Tyson Fury: Robbing from The Rich, Giving To Himself

By Paul Magno on August 5, 2019
Tyson Fury: Robbing from The Rich, Giving To Himself
Like Schwarz, Wallin’s probably going to be ripped apart by Fury. (Photo: Boxe News)

Fury’s a $100 million guy and he’s getting that filthy lucre by beating up the Tom Schwarzs and Otto Wallins of the boxing world…

Last June, when Tyson Fury made his ESPN debut against German ÜberNobody Tom Schwarz, many forgave the Gypsy King for the softball matchmaking. After all, it was Fury’s first bout back after his controversial draw with Deontay Wilder and, perhaps more importantly, the first bout of his multi-fight $100 million deal with the mainstream sports channel.

Schwarz was an understandable soft touch but, to Fury’s credit, the big Irishman delivered a brutally beautiful show in showcasing his ability to entertain without using his mic skills.

And when Fury did away with Schwarz, the promise was that the showcasing, spotlighting, getting-to-know stuff was all done. Now, Fury would get to the serious business of proving why the suits at ESPN were willing to give him that absurdly large contract.

Fury was going to take over the world and, according to new co-promoter Bob Arum, was “a force of nature,” second in charisma to only Muhammad Ali, a new era George Foreman, “easily the best heavyweight in the world, maybe one of the all-time best heavyweights,” who “can knock out every heavyweight in the world” and could very well surpass Mayweather-Pacquiao numbers with his rematch against Deontay Wilder.

Names like Jarrell Miller and Kubrat Pulev were tossed out there as Fury foes for fight number two at the “Worldwide Leader.” Former world titlist Charles Martin was also mentioned as a possibility. With the rematch against Wilder reportedly in the works for early next year, it was time for world domination.

And then came word that Fury would be fighting Swedish meatball Otto Wallin next.

To say that the undefeated 28-year-old Wallin, from Sundsvall, Sweden, hasn’t fought anyone of note is an understatement. Wallin’s empty record makes one doubt their own status as a faithful, informed fight fan—How is it possible that you don’t know a single one of the twenty opponents a world ranked heavyweight has faced?

Like Schwarz before him, Wallin looks decent against the limited opposition he’s faced. And, also like Schwarz, he’s probably going to be ripped apart by Fury.

Deontay Wilder was quick to jump on Fury for his opponent selection.

“He keeps pulling out all these night shift graveyard workers… Bulls*** at its best,” Wilder said. “No Englishman’s coming over here, saving America with Tom Schwarz and Otto whoever he is, talking about ‘he’s the best’ with an invisible belt.”

Now, granted, Wilder has faced his own share of “graveyard workers,” but never as a nine-figure signee to a mainstream sports network who is being peddled as this era’s Ali, Foreman, and as, basically, the savior of the American fight scene.

The funny thing is that Fury hasn’t yet proven himself to be anything at all on the American fight scene. His big debut at the MGM Grand against Schwarz only generated $882,000 from the live gate at the two-thirds empty arena. And, despite getting some post-signing attention from the ESPN main stage, the network stuck his first fight on the ESPN+ streaming app and will put this second fight there, too.

It makes you wonder how Fury is going to take over the world with his all-around awesomeness if only a relative handful of people can actually see him fight behind the streaming paywall and, of those who CAN see him, few will care to see him fight Otto Wallin.

“What’s not to like?” Fury told Complex.com back in June, before the Schwarz fight. “I get paid $100 million to have fun basically.”

There’s no denying that beating up guys like Schwarz and Wallin in no-stress fights while tap dancing and singing and mugging to the camera is good fun, it might not be good fun for the ones dishing out the $100 million for very minimal return.

But this whole ESPN-Fury deal is rather confusing when you think about it. Sometimes, it really doesn’t look like ESPN cares all that much about getting a return on their investment. Why build up to a lucrative cross-promotion, cross-network pay-per-view with Wilder by sticking their guy on their streaming app where the fewest number of people can see him? Why greenlight the piss-poor opponent selection? Maybe there’s a method to their madness or, maybe, they just don’t know what the hell they’re doing.

At any rate, Fury’s a $100 million guy and he’s getting that filthy lucre by beating up the Tom Schwarzs and Otto Wallins of the boxing world. In a robbing-from-the-rich Robin Hood sense, that’s swell. It doesn’t do much for the sport of boxing, though.

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  1. Bruce Kielty 05:59pm, 08/10/2019

    These type of matches are why I passed on subscribing to ESPN’s cash grab, ESPN+.  ESPN has no respect for the public and their hype artists (aka announcers) regularly insult your intelligence.

  2. Thrashem 12:54pm, 08/06/2019

    I will not watch anything Fury is involved in. Total waste of my time, unless it is free! I’ll keep the puke bucket close by.

  3. snowflake 11:20am, 08/06/2019

    ESPN has been taken for a ride and their boxing product is almost hilariously bad so far. As you say, either they don’t care about being fleeced, or they’re just bad at this. Me, i think they regard the boxing fanbase with disdain and think we’ll just go along. I’m guessing the numbers so far don’t bear that out.

  4. Marcus Washington 09:59am, 08/05/2019

    Little Red? Definitely one of my favorite fighters back then. I heard that big brother Ernie was reported as missing for 12 years. I believe a LA cop located him after he had wandered all over the country. Be nice if someone would write a book about Big Red and Little Red Lopez.

  5. don from prov 09:49am, 08/05/2019

    Think I gave the edge to Norton over Holmes too.  Great fight.
    Holmes?  Will at least remember him getting up vs. Shavers.
    Lyle/Shavers another a slugfest.


    And any bout with Saad or Danny Lopez = action action action.  Yes?

  6. Marcus Washington 09:39am, 08/05/2019

    don from prov… Holmes vs Norton was a CLASSIC no doubt. I gave it to Norton btw.  However, Holmes avoided matches against Dokes, Coetzee and Page for lesser opponents like David Bey and some of the others mentioned. .Poor Kenny, he came out on the short stick against Ali in their third match as well. Norton vs. Young? Hmm, Norton might have benefited on that one, but I could see it going to either fighter. Anyone who thinks that Arreola vs Kownacki was a “classic” heavyweight slobber knocker needs to check out Holmes vs. Norton, Lyle vs. Foreman, Lyle vs Shavers or light heavyweight bouts with Saad vs. Lopez II, Saad/Franklin vs Johnson I & II.

  7. don from prov 09:33am, 08/05/2019

    P.S.  Dempsey fought Miske, I think, about three or four times.  His was an era, IMO, SOMETHING like this one: While there were likely more HWs around, there was a dearth of really good HWs and Dempsey fought most of them on the way up.  He fought several people multiple time and boxed sparingly as champion but when they were “event” fights, the whole sporting world paid attention—again, a different era: boxing was not a fringe sport.  One could speak about the open racism during his era too/ how it impacted boxing.

  8. don from prov 09:17am, 08/05/2019

    Beside pointing out that Louis and Ali fought regularly, and that once television was on the scene, fans could watch champions fight regularly—

    And without belaboring that Ali, Frazier, Foreman all fought each other

    I would say that you are missing the two main points-
    1) my last line states “many someones getting screwed, which in turn = boxing”; not boxing in this moment but BOXING: who said it was new?

    2) fighters did not used to receive HUGE UP FRONT contracts.
    We can watch and see what those contracts = in terms of quality—
    Speaking of which, I would rather get quality mixed with quantity and be able to see a favorite fighter in the ring a lot than get questionable quality with no quantity.  Ali: Lyle, Liston, Frazier, Foreman, and others.  Latter stages of second career Ali was not the same as first career Ali, but he fought.  Same for Foreman.  Often watched them on television.  No one made me watch Ali/London but the ending blitz-combo was an amazing thing that I will always remember.  Ali stole Foreman’s boxing soul, but he shuffled on for a while before his initial retirement, and no one made me watch Semi-George vs. Ron Lyle, but I am sure as hell glad that I did.

    P.S.  Holmes vs. Norton was about as good a HW champ match as I’ve seen.


  9. Marcus Washington 07:56am, 08/05/2019

    You can add Scott Frank, and Lucien Rodriguez to the list of Larry Holmes title defenses. And lets not forget, when Holmes first fought Mike Weaver in 1979, Weaver was lightly regarded.

  10. Marcus Washington 07:28am, 08/05/2019

    Look at Joe Louis opponents for some of his record setting 25 title defenses. Dempsey feasted on light heavyweights like Gibbons, and Carpentier. Wasn’t Billy Miske in the early stages of the illness that would take his life, Brights Disease,  when Dempsey fought him during a title defense. Look at some of the guys that FLoyd Patterson fought in his title defenses.  Ali had his Richard Dunns, his Jean Pierre Coopmans, his Alfredo Evangelistas, Chuck Wepners,  and Leon Spinks, during his second title reign. A fat and out of shape Joe Frazier fought a 190lb Terry Daniels and Ron Stander.  George Foreman blasted out an overblown light heavy named Joe “King” Roman for his first title defense. Larry Holmes? He fought Ali retread, Evangelista, stopped a 5’11” overblown cruiserweight named Ossie Ocasio, a fat guy named Leroy Jones, Lorenzo Zanon, a guy that a fat Quarry kayoed in a comeback bout years earlier,  etc. Nothing new here at all.

  11. don from prov 07:09am, 08/05/2019

    network groomed “superstars” = ppv stars = huge streaming contracts


    all of the above =many someones getting screwed, which in turn = boxing

  12. don from prov 07:01am, 08/05/2019

    are grave diggers the new taxi cab drivers of the boxing world