Tyson Fury attempts to keep his undefeated record intact against challenger Kevin "Kingpin" Johnson.
Fury (19-0-0, 14 KOs) ranks #5 in the SportsRatings Heavyweight Boxing Top 100. Johnson, #98, is 28-2-1 with 13 KOs. Fury weighed in at 248 pounds, Johnson at 240 in just three weeks notice for the fight, held in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Fury has the height advantage at 6' 9" vs. Johnson's 6' 3"
Round by round scoring:
- Fury is jabbing quite a bit, getting good reach on Johnson. Johnson returning with his jab occasionally. Fury's guard is fairly low. Fury is putting together a few combinations, too. Johnson is having his usual slow start. Fury throwing at least 3 jabs for every one of Johnson's. Fury 10-9.
- Fury puts Johnson in the corner early, but Kingpin gets out. When Johnson lunges Fury is tying up. Johnson now employing more of a peek-a-boo defense to avoid the jab. Johnson moving forward on Fury, who continues to jab. Bodyshots by Johnson, Fury returns fire, succeeds with uppercuts, probably hit Johnson in the back of the head. Fury's workrate is giving Johnson trouble. Johnson misses with a big right. Fury takes the round. Fury 10-9, 20-18.
- Johnson stalking Fury, Fury keeping him off with the jab. Johnson throwing few of his patented jabs, trying to find a distance that works. Johnson stays on the ropes, then tries to lunge to close the distance, Fury avoids. Fury completes a solid combination then closes in and clinches to avoid counterpunches. Fury hits Johnson in the back near the end, but he got a large majority of jabs and punches that round, too. Fury 10-9, 30-27.
- Johnson stalks, then moves in to attack, but doesn't do a lot. Solid left from Johnson. Fury follows with several jabs. Johnson blocks jabs and returns of few good ones himself. Fury punched during a break and gets a talking-to from the ref. Johnson misses with a lunging left. Johnson lowers his guard while Fury circles. Johnson ends with a left, much better round from Kingpin. Johnson 10-9, Fury 39-37.
- Fury looked a bit slower last round, like his activity in the first few rounds tired him a bit. Fury gets Johnson in headlock to avoid Johnson closing. Fury gets in short punches during clinch. Johnson gets Fury against ropes, good bodywork. Fury unloads a series of strong jabs to Johnson's face. Fury warned for elbows after another extended clinch. Johnson seems to be waiting for big opportunities, and is getting hit a lot, but seems to be weathering the storm pretty well. Fury 10-9, 49-46.
- Fury comes out very strong in the sixth, gets warned for his punches again, backs Johnson to the ropes and connects with a solid combo. Fury takes southpaw stance, switches back to Orthodox, continues with the jabs and combos. Johnson slow on the attack as they move back to the center of the ring. Fury 10-9, 59-55.
- Fury opens with a big left that misses. Johnson moving more this round, backing up, Fury warned for leaning on Johnson against the ropes, and has a full point deduction due to all his warnings he's had. Johnson stalking again. Solid left counterpunch from Johnson. Good jabs from Johnson, who is almost dancing at times to match Fury's motion. Fighters staying at distance, not doing much later in the round. Point deduction leads to good round for Kingpin. Johnson 10-8, Fury 67-65.
- Fighters staying apart some more, Fury may be somewhat tired again. Fury comes alive with great combo, then raises his arms as if in victory, making Johnson a big mad, probably not a great idea. But Johnson continues his plodding stalking style. Good right from Fury. Fury was busier fighter again. Fury 10-9, 77-74.
- Johnson needs every round now, at the very least, or a KO to win; let's see if he comes alive. Johnson still hesitant to attack. Jab by Johnson. Fury's quick jabs still troubling Johnson, who is stalking but not letting his hands go. Fury keeping his distance, much to the displeasure of the crowd. Johnson very tentative with his attacks. Johnson lunges and misses. Fury still respecting Johnson's skills, crowd not happy. 10-10 round, Fury 87-84.
- Referee tells the fighters to mix it up more, as there was little action in Round Nine. Fury remains at distance, however, but is jabbing a bit more. Johnson looking for a big counterpunch, it seems. Fury isn't letting him have it. Solid right hook from Fury. Johnson not hurt but not getting the best of the exchanges; misses with another right hook as Fury ducks under yet again. Good action near the end. Fury 10-9, 97-93.
- Fury's corner telling him not to take any chances, good advice since the win is at hand unless he gets in trouble. Fury opens with a looping right that partially connects. Fury jabs, Johnson responds in kind. Fury boxing against Johnson's guard like he's sparring. Johnson looks annoyed with Fury but isn't doing much about it. Fury's straight jabs and punches keeping him away. Another good combo from Fury. Fury hits clearly in the back of the head again. But time is running out for Johnson. Fury 10-9, 107-102.
- Johnson loops agressive left, doesn't harm Fury. Johnson looks a bit more serious, but still isn't particularly active. Looking for an opening, but Fury's not giving him one. Johnson looks like he's planning to win a 30-rounder, not in the final round of a 12-round. Strong left by Johnson, the two trade punches, nothing fazes either man. Good overhand right by Johnson. Two trading jabs near the end. 10-10, Fury 117-112.
Scorecards give the fight to Tyson Fury, 119-110 and 2 x 119-108, a bit wider in Ireland than I scored it here, but either way he clearly won. Johnson again showed how much he can take, but also how little offense he has. He hoped to make a brawl out of it and Fury wouldn't do it, and thereby avoided getting hurt. Fury showed how well he can box and how much discipline he's capable of having. In some ways it's Fury's most impressive showing.
What it would mean in a potential matchup against a Klitschko, or even against David Price, is hard to say. The strategies he employed today wouldn't work at all against either. But at least it shows he will listen to what his corner says when they tailor a strategy for a particular bout.