Boxing


McDermott ‘Drives Thru’ Fury But Is Left Short Changed

FuryBy Ziggy Shah -- A packed house at the Brentwoood Leisure Centre in Essex was left shell shocked on Friday night, when Tyson Fury was handed a controversial points decision over Champion John McDermott for the English heavyweight title.

Fury, 21, who came into the fight with a 7-0 (7 KO) record, seemed relieved after referee Terry O’ Connor raised his hand and judged him the winner with scores of 98-92. However, for McDermott, 29, it was heart break once again, given the fact that his two previous fights against Danny Williams for the British title, also seemed to be taken away from him by the judges..

The fight itself did not disappoint, and despite the combined weight of both boxers being 35 stones, the action was always going to be fast paced, as Fury had taunted McDermott at the weigh-in, calling him McDoughnut and McMuffin, a direct reference to the champion’s less than impressive physique.

McDermott, who was to have home advantage, promised to make Fury pay for his comments and said, “I’ve trained like a maniac. I’m going to keep pushing him and pushing him,” and from the first bell he kept his word and walked through Fury’s jabs to land double jabs and stiff right hands of his own.

Fury, who had boxed only 16 pro rounds, was more accustom to sending his opponents out via the canvas route, but he seemed confused as he was forced to eat a succession of over hand rights from the champion who had lost only five in 30 fights.

There was also drama at the end of the round when McDermott dropped his hands and taunted the challenger. Fury responded by rubbing his head into the champion’s face, the scuffle carried on after the bell, with the referee having to intervene and calm both men down.

The second session was the same, as the challenger, who had a nine inch reach advantage, tried his best to keep McDermott at range, but the champion, a three times British title challenger, constantly tore down the obstacles to land flush with left hooks and straight right hands that left Fury disheartened.

CJ Hussein, McDermott’s trainer, enjoyed what he was seeing and urged his man to keep using the double jab. It was a combination that was bringing him success against the 6’ 8 ¾" giant.

Fury, who had previously never boxed more than four rounds, came out for the fifth knowing that he was losing the fight. He began to move his feet more and kept flicking out the jab. It was a much better round for the Manchester lad who was beginning to show signs that he was slowly getting back into the fight.

But at the beginning of the sixth, he was caught again by a stiff right hand counter, but to his credit he fired back and pushed ‘Big John’ to the ropes. The champion had the odd success but the challenger took the round.

The next three sessions were contested fiercely as the boxers traded at short and long range. Both were showing signs of fatigue, yet it was the champ who threw enough punches to entertain the pro-McDermott crowd.

Going into the last round, Fury’s corner seemed worried, and told their man he needed the knockout. Across the ring, McDermott’s advice was much more precise and reminded him of the unlucky decisions he has got in the past, “Don’t f**k this up, we’ve been down this road before.”

The final three minutes produced exactly what everybody expected, Fury came out swinging wildly looking for the knockout, but McDermott showed maturity and held on to slow the tempo whenever he got the chance. There were no scary moments for the champion, and by the time the bell went to end the fight, McDermott and his corner jumped up to celebrate, but it was Fury’s hand that was raised in victory.

The pundits and commentators ringside began scratching their heads and wondering which fight the referee had scored. McDermott’s promoter, Frank Maloney was furious and vented his anger by saying that Terry O’Connor was a disgrace to British boxing. Whether or not he is reprimanded for his comments remains to be seen, but one thing is certain, Big John McDermott once again has to walk down that long road and wonder what on earth he has to do to win a decision.

Article posted on 12.09.2009



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