Tyson Fury’s return to action will officially take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, when he climbs back into the ring on June 15 to take on Germany’s Tom Schwarz.
Fury (27-0-1, 19 KO) is coming off of a highly-debated draw against WBC titleholder Deontay Wilder last December, a fight where Fury came off the canvas twice and largely was able to outbox Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KO) otherwise.
Instead of going into an ordered rematch, Fury zagged on us all and signed a co-promotional deal with Top Rank, which means his fights will be shown on ESPN networks going forward. The bout with Schwarz will air on the ESPN+ streaming service.
The promoters and network, of course, are doing their best to sell this fight as something interesting, but reality is that nobody was looking for Fury to fight Schwarz (24-0, 16 KO), an unbeaten but completely untested fighter, ranked 41st in the world by BoxRec.
Top Rank’s Bob Arum called Schwarz “tough, experienced, and undefeated,” while ESPN+ EVP/GM Russell Wolff used the words “young, ambitious, and unbeaten” for Schwarz. And Schwarz described himself as “young, ambitious, and in the top of the world rankings.”
Schwarz, 24, is certainly young, and it’s a fact that he’s undefeated/unbeaten. In the top of the world rankings? I don’t care enough to comb through the various absurd sanctioning body rankings, but if he said it, then surely someone has him ranked. I have no reason to believe he’s not ambitious, for whatever that’s worth.
But this is just a tough, tough sell. Fury is one of the heavyweight division’s Big Three, along with Wilder and WBA/IBF/WBO titleholder Anthony Joshua.
All of them are fighting on different platforms for the time being, and all of them have fights lined up against disappointing opposition, none more disappointing than Fury’s. Joshua will defend against Jarrell Miller, June 1 on DAZN, while Wilder faces mandatory challenger Dominic Breazeale, May 18 on Showtime.
Miller and Breazeale, while huge underdogs, are both top 10 sort of fighters in the division. Schwarz is far from that.
But it’s the fight we’ve got. Maybe Schwarz will shock the world. Probably not, but he’s got his shot at any rate.