British heavyweight star Tyson Fury did pretty much what was expected by posting a fourth-round stoppage of Joey Abell on Saturday in London. The undefeated contender took a step towards an eagerly anticipated summer rematch with countryman Dereck Chisora.
The official time was 1:36.
Fury, THE RING’s No. 5-rated heavyweight, decked Abell on four occasions and put on his stereotypical showman performance. The Englishman’s tools are formidable, largely due to his 6ft 9in frame and huge reach, but he takes chances that one day could come back to haunt him.
“I bring the action,” said Fury (22-0, 16 knockouts). “Joey Abell isn’t on my level, because I’m the best heavyweight in the world. I was playing games in there and hopefully I’ll be back in April.”
Fury took his time in the opener and utilized his jab, as Abell carefully traversed the ring and threatened with the odd single shot. The British boxer puncher tempted fate by inviting Abell forward, but it was a quiet start from both men.
Abell landed a big left hand in Round 2, but the follow up head butt drew derision from Fury, the crowd and the referee. The Englishman continued to work off his jab and was simply more active at this stage of the contest.
Fury can look vulnerable at times and his legs seemed to shake momentarily on the end of another left hand in Round 3. Moments later Fury hit Abell on the break, with a low blow, and when the American walked back into the fray he was floored with a heavy one two combination.
The Minnesota native rose gamely and tagged Fury with a hard left hand, but the right hand counter was harder and Abell hit the canvas for a second time.
The visitor seemed to sense that if he landed then something dramatic could happen and he went after his opponent again in the fourth. A right hand did register on Fury, but the bigger man instantly exploded with a two fisted attack of his own to deck Abell for a third time.
It was all academic and a similar knockdown followed, which prompted the referee to wave off the action after administering the standing eight count.
This was Fury’s first bout since April of last year, when he defeated former IBF cruiserweight titlist Steve Cunningham in his US debut. A bout with David Haye failed to materialize, due to the former champion’s injury related retirement, and Fury suffered for that with a long spell of inactivity.
There were also strong rumors that the Manchester man was coming in to this heavyweight attraction ill prepared, after he weighed in at a mammoth 277 pounds. That number was a career high and some 23 pounds heavier than when he defeated Cunningham.
It’s often said that Fury fights to the level of the competition, and his weight tonight provided strong evidence that the 25 year old also trains to that level. His trainer, and uncle, Peter Fury had his nephew looking sharp and was responsible for him reappraising his dietary habits, and so this is likely to be a one off.
Fury told BoxNation; “I beat Chisora three years ago and I’ll beat him again. He and Kevin Johnson are bums compared to me. I want Wladimir Klitschko, so come on Wlad stop being a p*ssy about this.”
Not much was expected of Joey Abell who replaced Argentina’s Gonzalo Omar Basile on ten days notice.
Photo / Scott Heavey-Getty Images
Tom Gray is a member of the British Boxing Writers’ Association and has contributed to various publications. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing