When it was announced that Tom Schwarz was the next opponent for Lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, the news was met with disbelief in most quarters. Other than those of us that keep an eye on the various world governing bodies rankings, no-one had even heard of Schwarz.
Schwarz is ranked No 2 by the WBO. Why?
Study Schwarz's record and in his last fight, he beat Croatian Kristijan Krstacic on the 2nd March. Krstacic was 17-1-0 going into the bout, and the fight was scheduled for 10 rounds with the WBO Inter-continental heavyweight title on the line.
Krstacic's only other loss was to Yury Kashinsky for the WBO Oriental cruiserweight title in February 2017. Since then Kashinsky has won 4 fights against opposition that has a combined 65 wins and 43 losses.
Schwarz's record is littered with fighters with poor records.
Not long before Schwarz stops Krstacic in the 2nd round he is caught cleanly by 2 swinging over-hand rights. He leans back away from the punches in a failed attempt to avoid them. This is the fight that convinced Top Rank and Frank Warren that this was a good opponent for Fury's first fight in their $100m, 5 fight deal.
Fellow countryman and EBU champion Agit Kabayel would start a huge favourite against Schwarz if the 2 were to meet right now. In fact, anyone in the world top 15 would.
Tom Schwarz is a better than average German heavyweight but matched properly against decent opposition, he would lose his unbeaten record and not even the WBO could get away with the ludicrous ranking they have bestowed upon him.
Schwarz is about to go into battle with the 6ft 9 inch Fury who it is fair to say has proved himself to be an elite heavyweight again. I wish him well and hope that he earns a life-changing purse.
The news that Brandon Adams will be challenging Jermall Charlo for his WBC Interim middleweight title just goes to show what a great time it is to be a contender. With so much competition between the TV companies and the ridiculously high signing on fees that they are paying to the elite names, the spin-off is that they need opposition for their signings.
Adams last fight was a 10 round unanimous decision win over Shane Mosley Jr in the series finale of the Contender, Series 5. Adams dominated the fight and received $250,000 for the privilege.
Let's hope he receives a similar or better payday for the Charlo assignment because it will be far more punishing.
At least Brandon "The Cannon" has earned his way to his title shot. He was being considered as the comeback opponent for Gennady Golovkin, so he was in a good bargaining position.
If all this means that the big money is finding its way to guys like Schwarz and Adams, then that can only be a good thing, long may it last.
It's not called the toughest game of all for nothing.