Tyson Fury KO’s John McDermott
Tyson Fury went into Friday’s fight with John McDermott knowing only a comprehensive victory would be enough following their contentious first bout last September.
There was no controversy this time though as Fury duly reclaimed the vacant English title with a KO victory over “Big Bad John” in Brentwood thus disparaging his unwanted reputation as a “boxing’s Dick Turpin”.
Fury had to prove himself with a big performance. The last time these two met Fury was handed a victory that was so criminal Ronnie Biggs would have been proud of it.
This time there was no denying who the winner was as Fury dug deep in hot conditions to floor McDermott with a ninth round KO and set up an intriguing meeting between him and rival Derek Chisora for “Del Boy’s” British strap.
Fury looked like a man intent on victory when he stepped out and obviously was up for putting on a display because the big man even attempted an Ali-shuffle. Not renowned for his coordination, Fury is a fighter whose reputation comes from a YouTube video where he punches himself in the face, so he probably shouldn’t be attempting Ali -shuffles. The tubby juggernaut looked absolutely absurd when doing so.
To be fair it was a sprightly start from the Manchester-born fighter, while roly-poly McDermott struggled and in comparison found no rhythm.
Fury had his jab going early, but after four comfortable rounds he suddenly looked like he was tiring. He was weighing in at his heaviest ever and combined with boiling hot conditions Fury started to lag and McDermott saw it as a way back in. A clash of heads in the fifth saw a cut open up above Fury’s eye and suddenly after a bright start it looked like it might be about to come to a disappointing end.
Fortunately though Fury summoned some energy from within and clung on. He was docked a point in the seventh for holding, but had McDermott down at the end of the eight with a sharp combination.
In the ninth round Big Bad John came out a sitting duck, they both threw a right but Fury’s landed with more power and McDermott was down again. He wobbled up back to his feet only for Fury to throw out a combination to send him to the canvas once more. Big Bad John got to his feet but referee Dave Paris had seen enough and called a halt to proceedings, handing Fury the 11th win of his career and the ninth knockout.
There can be no denying Fury did enough this time, but it’s frustrating the way he goes about things away from the ring. He is first and foremost a monster with a huge reach, but he doesn’t utilise his jab enough. He got it going for a bit near the start but it should be a feared, potent weapon. He doesn’t snap it back, which is disappointing. It should be like a tiger trap but instead he meekly throws it without conviction and doesn’t keep it tight. He would do well to watch how Vitali Klitschko uses his to full effect, the man became heavyweight champion off the back of a stiff jab.
Also defensively Fury doesn’t look happy to take shots, jerking out the way of them rather than slipping or blocking.
His conditioning is a joke and could be his downfall. Again he should look at the champions and fellow Briton David Haye as a man who puts the hours in down the gym and on the road as an example of the dedication you need to put into be the best. He wouldn’t have got away with his mid-fight wilt against a better athlete than McDermott.
Most importantly Fury needs a settled camp. Before this bout Fury sacked his coach, Brian Hughes, and said afterwards that he didn’t spar because no-one wants to spar with him. Which is nonsense, go abroad if you can’t find a decent sparring partner in the UK, but there will be someone somewhere for him to spar with, he also badly needs a conditioning coach because he is plainly unfit and really struggled after the fifth round.
That being said his potential match-up with Chisora could be interesting. Fury claimed after the fight, "There's a lot of people who thought I'd lose this fight, that I've only had 10 fights, and I'm only young, but I knew I could do it. Any heavyweight out there I know I can beat them." That’s the sort of rubbish you’d hear Chisora spout as well and you know these two will meet many times in their career, so it will be interesting to see what happens first time out.
If they concentrated on their boxing both would have decent potential, instead they risk become almost comedic characters with their outrageous boasts and mediocre performances.
Still Fury will be pleased to have proved himself capable of beating McDermott fair and square. From now on he needs to settle down with a good management, train harder and work on his jab. If he does these things he could go far.
But leave the shuffling to The Greatest, please.