Tyson Fury W 10 John McDermott
If you long for the days when beefy heavyweights such as Tony Tubbs and Tim Witherspoon wafted about the ring like plump zeppelins, Tyson Fury and John McDermott provided a touch of ‘80s nostalgia when they met at the Brentwood Centre, Essex. Fury won the 10-round bout via controversial decision, but the win was less of an announcement of Fury’s arrival on the British Heavyweight scene. This is a lesson that every boxer should take as they step up in class and opposition. NEVER take anything for granted.
McDermott (25-6, 16 KOs) weighed in at 253 lbs, and held his English Heavyweight belt proud as he walked down the stairs in front of his home crowed. He plodded forward through Fury’s 9’’ reach advantage and landed several right hands down the pipe in the opening exchanges. McDermott came into the fight 9/2 in the ringside betting where Tyson Fury was comfortable favourite at 1/6. Before the fight somebody had put £50,000 on Fury to win. Suspicions were raised but as both fighters are from travelling backgrounds, no inquiry has been made, yet. After the first minute, Fury realised that he was in for a rough night. As the bell sounded for the end of the round they squared up in the middle of the ring and it appeared that Fury attempted to head-butt McDermott but no point was deducted.
Fury (8-0, 7 KOs) weighed in at 247 lbs, couldn’t land his jab and find any rhythm. They traded punches through the second round as McDermott fought on the inside. The fourth round was the pick of the night, with ‘Big Bad’ John living up to his name with heavy body shots and right hands down Fury’s pipe. Fury answered back as he was getting tagged by counter rights. This was Fury’s first time past four rounds, and my god didn’t it show.
Tactically, Fury fought the wrong fight. His inexperience showed as he was out-jabbed by the shorter McDermott. Fury used his range in the fifth and landed a couple of uppercuts that swayed the round in his favour. At the half-way point, McDermott had landed a staggering 40% of his punches in a messy bout, to Fury’s sloppy 17%.
British Heavyweight #1, David Haye was ringside. He noticed how much pride was at stake and how much heart both guys showed in their brawl. They traded heavy shots in the seventh and McDermott’s odds were quickly slashed to 5/6, joint favourite with Fury. McDermott rocked Fury late on in the round but Fury answered back landing his trademark heavy body shots to make the round a tough-one to score.
Fury’s corner demanded a knockout. As he came forward, McDermott just took a small step back and his right hand worked a treat behind his accurate jab. Fury might have done enough to win the last round but McDermott’s corner knew he had done enough if he just stood on his feet. As Fury grew in confidence he landed some heavy blows that made McDermott turn his back. The referee rightly intervened and could have given a standing count but decided against it. A minute later, McDermott turned his back again. My scorecard was close and if I was the referee I would have deducted a point away from McDermott. But, I’m not a referee, or a judge. And on the basis of tonight’s officiating, neither is Terry O’Connor!
The bell sounded for the final time and O’Connor went straight towards Fury and lifted his glove. I scored it 97-93 McDermott and that was very generous towards Fury giving him the 2nd, 5th and the 10th. The stats showed that Fury had been busier, throwing 200 more punches. But McDermott had landed the heavier blows and his percentage was double Fury’s. “This is strange from Terry O’Connor, he must have mixed the two guys around! We’ll go to the announcer.” said confused commentator Jim Watt.
Terry O’Connor, a vastly experienced official at domestic level, saw the bout 98-92 Fury. Yes, to Fury. “98-92! 98-92! What a strange card from Terry O’Connor. 98-92, that is extraordinary. It was an excellent fight I had it 4 rounds to McDermott.” Said an angry and very confused by now commentator Jim Watt. John McDermott had walked out of the ring in disgust. He quickly returned to state his claim for a rematch. His promoter Frank Maloney said “This is a bigger robbery than Holyfield-Lewis. This is daylight robbery. Terry O’Connor is a disgrace to British boxing. Why do I want to be in the business when you’re getting robbed? At least Dick Turpin has a mask on when he robs you.”
David Haye agreed that he saw the bout by 4 rounds to McDermott. “They took some heavy shots out there man. They had twice the amount of work-rate that I expected! There was a lot of pride at stake and a rematch has to follow.”
A quiet, and slightly surprised Tyson Fury answered the call of the crowd “If he wants a rematch let’s get it on. Same place. Let’s get it on.” Fury failed to answer up to his pre-bout hype. For people who haven’t seen Fury fight before, they would be wondering what the fuss is all about.
What a cracking way to open the domestic season in Britain?! The Simpson-Truscott fight was a bloody affair and there was so much heart on show. And tonight, the underdog John McDermott, should have that English Heavyweight Belt around his waist and Tyson Fury should not have an 0 at the end of his record.