscar Valdez. Galahad’s options will be limited, but a fight with Scott Quigg (they have history) would fit the bill nicely.
CR: I scored 115-113 for Galahad, I don’t see a world where Warrington won eight rounds (as two judges had it) but a lot of the rounds were close and Galahad being the away fighter needed to put more shots together to really stamp his authority on the fight. Warrington though was poor, never worked out Galahad at southpaw and lacked his usual energy, he got away with one there.
LG: It was a very scrappy fight and had plenty of rounds that were close and could have gone either way. I had Galahad winning most of them though and thought he did enough over the stretch to win, scoring it 116-112. He did well to nullify Warrington on the inside but it did become very tedious in the clinches and he was lucky not have a point taken off. Warrington won’t be pleased with his performance but he’s got his belt still and I’m sure he’ll have much better fights against the likes of Valdez in future.
OM: I thought Galahad was the better fighter - at least in that he executed his game plan better - but I question whether he did enough to make sure he won he fight. He was able to slow the pace of the fight and make Warrington look one-dimensional but provided no real threat or decisive action of his own. It was a poor fight, mind, so I can happily live with he decision as long as we don't have to see it again!
BM: Should Mairis Briedis have been disqualified against Krzysztof Głowacki?
TC: Absolutely. He’s not at fault for continuing to fight after the bell went, and referee Robert Byrd’s performance was utterly calamitous all round, but Briedis’s elbow was both vicious and ostensibly deliberate, as he owned up to in the post-fight interview. A rematch would be the fair outcome.
CR: 100 per cent yes. It was a blatant, intentional elbow that landed with force and caused visible damage to Glowacki’s face. That elbow definitely took something out of the Pole. Robert Byrd is a good referee but had an awful night, he needs to collect his gold watch and go home. His performance was dangerous and he shouldn’t be allowed near a boxing ring again.
LG: Briedis probably should have been disqualified for his elbow, it was vicious, dangerous and blatant. Byrd had an absolute nightmare too though and fighters can’t be blamed for carrying on after the bell if the referee doesn’t intervene, so that part of the bout was the official’s fault.
BM: Dorticos vs Tabiti - KO of the year contender?
TC: It’d be a surprise if, by the end of the year, this wasn’t under consideration. I picked the Cuban to go all the way in our panel’s Big Question discussion, and given that I was the only one to do so, I started to second-guess my pick. Briedis still might have the beating of him, but the KO Doctor is a classy operator and, in a post-Usyk world at 200lbs, an elite cruiserweight.
CR: A fight that was in danger of becoming a hugfest was ended in emphatic fashion by the ‘KO Doctor’. Dorticos showed great patience in there and slowly chopped down Tabiti, first with body shots and then that monster right hand. Definitely a KO of the year contender.
LG: When it comes to rounding up the best KOs of the year this one will definitely be a contender. Brilliant shot to put the lights out!