Monday, September 16, 2019

   
  • Tyson Fury defeated Swedish fighter Otto Wallin in heavyweight bout in Vegas 
  • Fury was admitted to hospital after taking a nasty cut just above the right eye 
  • Despite the gruesome injury, the Gypsy King battled through to win on point
Tyson Fury salvaged his $100million fight — and, according to his father, his career — by fighting through the curtain of blood billowing across one of his eyes on a rough-house Saturday night out in Sin City.

John Fury is demanding that his son sacks his entire team, vaunted trainer Ben Davison included, after the partially-blinded Tyson was taken the punishing distance by Sweden’s unheralded, albeit underestimated, Otto Wallin.

Had he not made it through a staggering final round, Fury’s money-laden February 22 rematch of his epic draw with Deontay Wilder would have been gone the way of the seepage from one machete-like wound above his right eye and a secondary slicing of the adjacent eyelid, which turned his white shorts crimson.

A close up shot of Tyson Fury's gruesome gash above his right eye was posted to Instagram 

Fury Snr, while praising his boy for courageously soldiering on to a unanimous-decision victory after being cut in the third round, was as brutal as the fight itself in assessing Tyson’s condition, preparation and performance.

‘One of the other top heavyweights would have ended his career if he boxed like that,’ he said. As Tyson went to hospital for 47 stitches for the two gashes, perhaps needing plastic surgery, he added: ‘I have the same worry about the cuts.’

Greater damage would have been done already had the fight been stopped, since the major injury was inflicted by a punch rather than a clash of heads and the result would have been defeat.

John Fury has no doubt who would have been to blame. Davison is much praised for turning Tyson away from a ballooning binge-and-booze lifestyle into a dedicated professional, but John suspects the focus has been on losing weight and looking good rather than fighting big.

The blood from the cut resulted in the 31-year-old being taken to hospital after the fight

He described Tyson as ‘weak as a kitten’ in the ring against Wallin, who absorbed all Fury could throw at him as he realised the urgency to find an early finish in case the fight was stopped.

It nearly was. Three times referee Tony Weekes paused the brawling to seek medical advice.

Frank Warren, Fury’s co-promoter, said: ‘Of course I was worried it might be called off. It was a 50-50 chance that would happen. A different doctor might well have stopped it. I can’t remember when another boxer with a cut that horrific was allowed to fight on for so many rounds.’

Warren also disagreed with Fury’s father on the performance: ‘He could hardly see out of his right eye. It was very gallant to keep going and if he had not been partially unsighted I think he would have knocked Wallin out.’

 Fury Snr was sceptical: ‘That wasn’t my son in there. Something went badly wrong in this training camp. I could see it coming.’ Dad was forgiving only of the Mexican under-trainer who worked on the wounds. Although there appeared to be an issue in that area also, with no experienced cuts man in the corner.

All of which begs the question of why Fury was so troubled by a moderate fighter, albeit that Wallin was an improvement on Germany’s Tom Schwarz, despatched in two rounds here in June.

That was your classic interim fight to sell Fury to America before a big world title battle with Wilder. This one became one of the most punishing marketing exercises of all time, albeit a thriller.

That could well be the case, also, when Wilder takes on the far more dangerous Luis Ortiz in November. ‘Why are they taking such a big risk?’ asked Fury’s US promoter Bob Arum. ‘Especially after watching what happened here.’

Fury was slammed by his father John, who said it was his son's worst performance in the ring

Wilder will be less inclined to veer away from Fury after this. In particular the 12th round, when he tired from the exertions which had taken him to the brink of knocking out Wallin a few times and was sent reeling to the precipice of a stoppage himself.

Fury’s injuries have scotched all thoughts of another outing in New York in December. A needed break should heal the wounds. It will also require him to adjust from his recent devotion to training, which he credits for enabling him to conquer the chronic depression which almost ruined his life, never mind his career.

No right-minded human will wish him anything but well in that endeavour. Few will fail to applaud the heart which took him through the red mists in his corner of this famous Strip. Whether that will be enough to fend off Wilder the killer puncher is a matter for him, his father and whoever his team may be in the new year.

Fury had kept the 8,249 crowd at a half-empty T-Mobile Arena in stitches in the build-up with his attempts at speaking Spanish.

Come the other side of midnight the stitches, although mercifully not the joke, were on him.

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