Monday, September 14, 2009

British Scene Weekend Recap: Fury Controversially Tops McDermott

Matt Chudley recaps Tyson Fury's much disputed English heavyweight title win over John McDermott.

Photos © Chris Royle

Tyson Fury captured the first title of his fledgling pro career this Friday in Brentwood, Essex under highly controversial circumstances, courtesy of a mystifying scorecard from referee Terry O'Connor.

Going into the tenth and final round, Fury was told by his corner to go all out for the stoppage after John McDermott's snappy jab and chopping overhand rights had given the youngster fits for the best part of the nine previous rounds. Fury had a good last 3 minutes, but it didn't appear to be enough to overcome McDermott's inspired effort - but as soon as the final bell went O'Connor marched over to Fury and lifted his arm, later revealing that he had only given McDermott 2 rounds.

Check out The Boxing Bulletin's McDermott vs Fury Photo Gallery

After a drawn out and boisterous ring walk, Fury looked anything but in the first round. Pumping out the jab and looking tentative, Fury was caught with a big right hand midway through the first and sensing that his opponent wasn't intimidated he pressed his head into McDermott's at the bell forcing O'Connor to break them up. Buoyed by what he'd seen in the opening stanza, Frank Maloney ran to the corner of his charge to offer words of encouragement in the interval.

With McDermott not overwhelmed by Fury's power, the Manchester born fighter started to box at range and looked more composed in the second and third rounds doing so, leaving McDermott looking to work the body. Even on the outside with his 9 inch reach advantage, Fury was still prone to momentary lapses in concentration allowing McDermott to connect with right hands over the Fury jab and occasional left hooks.

Fury showed brief flashes of his impressive hand-speed in the fifth, pinning McDermott on the ropes at one stage and unloading with several quick shots. However, having never been beyond four rounds, he began to feel the pace in the second half of the contest, and often looked ragged, dropping his hands, while flicking and cuffing his shots.

The penultimate round saw both fighters keen to tie-up in close and catch a rest, but Fury putting forward the higher volume of work. Under the impression that he only needed to survive the final round to retain his belt, McDermott turned his back on Fury a couple of times but also continued to push the bigger man back at times.

While most felt Fury was extremely fortunate to come away with the decision, it must be said that the brash 21 year old showed real character in handling his first dose of professional adversity. He took McDermott's heavier punches well and forced out all the offense he could muster in a game effort to outwork the title holder.

Both fighters called for a rematch after the fight and with appeals being launched by the McDermott camp there is a strong possibility that the BBC of C may mandate the fighters go at it again for the English title.

On the under-card…

The heavily fancied Fury may have struggled, but the other house prospects had no such issues, with flyweight Ashley Sexton and heavyweight novices Tom Dallas and Larry Olubamiwo all overwhelming their limited foreign opposition in under 3 minutes.

There were mixed fortunes for two former British champions on the card. Former British light-middleweight champion Gary Woolcombe overcame a first round knockdown to scrape past former European title challenger Roman Dzhuman by a round on referee Ken Curtis's scorecard while former 118lb British champ Martin Power was stopped in 8 by 6-0-1 Stuart Hall.

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