Tyson Fury, recognized as the lineal champion of the heavyweight division due to his 2015 win over Wladimir Klitschko, is set to return on June 15, fighting in Las Vegas for the first time in his first fight under his co-promotional deal with Top Rank.
Fury (27-0-1, 19 KO) will be facing little-known German Tom Schwarz (24-0, 16 KO) in a fight that will stream live on ESPN+ and, being honest, has next to nobody excited, as it’s seen as a mismatch in Fury’s favor.
Fury, 30, promises he’s not looking past Schwarz, however.
“He’s No. 2 WBO and he’s No. 7 or 8 IBF, so he’s in two governing body world rankings. He’s definitely not a mug,” Fury told BT Sport. “He’s unbeaten in 24 fights, he’s 6’5½”, 24 years old so he’s not an old man, he’s young, ambitious, big. He’s coming to win. Everybody when they fight me, they bring their A-game, because they want to be lineal champion. This is an opportunity for Tom Schwarz to gate crash the big game. He knows if he beats me, riches await.
“I know a lot about Tom Schwarz. I know he’s very ambitious, I know he believes in himself, and he’s got a good team around him who believe in him. He was offered this fight and he took it. I was only 24-0 when I beat Klitschko, and they said I didn’t have a chance against Klitschko. I will not make the same mistake Wladimir Klitschko made, thinking this is a routine defense. This isn’t a routine defense. This is a dangerous, hungry lion who’s coming to knock me out. He’s got 16 knockouts out of 24 wins. I think he’s as good a boxer as is out there, to be honest. Underestimate him, and I’ll be chinned for sure.”
Letting the idea of losing to Schwarz dawn on him, Fury hyped the matchup further.
“If I get chinned by old Tom Schwarz — listen, I don’t underestimate anybody because I know everybody is gunning for that one opportunity to show what they’ve got,” he said. “This is the big game, welcome to the big time. Las Vegas, Tyson Fury, lineal championship on the line. All to fight for. I’ll be training like a Trojan warrior like I always do for Tom Schwarz. This is England vs Germany, this is the greatest rivalry on the planet.”
Asked about the potential for a win to up his own sanctioning body rankings and possibly make him a mandatory challenger for Anthony Joshua or Deontay Wilder, Fury shrugged all that off.
“All them belts and organization things, I’m very unconcerned with rankings and all that. They mean nothing to me,” he said. “Look, Tom Schwarz is rated above me, I’m No. 4, he’s No. 2. So people say, ‘Oh, what about Tom Schwarz’ — Tom Schwarz is rated above me. This is why the rankings, to me, are unimportant.
“I’m the lineal champion, I’ve got the status going back hundreds of years. The belt don’t mean nothing to me. As to being a mandatory, I’d never box any of these men as a mandatory challenger. I’m not interested, not interested at all. I’m above all that.
“‘The Gypsy King’ fights who he wants, when he wants, how we wants. People say, ‘You’d think these top three would fight each other.’ Do they not remember that I went to America and beat Deontay Wilder only a few months ago? The top three did fight each other! The top two fought each other! I’ve proved time and time again that I can go anywhere and beat anybody. I don’t need to prove anything to anybody, I just want to enjoy the rest of me career, see it out with wins.”
Fury says that his fans will invade Las Vegas in June, remarking, “It’s gonna take us back to the days of Ricky Hatton when he used to go over there and fight there. I’m really looking forward to getting out there. It’s a whole new chapter of the book. It’s ‘The Gypsy King: Las Vegas’ chapter of my book.”
Fury says he’s looking to stay very active going forward, and that he already has a return date set for this fall.
“I have another fight 28th of September. I’ve been given dates, and that’s the next date. For the next six months, I’m going to be active. I’ve got three dates.”
At the moment, oddsmakers have Fury anywhere between -3333 and -10000 to win, with Schwarz between +1100 and +2250.