British Scene: Tyson Fury vs John McDermott Preview

The Boxing Bulletin Dave Oakes25th June, 2010

Dave Oakes previews Friday's English heavyweight title rematch between Tyson Fury and John McDermott.

Tyson Fury takes on John McDermott this Friday in a rematch of their controversial first fight which Fury won by a staggeringly wide margin. Many people thought McDermott had done enough to win the first fight and he and his team have been furiously demanding a rematch since the decision was announced.

It's fair to say there's a touch of bad blood between the pair, with both boxers suggesting that they've got the others number and will prove once and for all who the better fighter is. McDermott's promoter Frank Maloney has said that he thought McDermott would walk away from boxing if he failed to get the rematch, whilst Fury has claimed he will retire if he loses to someone he clearly thinks is a level or two beneath him.

I thought the first fight was a very close affair and wouldn't have been surprised if it had gone to either fighter by a couple of points. The fact the referee, the reliably unreliable Terry O'Connor, scored the bout 98-92 left everyone scratching their heads in bewilderment. It caused such a strong furore that the BBBofC ordered an immediate rematch and changed the rules so that English title fights would be scored by three judges from then on as opposed to having only the referee scoring the bout.

Fury didn't impress at all in the first fight, he looked devoid of ideas throughout and was being caught far too easily. The poor performance forced Fury to re-evaluate the way in which his career was being handled, thus resulting in him moving to Brian Hughes' Collyhurst gym, a move I felt would have benefited him greatly. However, Fury didn't feel likewise and left Hughes' tutelage a couple of weeks ago and reemployed his uncle Huey as his trainer.

The fight was much better for McDermott, who was being written off beforehand; he put in a gutsy effort and looked to be fitter and more focused than he had in previous title attempts. The worry for McDermott will be whether he can reproduce or even better that performance. I have my doubts about that, but then again, I was one of those who were writing him off before.

This will be McDermott's first fight since their original meeting and it'll be interesting to see how he looks after nine months out of the ring, he's not exactly famed for his impressive physique and even though the gym rumours are flying around about him being in phenomenal shape, I'll believe it when I see it.

It's hard to see what advantages McDermott holds over Fury other than experience, he isn't a devastating puncher, hasn't got the best chin and nearly always tires late. He may be slightly quicker than Fury but not by a great deal. One advantage McDermott will have is that the fight once again takes place in front of his hometown fans at the Brentwood Centre in Essex.

Fury's work seemed ragged last time and he didn't seem to be able to get full leverage into his punches. He'll be looking to use better and quicker footwork this time around so that he can find the room to pick his punches rather than allow himself to be mauled by McDermott's hump-and-thump style. The jab should be the key weapon for keeping McDermott off and could be vital in terms of Fury controlling the fight.

I felt that Fury would've been the clear favourite had he stuck with Brian Hughes, but the late switch in trainer's worries me. Hughes is one of the most knowledgeable trainer's around and would've had a few plans in mind for beating McDermott, I'm not so sure that his uncle Huey will as well prepared - he certainly wasn't in the first fight.

This is a hard fight to call but I feel Fury will just have enough to edge out McDermott on the cards. I think Fury can improve on from their last fight but don't believe McDermott can. If McDermott's to stand a chance of winning, he's got to constantly close Fury down and pressurize him. If Fury can make the necessary adjustments I feel he should be able to outbox McDermott to take a close but decisive points victory