Tyson Fury stayed undefeated today with a rusty performance against Joey Abell, stopping the Minnesota club fighter in the fourth round on the fourth knockdown of the fight, though the big man definitely had some issues in the ring.
Fury (22-0, 16 KO) was rusty and in truly lousy physical condition, but he still moved around the ring well, eating up most of the first two rounds with his jab and movement, though the fight didn't seem to be at the pace or tenor that he was looking for, either. Because he wasn't doing much damage or pressing the action, Abell (29-8, 28 KO) was free to reserve his energy, square up, and look for occasional counter opportunities, which he did.
Abell, a 6'4" southpaw, was able to land a left hand that shook Fury up a bit more than a few times, but Fury either quickly got back out of range, or wisely tied up. In the third round, Fury blatantly punched Abell in the groin, and not only did he land a clearly purposeful, DQ-worthy intentional low blow, but he did it on the break, when Abell wasn't expecting anything to come at him, and wasn't even in a normal defensive state of mind.
But the fight became what Fury, 25, prefers after that low blow, too. Perhaps he got into Abell's head, or perhaps it was just Fury flipping his own switch with his villainous nonsense, but a firefight broke out after that, and though Abell still landed the occasional solid shot, Fury was now in the mindset of going to war, and when he gets himself there, he's tough to deter. When a 6'9" giant with speed and power starts looking to destroy, he can do some damage, and Fury did, scoring the four knockdowns -- two in the third, two in the fourth -- after the low blow incident, which was completely ignored by the homer BoxNation commentators.
(It should also be noted that in round two, referee Jeff Hinds took Fury's word that Abell, who had just hurt him, was headbutting him in a clinch that Fury initiated. This gave Hinds -- who neither called nor saw a headbutt -- the opportunity to give Abell a stern lecturing, and Fury a moment to recover.)
All in all, the fight had the feeling of a clown show once the low blow happened and Hinds not only didn't disqualify Fury, which he could have if he'd wanted to do so, but he didn't even take one or two points, which he absolutely should have done. It was clearly intentional and an obvious infraction.
But at the end of the day, as they say in boxing constantly, Fury gets the win and moves on to a bigger fight. He'll need to be in better shape, because today's Tyson Fury might have found himself in a world of hurt with an opponent better than Abell.