THE FRANK WARREN COLUMN
By Frank Warren
THE NO.1 HEAVYWEIGHT in world boxing is once again Vegas-bound this weekend as he continues his charm offensive on the American market and demonstrate why there is nobody else like him in the division.
Tyson Fury enters into just his fifth fight since making his return to the ring in June 2018 and will take on the 20-0 Swede Otto Wallin at the T-Mobile Arena. It is a huge weekend for boxing Stateside, with the date usually occupied by Canelo and Floyd Mayweather before him, but this year our unbeaten lineal champion takes centre stage.
Myself, along with Tyson, said all along that he would require something like four comeback assignments before being restored to former glories. Then the opportunity to give the fight public what they wanted – the best taking on the best – came along and Tyson chose to do away with the patient approach and jumped in with Deontay Wilder last December.
That he has subsequently taken the time to further hone his conditioning and fight fitness, I believe, will pay significant dividends when he comes up against Wilder again in a rematch early next year.
Some people have chosen to mock the choice of opponents, first Tom Schwarz and now Wallin but, the truth of the matter is, with the size of the pair of them, they are ideal preparation for going back in with Wilder.
In taking his time, Tyson’s fitness, training and confidence will have improved ten-fold and the version of him that fights Wilder next time will be a much slicker and stronger model.
True, these two fights have also served to magnify Tyson’s already incredible popularity and profile in the States, but it is in the ring where he will really reap the benefits.
What Tyson cannot do – and I am sure he won’t – is take the threat of Wallin lightly. Recent history warns us of the danger of overlooking what is in front of you. Tyson himself wasn’t hugely fancied to beat Wladimir Klitschko, so anything can happen in this game and he has got to be right on it on Saturday.
What we did back in December was make the fight that mattered, where others failed to do so, and we will do it again if Tyson is able to stick to the script get the win we expect him to.
THERE HAS BEEN a bit of back and forth over the last week over a potential coming together of heavyweight giants Joe Joyce and Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller.
It was disappointing for Joe when Agit Kabayel withdrew himself from defending his European title against the Olympic silver medallist, but Miller was quick to put his name in the frame.
I haven’t got a problem with the fight and would make it in a heartbeat. It is down to the big New Yorker to get himself licenced before we can consider making it happen.
TRAVELLING OVER TO Las Vegas this week for Tyson’s fight comes with the unfortunate downside for me of missing out on the cracking little show we are staging at York Hall on Saturday night.
It will, I am pretty sure, be the best ever card we have staged at the Bethnal Green venue and the fans who have grabbed the tickets are in for a real treat.
Sunny Edwards has marked himself out as one of the finest young talents in world boxing and he continues on the road towards a world title challenge by switching to flyweight and taking on the Mexican Rosendo Hugo Guarneros for the vacant IBF and WBO International titles.
Brad Foster defending his British and Commonwealth super bantamweight titles against Lucien Reid is going to be a fascinating clash of styles and a top fight with two unbeaten guys going at it from the off.
We also have Dec Spelman defending his English light heavyweight title against Shakan Pitters, while it is a British light heavyweight title eliminator fight that has really got people talking.
Zak Chelli vs Kody Davies is an example of two young fighters wanting to step up and wanting to be in big fights that the fans want to see. I would imagine – and certainly if Chelli has his way – it will be a good old fashioned bang-up that will enthral from start to finish.
I am just happy that I won’t miss out totally because I will be tuned in to ESPN+ on my travels to watch the action unfold in London.
Catch all the drama from York Hall live and exclusive on BT Sport 1 from 8pm on Saturday. Tyson Fury v Otto Wallin is live on BT Sport Box Office.