In Top Rank’s first foray in to T-Mobile Arena, lineal heavyweight king, Tyson Fury defended his title against Sweden’s Otto Wallin.
In his search to become Sweden’s first heavyweight champion since Ingemar Johansson, Wallin turned in the performance of a lifetime, nearly stopping the “Gypsy King” in the final round and creating a cut on Fury that would later need 47 stitches to close.
Fury, who is scheduled to face Deontay Wilder in a rematch in February, did not turn in the same spectacular performance he achieved against Tom Schwarz.
However, while a bad performance may be detrimental to the rematch hype, Fury has been known to fight at the level of his opponent. Looking somewhat unimpressive is just as common for Fury as looking incredible against top competition. While there were criticisms of the opponent of choice for this bout, tune-up fights have been a part of the boxing world forever.
Wallin did put up a good fight and drummed up some serious drama in Vegas on Mexican Independence Day weekend.
Another benefit to the good performance Wallin puts on are his options in the future. Declaring himself a new player on the heavyweight chessboard, Wallin nearly took out the king.
The Wallin name now has serious heat and can be a solid option for other heavyweights looking to prove themselves by taking him out.
A stoppage victory over a man who took Fury 12 hard rounds will look good on the resume of Wilder, Joshua, or Ruiz.
Fury’s future plans look very exciting with the Wilder rematch looming and Joshua seeming more like a possibility after his business with Ruiz.
In the co-main event, Juan Manuel Elorde faced off against the hottest fighter in his division, Emanuel Navarrete. Navarrete was involved in another title defence less than 30 days ago.
With matching 28-1 records, the two faced off with Navarrete coming out the winner by stoppage. Elorde, 32, had finally made it to the biggest stage on the sport and represented his country well. Navarrete’s next move seems like it will be a champion vs champion matchup against Rey Vargas, also of Mexico.(Julian-Ray Fortaleza)
Photo Credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank)