Tyson Fury’s next fight will be officially announced on Saturday night’s ESPN show, headlined by Kubrat Pulev vs Bogdan Dinu, but the word is already out: Fury will be facing Germany’s Tom Schwarz on June 15 in Las Vegas, streaming live on ESPN+.
Fury (27-0-1, 19 KO) returned to the ring in 2018 after a nearly three-year absence, winning a pair of tune-up bouts over Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta, before stepping up the competition in a big way on Dec. 1, when he traveled to Los Angeles to face WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder.
The fight was a compelling one, with the 30-year-old Fury getting off the canvas twice and winding up with a draw, with most observers feeling that even with the knockdowns, he had done enough to win.
A rematch with Wilder was ordered by the WBC, but Fury zagged on ‘em, signing with Top Rank and ESPN instead, scrapping the Wilder fight for the time being.
Top Rank’s design is to use the ESPN platform to make Fury a bigger name in the United States, but let’s not beat around the bush: Tom Schwarz is not the fight that anyone was hoping to see for Fury this spring.
The 24-year-old Schwarz (24-0, 16 KO) is a total unknown in the grand scheme of things. He’s done well as a prospect thus far, but his opposition has been limited, too. It’s a season of letdown matchups among the heavyweight division’s big three, with Wilder facing Dominic Breazeale on May 18, Anthony Joshua facing Jarrell Miller on June 1, and Fury now taking on Schwarz on June 15.
Once those fights are done, the cycle of rumors and “negotiations” will likely begin anew, but I wouldn’t bet anything on seeing any of these guys fight each other in 2019. It’s certainly not impossible — especially not with the way promoters and broadcast partners are hurling around money like a bunch of roughnecks at the bar on payday — but any of the matchups would take some real doing to actually get done.