Return of the Mack (Sort Of)
Following nearly 3 years out of the ring the undefeated boxer Tyson Fury fought his return fight against Albania’s second-best cruiserweight Sefer Seferi. Fury’s last bout was of course against the now retired boxer Wladimir Klitschko where he collected the WBA, WBO and IBO world heavyweight titles. When Fury initially announced that he would be making a return and started off losing weight he announced that he would be able to beat either Deontay Wider or Anthony Joshua on his return fight, so when Sefer was announced it was rather underwhelming for Fury fans and the boxing world. However, I do agree that this level of opposition is the type of fights Fury should be taking following a huge amount of time out of the ring, though I cannot understand why Sefer was the man to take him on, at 5ft 9, watching this fight almost had a freak show element to it as we watched Tyson tower over his opponent. There are plenty of tall journeyman fighters that would have been much more appropriate to put in with Fury and I feel if he had fought a true heavyweight that the fight would have had a lot more creditably. Sefer had only fought once at heavyweight prior to this match up against Manuel Charr for the WBA Regular Heavyweight title where he was beaten via a points decision and it really does beg the question why Frank Warren didn’t choose a natural heavyweight for this occasion.
It was an exciting occasion as Fury’s ring walk music started and it was clear to see the atmosphere within the room. I hadn’t realised how much Fury’s popularity had grown whilst he had been away from the ring but it was obvious as we saw the packed out Manchester arena all fired up as he made his way into the ring. One thing I wasn’t expecting from the walk in was to hear ‘Because I got High’ by Afroman as one of Fury’s walk-in songs, it really was a middle finger to all his critics following him being caught for taking cocaine after a drugs test by UKAD.
The first round was odd from the word go, during the build up to this fight Fury had done many of his typical antics, including picking up Seferi at their weigh in and from the first round it was clear to see that the antics would continue. Just before the fight started Fury kissed Seferi on the lips and the antics didn’t stop there as he continued to throw his hands up in the air and smile to the crowd throughout the first round. In terms of boxing Fury barely threw a shot with the only notable punch being a decent jab that rocked Seferi’s head back. Seferi did try to land a couple shots during the first to be fair to him, but he looked very amateur as he lunged forward swinging and missing. The second round was very similar to the first in the fact that Fury continued his showboating until being penalised by referee Phil Edwards, something you don’t see in every boxing match! Seferi even had a go at showboating himself and tried an Ali shuffle which Fury copied and at this point as a viewer it was all getting a bit weird. Towards the end of the second round a fight actually broke out in the audience which both Fury and Seferi both stopped to have a look at, it was slightly unprofessional from Fury and he should’ve ignored it but even as the bell for the end of the second sounded, Fury stood by the ropes smiling at the fight. It was possible that for the third Ben Davidson had a word with Fury because from this moment on he started to take the fight more seriously, there was no more showboating and he put together a good combination of punches, particularly the right to left uppercut followed by a right straight. By the fourth Fury really stepped on the gas more and we did see glimpses of the old Tyson Fury here. He cut the ring off really well and almost had Seferi on the floor at one point where he started landed some good punches whilst Seferi was up against the ropes. I thought towards the end of the 4th that Fury was getting close to forcing the stoppage and thought he would probably do it in the 5th, unfortunately the fight was cut short and Seferi and his team pulled out at the end of the 4th, a result all involved were disappointed with. For Fury and his fans I think they would’ve all liked to see a proper stoppage win for his return fight but unfortunately Fury wasn’t given the opportunity to display this as the fight was cut short.
All in all, I think Fury can be pleased with his performance, I do truly believe we saw some shades of his former self and from watching that performance I do still think he can be as good as he formally was. Unfortunately, I think he may have lost a few fans during that performance as it was a bit of a joke of a fight for a number of reasons, but I do understand why he is fighting this calibre of opponent. Warren confirmed that Fury’s next fight will be on the undercard of Carl Frampton’s fight at Windsor Park on the 18/08, I feel it is a good that he is fighting on an undercard rather than a main event as he can get some rounds in the bag without the pressure of performing to please his fans. I suspect Fury will fight another journeyman but this time a true big heavyweight. He is due to fight once/possibly twice this year after this fight which I assume will be a main event. I would like to see him against either Manuel Charr, Shannon Briggs or David Price so he has a proper competitive fight before 2019, which I assume will be the year we see him fight world class opposition such as Tony Bellew, Dillian Whyte and of course Anthony Joshua or Deontay Wilder.