Tyson Fury battled to a rugged points win over Otto Wallin as he fought for over nine rounds with heavy cuts to maintain his unbeaten record in a dramatic bout in Las Vegas.
The 31-year-old Briton, a 1-25 favourite with bookmakers, was expected to walk through Sweden’s Wallin but found his cut at the mercy of repeated checks from the ringside doctor, prompting moments of stunned silence at the T-Mobile Arena.
A punch in the third round drew blood above Fury’s right eye and when officials began to show concern, he visibly showed urgency, switching from patient boxing to planting his feet in a bid to land heavy, destructive shots.
He did, with a barrage in the ninth forcing Wallin to sway before a hard right hand piled him into the ropes in the 11th as Fury came through the type of examination few expected with a unanimous 116-112 117-111 118-110 points win.
“It was a great fight, I got caught on the eye and that changed the fight,” said Fury. “For the majority I could not see out of the eye. Then there was a clash of heads and I got cut again.
“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, didn’t know how to lose but I was the better man.”