Fury vs Schwarz :: The stay busy bout

Fury vs Schwarz is set to take place on June 15th in Las Vegas, Nevada.

When a boxing fan buys a ticket to a live boxing event or buys the PPV stream he or she expects to see good fights where the combatants are equal in ability or the up and coming prospect can be seen to be tested while taking another step up the ladder.

Another boxing event promoters throw out there every now and then is “The stay busy bout”. This is when their charge has reached the highest level and needs more exposure before they fight an opponent equal to them.

When Fury came back from his well reported ring hiatus, following his title win in Germany over long-time heavyweight kingpin Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015, he signed an exclusive contract with Frank Warren’s Queensbury Promotions. As expected, Fury’s comeback opponent Sefer Seferi was a safe choice for “The Gypsy King”. After a 2 year absence from the ring and Tyson’s battles with drink, drugs and mental health issues, very few critics would demand a top tier opponent. Seferi returned to his natural cruiserweight division 5 months after losing to the 6ft 9 inch giant and gained a majority decision draw with former world cruiserweight challenger Firat Aslan in a WBO Inter-continental title challenge.

Fury’s second comeback bout at Belfast’s Windsor Park was a step up in quality. Italian Francesco Pianeta, had been EBU champion and gone on to challenge twice for world honours. He had started to lose to opponents that he would have once comfortably beaten, but was still an acceptable name for Fury to fight at this stage.

Many thought Warren and Fury were taking a step too far when talk of a Fury challenge to Wilder in America first surfaced. Wilder had at long last scored that first career-defining win over Luis Ortiz that made him a recognisable name to the American fans and seemed on another level to the Fury that outpointed Pianeta.

Tyson Fury was the moral victor even though the bout was scored a majority draw.

As we all now know, Fury knew all along that he belonged in with Wilder.

On June 15th at the Thomas & Mack Center, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Tyson Fury will take on unbeaten German Tom Schwarz in a stay busy bout that will hopefully lead to a second challenge to WBC heavyweight boss Deontay Wilder.

Ask any boxer and he or she will tell you “I will fight whoever they put in front of me”, and generally speaking, they mean it.

Many of the people that have seen the Fury vs Wilder fight, believe that Tyson deserved the victory. The fact that it was scored a majority draw isn’t as bad as it seems. The judges are told to give a 2 point margin in favour of the boxer who scores a knockdown during a round. That is the equivalent of 4 rounds if a normal winning margin is 1 point, I.E. a 10 points to 9 points round. So, if Wilder won 2 rounds, which I think he did, then that would equate to 6 rounds apiece. A draw.

But, Tyson Fury scored the moral victory. He went to America at a point in his career when no-one outside his family, friends and team gave him a chance at all.

So, how is it that Tomas Schwartz is suddenly an acceptable opponent for Fury’s promotional team to use to showcase Fury to the American viewers?

Fury has recently signed a co-promotional deal with Top Rank. It is the Bob Arum run promotional company that has orchestrated this fight and who should be held accountable.

How does this make Fury look to the American public?

They know that the lineal champion has just signed a $100m, 5 fight deal with Arum’s organisation. They now see he’s fighting a guy that they have never heard of. If they do a google search and look at Schwarz’s record on BoxRec they will not see one recognisable name to them.

Bob Arum, CEO of Top Rank

When Warren was at the helm on his own, he made safe but sensible steps up the ladder that gave Fury the exposure he needed and the rounds that a long layoff require. The Seferi and Pianeta bouts were not good fan friendly fights, but acceptable all the same given the layoff. What we are seeing from Top Rank is a way of getting a return on their investment. Fair enough, business has to come first but not always at the expense of the fans.

So who would have been the better choice?

Top Rank are not the greatest at matching their fighters with anyone who is not also on their books. So why not pay Kubrat Pulev a career-high purse to fight Fury on the June date?

There are 11 weeks between Pulev’s 7th round Tko of Bogdan Dinu and June 15th. This would be a good opponent after the Wilder fight for Fury and the fans know that Pulev is a top tier heavyweight. Pulev is the No 1 ranked IBF contender to Anthony Joshua. If he just stays unbeaten he will eventually get the big payday a Joshua fight brings with it. Top Rank will earn big from a Joshua vs Pulev bout.

New Zealander Joseph Parker, the former WBO champion would also be a creditable opponent. Parker’s promoters Duco Events have worked with Arum in the past so the door should be open to make the fight.

Former WBA champion Alexander Povetkin would be a good aopponent for Fury on June 15th.

Russian Alexander Povetkin has not boxed since losing to WBA, WBO and IBF champion Anthony Joshua but would be a good test for Fury. The always dangerous former WBA champion, Povetkin has superb technical boxing skills and is capable of testing the very best.

Luis “King Kong Ortiz” is regarded by most fans, writers and broadcasters as the top contender outside the big three. This would be the best opponent that Fury could possibly have faced in June. Ortiz would almost certainly taken the fight if offered.

EBU champion Agit Kabayel has wins over Derek Chisora and Andriy Rudenko as well as useful Belgian Herve Hubeaux. Kabayel still needs some more experience at the top level but is a level or two above Schwarz.
Three of Kabayel’s four EBU title fights have gone the full 12 rounds so while Fury would be a massive favourite, Kabayel could make things awkward with his movement, boxing ability and being able to go 12 hard rounds.

Dillian Whyte has the ranking, good names on his record and is looking for a summer opponent, oh, and is British like Tyson Fury. This is a fight that never gets a lot of discussion because we all know that Eddie Hearn is never going to risk Whyte against the much more talented Fury without a world title on the line. On the positive side, Whyte is known to the hard-core American boxing fans, so would probably sell better than the totally unknown Schwarz.

A fight that could almost certainly be made is with WBA Interim heavyweight champion Trevor Bryan. A world title fight of any sort would normally add value but Bryan may be the exception to the rule. Bryan has the worst record of any heavyweight champion that comes to mind. The same could be said for the fast declining Manuel Charr. At least Top Rank have spared us these two.

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