Tyson Fury outpoints Francesco Pianeta over 10, Deontay Wilder next
So what did we find out?
Former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury needed the full 10 rounds to dispose of Italian southpaw Francesco Pianeta at Windsor Park stadium in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Saturday. The lone official score by referee Steve Gray was 100-90.
Fury, who is rated No. 10 by The Ring, is now likely to move on to a heavyweight title fight against WBC champion Deontay Wilder. His path to that superfight was made relatively easy because Pianeta, a former world title challenger, provided very little resistance.
“I think it was a calculated boxing performance,” said Fury in his post-fight interview with BT Sport in the U.K. “I got in a good 10 rounds with a tough man. He was quite durable and I was working on my boxing. I thought that was a step-up, a better opponent, and it’s no secret that I need the rounds.”
Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynrd was the entrance song for Fury, an obvious wink to the Alabama-born Wilder who was stationed ringside.
Then the bell rang.
In Round 1, there was switch-hitting, rope grabbing and showboating defense from the enigmatic home fighter. There was also some punching which was largely absent in the early stages of Fury’s fourth-round victory over Sefer Seferi in June.
Overall, the fight was one-paced. Pianeta was too cumbersome to close the gap and get off, whereas Fury had time to enjoy himself and score. As the rounds passed, the gulf in class became more and more obvious and the decibel level in the crowd reduced perceptibly.
The seventh was a big round for Fury who put more meat in his shots in an effort to close. However, the safety-first side of his game took over and the former champion was content to box his way to victory.
Fury, who still retains lineal champion status, has now completed 14 rounds in two comeback bouts, but the easy nights appear to be over.
As reported on RingTV.com on Friday, there was an agreement in principle for Fury to face Wilder before year’s end providing he won tonight. That obstacle has been cleared but questions remain. Has Fury found the form required to defeat a top-level heavyweight? Will Fury be able to absorb a direct hit from arguably the biggest puncher in the glamor division?
“We’re ready now, it’s on, this fight is official” said Wilder in the ring afterwards. “This is what we’ve been waiting for right here; the best fighting the best.”
Fury responded, “We’re two men who will fight anyone. This man has been trying to make a fight with the other chump (IBF, WBA and WBO titleholder Anthony Joshua). They called, I answered. I said, ‘Send the contract’, they sent the contract. I said, ‘Yes’, and now he gets the chance to fight the lineal heavyweight champion of the world.
“I’ve had my rounds in, but one thing I promise when I get to Las Vegas,” said Fury before getting in Wilder’s face. “I’m knocking you the f__k out, boy!”
Tom Gray is Associate Editor for Ring Magazine. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing
You can order the current issue, which is on newsstands, or back issues from our subscribe page.