British heavyweight boxer, Tyson Fury battled to a points win over Sweden’s Otto Wallin to maintain his unbeaten record in a dramatic bout which was held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday.
The 31-year-old Briton was expected to make a mince meat of Wallin but a deep wound above his right eye was repeatedly checked by the ringside doctor, prompting moments of stunned silence at the Arena.
It was Wallin’s punch in the third round which drew blood above Fury’s eye and the Briton displayed greater urgency when officials began to show concern for him.
A barrage in the ninth forced Wallin to stagger before a hard right hand piled him into the ropes in the 11th round as Fury came through the type of examination which few pundits had expected.
A heavy shot from Wallin in the 12th and final round offered one more threat at the end of a tussle which thrilled spectators in the arena.
With Fury bloodied and grinding out shots in the final round, he left win the win but not which his ego bruised via with a unanimous 116-112, 117-111, 118-110 points win.
Fury was taken to hospital after the fight, with promoter Frank Warren confirming that he would have micro-surgery on the cuts, one above the eye and one on the eye-lid.
Wallin, who lost for the first time in 21 outings was seen as an easy night’s work on Fury’s route to a rematch with WBC heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder but the Swede’s come-forward tactics could not be contained by Fury.
Had the bout been stopped because of the cuts, Wallin would have won by technical knockout and with ringside medics checking the gash during the sixth and before the seventh round, Fury was nearing a crisis scenario.
Just as he did when he climbed from the canvas to force Wilder backwards in the final round of their December thriller, the Briton fought fire with fire. His punches became menacing, his face filled with anger rather than poise.
“It was a great fight. I got caught on the eye and that changed the fight. For the majority, I could not see out of the eye. Then there was a clash of heads and I got cut again,” Fury said after the bout.
He added: “It was a good 12 rounds, he was tough. It’s all heart and determination – if I can keep going I will do. He was 20-0 and didn’t know how to lose, but I was the better man.”
On his own part, Wallin said: “I did everything I could. I tried my best and Tyson is a great champion. Nobody can question my heart or question that I’m a good fighter.”