Tyson Fury delivered a statement on American shores to stop previously unbeaten heavyweight Tom Schwarz in the second round in Las Vegas.
He produced a ruthless display in a one-sided contest, forcing Schwarz’s corner to throw in the towel as the referee was about to stop the contest.
Fury asserted his dominance in the opening round before dropping Schwarz in the second after a brutal barrage of punches.
A bloodied Schwarz was pulled out by his corner with six seconds left in the second round.
Speaking after the fight, Fury said: “It's a fairy tale story and I'm still living the dream. I am over the moon. We will get deals done, get another fight in and then we fight Wilder next year.”
The lineal heavyweight champion remains unbeaten in 29 fights, while the defeat was the first of Schwarz’s career.
Fury vs Schwarz: Fight report
An unfazed Schwarz showed no signs of stage fright in the opening round. The German walked forward, trying to cut off the ring and engage, but a relaxed Fury responded by firing off his jab with impunity.
Donning the American stars and stripes on his shorts on his date with destiny in Sin City, Fury connected with several notable scoring shots in a tentative opening round which Fury controlled.
Fury exhibited his famed slick footwork and head movement in a second round clinic in front of a star-studded crowd at the MGM Grand.
He caught Schwarz with a superb uppercut from a southpaw stance in the early stages before pivoting away from the corner and landing again with ease as Schwarz continued to march forward.
Schwarz backed Fury up in the corner again, but the ‘Gypsy King’ managed to evade the German’s barrage in a stylish show of upper body movement.
Fury responded with a slick combination of his own which sent Schwarz falling face down to the canvas.
Schwarz gallantly made it to his feet but found himself bloodied and backed up against the corner seconds later.
With seconds remaining, Schwarz’s corner threw in the towel as referee Kenny Bayless was preparing to wave the contest off.
After the victory and his obligatory rendition of the Aerosmith hit ‘I don't want to miss a thing’, Fury confirmed he will fight again on either 21 September or 5 October before chasing Wilder.
Record intact and reputation enhanced, Fury played his cards perfectly in his spiritual home of Las Vegas.
Fury vs Schwarz: Post-fight interviews
Fury: “He came here to fight and not spoil. I switched to southpaw and wanted to put on a good show. I got a big man out of there by switching it up. He caught me with a couple but you can't go swimming and not get wet.
“I came here to have fun and enjoy myself. I don't take it too seriously. I thought I put on a good show and the fans got what they paid for.
“Tonight was great, I will enjoy it. We will get deals done, get another fight in and then we fight Wilder next year.”
Fury vs Schwarz: Social media reaction
@Tyson_Fury 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼🌹— Andrew Flintoff (@flintoff11) 16 June 2019
And there we go 🥊🥊 congratulations @Tyson_Fury— Frank Bruno MBE (@frankbrunoboxer) 16 June 2019
.@Tyson_Fury floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee. Just beautiful— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) 16 June 2019
Fury vs Schwarz: Undercard results
In the chief support Jesse Hart outpointed Sullivan Barrera in a compelling light heavyweight bout.
Both fighters were hurt at different stages of the contest, but the former world title challenger dropped 37-year-old Cuban Barrera in the eighth round in his first fight at light heavyweight.
In an enterprising fight which lacked finesse, Hart won by scores of 96-93, 97-92, 99-90, and the victory puts him in the mix to fight one of the division’s titleholders – Oleksandr Gvozdyk, Sergey Kovalev, Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol.
“I don't take nothing away from Barrera, but I hurt my hand in the seventh round,” said Hart after the twenty-sixth win of his career.
“I had one hand. My right hand was completely shot. After I hurt him and dropped him, I couldn't really finish him. That's why you saw the left hook come. As you can see, I can punch with both hands. I take my hat off to him. He came to fight.”
US Olympian Mikaela Mayer won a 10-round unanimous decision over Lizbeth Crespo by scores of 98-92, 99-91, 100-90.
Mayer, who represented the United States at the 2016 Olympics in Rio, outclassed her Argentine opponent, using her longer reach to control the distance throughout the contest.
Speaking after the win she insisted she is ready to compete at world-level. “I am ready for a world title fight next,” she said. “It’s time for the champions to step up and get in the ring with me.
“Crespo was a tough challenge, but I got through it and am ready to move on to bigger things.”
In a minor upset Albert Bell handed super featherweight contender Andy Vences his first defeat in an entertaining 10-round fight.
Bell out-landed Californian Vences in an action-packed bout despite hitting the canvas after an accidental head-butt in the third round.
Fury’s stablemate Isaac Lowe picked up the eighteenth win of his career courtesy of a hard-fought unanimous decision over American Duarn Vue.
Lowe, trained by Ben Davison, won by scores of 99-91, 98-92, 97-93 after clashing with his opponent at the ceremonial weigh-ins.
Speaking after his win, Lowe said: “I hurt my right hand in the fourth round, so I was limited as to what I could do in there.
“But we got the job done, and we're going to go back to the drawing board and see what it is next.
I'm still learning in there, and I know that there's room for improvement. On to the next one. It's going to be a party tonight in Las Vegas!”
Italian heavyweight prospect Guido Vianello, trained by Abel Sanchez, knocked Keenan Hickman down three times en route to a second-round victory.
Fellow heavyweight hope Peter Kadiru, who is managed by Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, cruised to a decision victory over 32-year-old American Juan Torres, winning 40-36 on all three scorecards.
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