Tyson Fury may have won comfortably on the scorecards, but there was nothing easy about the lineal heavyweight champion’s victory over Otto Wallin at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday evening.
At the end of the 12th and final round, the judges awarded Fury a unanimous decision, 116-112, 117-111, and 118-110.
Deep Cut Gives Wallin a Path to Victory
But those scores don’t come close to telling the story of the fight. While Fury landed harder and more frequently, the fight was given significant drama after a bad cut opened up over Fury’s right eye in the third round.
Initially, Fury and his corner believed the cut was the result of a clash of heads, which would have meant a stoppage would take the fight to the scorecards. But on replay, officials realized that it was a clean left hand from Wallin that opened the serious gash, meaning that a stoppage would count as a technical knockout for the Swedish challenger.
That realization immediately changed the dynamic of the fight. As the cut worsened, Wallin continuously attempted to target it, and Fury ended each round with blood covering one side of his face – and plenty more ending up on Wallin and the referee. At one point, the doctor was even called in to look at the damage, though he quickly allowed the fight to continue. Wallin even looked for opportunities to paw at the cut – even in ways that could have been considered dirty or result in a point deduction.
Fury seemed to realize there was some danger of the bout being stopped, and started looking for opportunities to drop Wallin. In the second half of the fight, Fury hurt a fading Wallin time and again. And while it never looked like the champion was that close to getting a stoppage, it also helped limit how much additional damage was being done to what were now two cuts – one above the eye, and one on the eyelid itself.
As the fight entered the 12th and final round, it appeared that the drama had mostly passed, with Fury well ahead on the cards and perhaps looking for a knockout late. But Wallin managed to hurt Fury and stalk him throughout the first two minutes of the round. The champion backed into a defensive shell and carefully worked his way to the final bell to earn a deserved win by decision.
Fury vs. Wilder Still On for 2020
Afterwards, Fury praised Wallin’s performance, and made a point of honoring his opponent’s father who had passed away earlier in the year, saying he would have been proud of how his son fought.
“It was a good performance and I got a good 12 rounds in,” Fury told the crowd. “Otto Wallin was a tough Swede. Blood, guts, heart and all was shown tonight.”
The victory means that Fury and Deontay Wilder are still on track for a rematch in 2020, though it may have to be pushed back based on the severity of the cuts Fury suffered. Meanwhile, Wallin – a virtual unknown heading into the fight – has likely raised his profile to the point where he can book bigger money fights with second-tier contenders.
The attention will now turn to Wilder’s rematch with Luiz Ortiz in November. Should Wilder win again against the dangerous Cuban, Wilder and Fury will meet sometime next year, with Feb. 22 having been targeted for their second fight. Fury is currently seen as a slight favorite for that bout, with DraftKings Sportsbook offering -139 odds on him to beat Wilder (+105).