THE FRANK WARREN COLUMN
By Frank Warren
IT WOULD NOT be over-egging the pudding to say that Tyson Fury has just wowed America. Not only with his punching prowess, but with his larger than life personality.
In the space of only a few weeks Tyson has become one of the most recognisable sporting figures in the biggest market of them all, fully vindicating our decision to generate huge exposure for the world’s No.1 heavyweight before revisiting a proposed rematch with Deontay Wilder.
That fight is simply getting bigger all the time and the magnitude of it will only increase further once Tyson and Deontay take to the ring again in the autumn.
We could not be completely sure over what we were going to get from Tom Schwarz at the MGM Grand. He is young, hungry and was unbeaten in 24 fights. Most importantly, he came to fight, which is why Tyson was able to put on a show.
I can’t think of many other heavyweights who could live with Tyson on this form. True, some might take him a few more rounds but, when Tyson is on song – both during and after the fight – nobody can question that he rules the heavy mob.
It is a little bit ironic that Tyson just being himself – a bit of showbiz swagger, while all the time honest over his shortcomings and the subject of mental health – he has achieved in one weekend in Vegas what a carefully orchestrated campaign set out to do for Anthony Joshua in New York recently.
The American public’s awareness of Tyson Fury is probably now even greater than that of Deontay Wilder. He is probably the first British heavyweight – with an English accent – to crack America.
However, his American appeal is still in its infancy and Tyson will be back to reinforce the message later this year, most likely in New York, before he sets about the business of signing up for the biggest fight there is to be made.
ESPN did a fantastic job of marketing Tyson to the masses and the interest in his story was remarkable. I am not sure if there has been a greater revival in sport, let alone boxing, than that of Tyson, who has raised himself from the pit of despair to where he is today.
Tyson is the name of the game right now.
The whole weekend has made me look forward to July 13 even more when our next generation of top heavyweights take to the ring at the o2 Arena on what should be an explosive fight night starring Daniel Dubois, Nathan Gorman and Joe Joyce.
We are not looking too far ahead to when these three will be sharing the world stage with Tyson.
WHILE TYSON WAS taking over Vegas, back at home Josh Warrington returned to his regular haunt of the FD Arena in Leeds for the first time as a world champion to make his mandatory defence against Kid Galahad.
Unfortunately, this one was never likely to be pretty because it takes two to make a fight.
The approach of Galahad is not how you go about winning a world title. Throwing a single punch and then holding. That isn’t great defensive work, as some people have suggested, and the referee should have docked a point and stopped the negativity in its tracks.
It needed the referee to be strong and protect the fans and viewers from the tedium they were forced to endure.
I heard that Josh’s dad Sean said afterwards that he now knows why Ricky Hatton didn’t fight Junior Witter. Funnily enough, I was thinking much the same thing myself having tuned in over in Vegas.
I don’t want to bite the hand that feeds us and showcases our fighters so superbly, but I do have to say that, as far as I’m concerned, the commentary team didn’t read the fight well. The constant fawning over the occasional shot thrown by Galahad was a bit over the top and didn’t paint an accurate picture of the fight at all.
That being said, I must say congratulations to Josh and also to Zelfa Barrett and JJ Metcalf for their Commonwealth title success. There are big fights ahead for both of them too, while I am sure that Lyon Woodstock will come again because he is one gutsy character who will always be in good fights.