In round three, with blood seeping from a bad cut over his right eye, Tyson Fury probably said to himself, ‘Blimey, I didn’t expect this.’
Fury (29-0-1, 20 KOs) withstood some nervous moments from Sweden’s game Otto Wallin to remain undefeated, winning the bout via unanimous decision at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Saturday night.
All three judges had Fury winning the fight by scores of 116-112, 117-111, and 118-110.
Fury scored points in the early rounds with a flicking jab, but Wallin’s physical style was an issue.
That issue became a outright problem in round three when a Wallin left hook caused a cut over Fury’s right eye. With crimson impacting his ability to see, Fury wiped at it. A little later he sustained another cut on the eyelid.
Wallin, who entered the match a 30-1 underdog, targeted the bloody lamp. He even broke the rules. During a clinch he rubbed the cut with the laces of his left glove-something that was routine back in the days of Jack Johnson and James J. Jeffries. Fury howled in disgust, but referee Tony Weeks said nothing.
With the spector of the fight being stopped, Fury upped the ante. He strafed Wallin with blows, but the unheralded challenger refused to break. Wallin dug to the body, while Fury jolted him with hooks and uppercuts.
Fury appeared to be on the verge of a knockout in rounds 10 and 11, but Wallin held on and battled back. Fury rocked Wallin some more in the 12th and final round – until Wallin turned the tables, hurting Fury with a serious of blows. Fury held on and boxed in the final minute of the fight.
“It was a great fight,” Fury said. “You know, I got caught early on with the inside of the glove, on the eyelid, which cut the eye, changed the fight completely. For a majority of the fight, I couldn’t see out me [right] eye. And then southpaw-orthodox clash, clashed heads and gave me a second cut.”
Due to the severity of the cut, Fury’s long-awaited rematch with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder could be delayed.
Though a loser in the ring, Wallin exited a winner.
“I tried my best,” Wallin said, “and Tyson is a great champion.”
Scoffed at by most, his gritty performance raised (and cut) eyebrows. The big southpaw is a now a player in the heavyweight division.