Tyson Fury made a name for himself last night, one that already has a ready-made ring about it and will be destined to become familiar in boxing. The 22-year-old gypsy giant from Manchester became the new British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion in only his 15th fight, outpunching and outfighting the holder, Dereck Chisora.
Fury boxed with verve, nerve and intelligence, dominating the 12-round contest that lived up to its billing as "The Big Brawl to Settle It All". It was an embarrassingly one-sided affair, embarrassing that is for 27-year-old Chisora who, astonishingly, though eight inches shorter than the 6ft 9in Fury, elected to go into the fight six pounds heavier at 18st 9lb, 17lb more than in his last contest eight months ago. The extra poundage may not have cost him the fight but it certainly sapped his stamina.
The scoring of the three ringside judges, two marking it 117-112 and the third 118-111, was a fair indication of Fury's superiority. At best Chisora was given only three rounds.
"I've got these belts and it's a dream come true, I would have beaten anyone they put in front of me tonight, I could have gone 20 rounds," said Fury afterwards. "Never mind all the trash talking and bullshit, I am really a humble guy."
He added: "But I have to hand it to Chisora, he was a true warrior. I would have done even better but I hurt my hand early in the fight."
Fury explained that this accounted for his occasional switch to southpaw, tactics which seemed to bemuse Chisora, whose best rounds were the second and 10th, the latter when he unleashed a furious fusillade of hooks and crosses, clearly having been told by his corner that he had to score a knock-out to win.
Fury had promised he would test Chisora's heart. He certainly tested "Del Boy's" durability in a fight of hits and misses, Chisora's swings and roundhouse rights being adroitly countered by Fury's jab. "Jab, Tyson, jab" was the shouted advice from the corner, and Fury did that and more, landing more frequently and more effectively. And though not the heaviest of punchers for such a big man, he showed he can absorb a good shot.
This was supposedly the biggest domestic heavyweight dust-up since Lewis and Bruno. It certainly was in terms of weight, though not in stature.
Chisora had clearly suffered for his lengthy ring absence, frustrated by on-off negotiations for a fight with Wladimir Klitschko. On last night's evidence, that would have been even more one-sided than Klitschko's easy conquest of David Haye.
Inevitably there will now be talk of putting Fury in against Klitschko, who had indicated his willingness to fight the winner of last night's battle. This would be a foolhardy fight for Fury at this stage for, impressive as he was in this victory, he is still very much a novice. However, he says: "It will be interesting to see how Klitschko does against someone even bigger than him."
There was no doubting Fury's confidence before and during the fight, and after all the bad-mouthing that had gone before it was good to see them showing respect for each other after some of the fiercer exchanges and at the conclusion of the fight.
While doubtless Fury will go on to bigger and better things, Chisora must rethink his future, though he can take heart from his stable-mate Kevin Mitchell's own comeback a week ago after a similar reversal. He also needs to lose that excess weight.
British light welterweight champion Ashley Theophane retained his title with a 10th-round knock-out of veteran Welshman Jason Cook.
The 30-year-old Londoner wore down Cook, 36, in an untidy scrap which saw both fighters having a point deducted, Theopane for repeated low blows and Cook for a head-butt. With Cook's left eye already cut, he was felled by a left hook to the body and just failed to beat the count.
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