Fury and Chisora lay down markers for summer showdown
Rob Bartlett at the Copper Box Arena
Fury described latest opponent Joey Abell as his "worst nightmare" in the build-up to their heavyweight contest at London's Copper Box Arena on Saturday, but the Brit gave one of his most exciting ring performances to date with a fourth-round stoppage victory.
Tyson Fury took a lot of punishment from Joey Abell - but gave out more © Getty Images
Unbeaten Fury survived several nightmarish left-handers in the opening round as Abell caught the Brit cold; having not fought since April last year, rust was clearly evident, although his jab soon settled.
Another hefty left from the American had Fury backing into the ropes early into the second round, although Abell was soon warned for use of his head.
It spurred Fury on who, after cheekily taking aim as a break was called, floored Abell with a right hander. Abell recovered, but only just. Another frightening left from Fury had Abell down for a second time, but the bell came to his opponent's aid.
Abell countered and was still landing some big blows, but whatever he had Fury just shook off. Two more knockdowns in the fourth round, and Fury had completed his marker to Chisora.
Meanwhile, Chisora completed a unanimous decision victory over Kevin Johnson to successfully defend his WBO and WBA international heavyweight belts.
Dereck Chisora was professional yet impressive against Kevin Johnson © Getty Images
Chisora landed enough punches to edge the opening round, before springing into action early in the second. A large right had the crowd gasping as Chisora continued to close in on Johnson.
Chisora's tactic was clear; try and break Johnson down in proximity. Plenty of scoring shots landed but the American stood firm, if a little shaken up. By the end of round three, Chisora looked to be laying down his credentials for a world title shot, let alone an eliminator with Fury.
A quick jab from Johnson opened the fourth, but Chisora responded with a brilliant left-right followed by a lunging right. Despite the Brit being firmly on top, Johnson refused to yield, but Chisora very nearly had his man late in the fourth with a barrage of tight, thumping combos.
At the start of the fifth came the shot of the fight - arguably of the night - as Chisora landed a right hand over the top which had Johnson on the canvas. Further fireworks followed as Johnson somehow managed to absorb the punishment. The bell passed, as did the sixth and seventh rounds - Chisora again doing enough to stay on top but struggling to break down Johnson's defence.
Chisora worked tirelessly to take the eighth but Johnson found respite in the ninth, catching the champion with a stinging right to clinch the round. Chisora moved further ahead with the tenth and landed two heavy efforts in an otherwise tight 11th.
Both went great guns in the final round - with Johnson clearly needing a stoppage - but both refused to surrender. Like everyone else before him, Chisora failed to stop Johnson - but he succeeded in setting up a potentially show-stopping summer.
Earlier on Saturday, Tyson's younger cousin Hughie Fury extended his own unbeaten record to 13-0 with a resounding second round stoppage of heavyweight Matthew Greer. Fury found the groove with his jab early but Greer responded in the second with a warning to Fury's chin. The American's flurry ended as quickly as it started though as Fury struck with a powerful left to the body; the Stratford crowd roundly cheered the first knockdown of the night.
Seconds later, Greer was on his knees again after another Fury powerhouse body shot. Fury scored with a third knockdown and Greer's towel was thrown in; the 19-year-old is fast showing signs of matching his elder namesake.
Frank Buglioni gave a sharp performance in the first defence of his WBO European super-middleweight title, stopping Gaetano Nespro in the fifth round. Known as 'Wise Guy', Buglioni dominated the opener much to the delight of the noisy East London crowd. Nespro was downed in the fourth with a chopping right from the champion, who then caught him again with a devastating left hook. Somehow, Nespro survived the count but moments late Buglioni finished the job in style.
Barry 'Super' Skeete is the new holder of the WBA Intercontinental welterweight belt after a unanimous decision victory over Christopher Sibere. While not at his scintillating best, Skeete was professional enough throughout the 12-round bout and did enough to impress the judges and the ringside George Groves.
Steve Collins Jr, son for former world super-middleweight champion Stephen Collins, ended his four-round cruiserweight contest in a 38-38 points draw with Tommy Gifford. Collins Jr appeared to suffer a shoulder injury midway through the bout, allowing Gifford to respond to early punishment.
Light-welterweight Thomas Stalker, who captained Team GB at the London 2012 Olympic Games, continued his unbeaten start as a professional with a 60-53 points win over Dan Carr. Stalker looked impressive throughout the opening three rounds of the contest, connecting with several hard body shots which fully deserved a sixth victory from six.
Another promising fighter to improve his unbeaten start to life as a professional was Georgie Kean, who impressed throughout his four-round 40-36 welterweight win over Dee Mitchell.
Lewis Pettitt outclassed Slovakian opponent Elemir Rafael with a 60-53 points victory in their super-bantamweight bout while Michael Grant edged a close light-welterweight fight against previously undefeated Billy Morgan with a 58-57 points win.
Tyson Fury stops Joey Abell in four, calls out Wladimir Klitschko
Tom Gray - craveonline.com
British heavyweight star Tyson Fury did pretty much what was expected by posting a fourth-round stoppage of Joey Abell on Saturday in London. The undefeated contender took a step towards an eagerly anticipated summer rematch with countryman Dereck Chisora.
The official time was 1:36.
Fury, THE RING’s No. 5-rated heavyweight, decked Abell on four occasions and put on his stereotypical showman performance. The Englishman’s tools are formidable, largely due to his 6ft 9in frame and huge reach, but he takes chances that one day could come back to haunt him.
“I bring the action,” said Fury (22-0, 16 knockouts). “Joey Abell isn’t on my level, because I’m the best heavyweight in the world. I was playing games in there and hopefully I’ll be back in April.”
Fury took his time in the opener and utilized his jab, as Abell carefully traversed the ring and threatened with the odd single shot. The British boxer puncher tempted fate by inviting Abell forward, but it was a quiet start from both men.
Abell landed a big left hand in Round 2, but the follow up head butt drew derision from Fury, the crowd and the referee. The Englishman continued to work off his jab and was simply more active at this stage of the contest.
Fury can look vulnerable at times and his legs seemed to shake momentarily on the end of another left hand in Round 3. Moments later Fury hit Abell on the break, with a low blow, and when the American walked back into the fray he was floored with a heavy one two combination.
The Minnesota native rose gamely and tagged Fury with a hard left hand, but the right hand counter was harder and Abell hit the canvas for a second time.
The visitor seemed to sense that if he landed then something dramatic could happen and he went after his opponent again in the fourth. A right hand did register on Fury, but the bigger man instantly exploded with a two fisted attack of his own to deck Abell for a third time.
It was all academic and a similar knockdown followed, which prompted the referee to wave off the action after administering the standing eight count.
This was Fury’s first bout since April of last year, when he defeated former IBF cruiserweight titlist Steve Cunningham in his US debut. A bout with David Haye failed to materialize, due to the former champion’s injury related retirement, and Fury suffered for that with a long spell of inactivity.
There were also strong rumors that the Manchester man was coming in to this heavyweight attraction ill prepared, after he weighed in at a mammoth 277 pounds. That number was a career high and some 23 pounds heavier than when he defeated Cunningham.
It’s often said that Fury fights to the level of the competition, and his weight tonight provided strong evidence that the 25 year old also trains to that level. His trainer, and uncle, Peter Fury had his nephew looking sharp and was responsible for him reappraising his dietary habits, and so this is likely to be a one off.
Fury told BoxNation; “I beat Chisora three years ago and I’ll beat him again. He and Kevin Johnson are bums compared to me. I want Wladimir Klitschko, so come on Wlad stop being a p*ssy about this.”
Not much was expected of Joey Abell who replaced Argentina’s Gonzalo Omar Basile on ten days notice.
Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury both win to set up summer rematch
British heavyweights Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury moved closer to a rematch after both secured wins in east London.
By Jimmy Smallwood BBC Sport
Chisora, 30, won a unanimous points decision in a gritty 12-round contest against veteran American Kevin Johnson.
In contrast, 25-year-old Fury provided a demonstration of his power, flooring southpaw Joey Abell four times before the fight was stopped in the fourth.
The pair first fought in 2011 with Fury prevailing, and with both victorious on Saturday a rematch seems likely.
"I want to fight Russian heavyweight Alexander Povetkin in Moscow, then in the summer me and Tyson should get it on," Chisora said after his victory.
Topping the bill at the Copper Box Arena, which was used for handball at the London 2012 Olympics, Chisora entered the ring in good form having won four successive contests, the most recent against Ondrej Pala in November.
But the defence of his WBO and WBA International titles against the hardy Johnson, a veteran of a 2009 defeat by Vitali Klitschko and a Fury loss in Belfast in December 2012, took time to come to the boil.
After four cagey rounds, European champion Chisora floored his opponent with a thunderous overhand right in the fifth, but Johnson saw out the remaining 40 seconds to the bell.
And 34-year-old Johnson's experience carried him through the full 12 rounds, as he wore down and evaded the younger Chisora.
Nonetheless, the three judges at ringside saw it emphatically in the home fighter's favour, awarding him the unanimous victory 118-109 118-110 118-109.
Earlier, Fury claimed a fourth-round knockout win over Joey Abell in his first fight in 10 months.
Despite taking some punishment from the 32-year-old American, Fury knocked his opponent down in the third round.
Showboating throughout, the Mancunian then forced Abell down twice more in the fourth before the referee waved off the contest.
Fury last fought in April 2013 when he overcame American veteran Steve Cunningham in seven rounds in New York.
Two planned fights against British heavyweight David Haye were cancelled in 2013 and Fury's appearance in east London on Saturday was only his second fight in a year.
On the undercard, Bradley Skeete claimed the vacant WBA intercontinental welterweight belt by dismantling French fighter Christophe Sebire over 12 rounds - the unanimous decision from the judges 120-108, 119-109, 117-111.
Frank Buglioni's defence of his WBO European super-middleweight title against Naples veteran Gaetano Nespro was a livelier affair, with the Italian down in the fourth then twice in the fifth before the contest was waved off.
Hughie Fury, cousin of Tyson, improved his record to 13 wins in 13 contests, eight by way of knockout. The 19-year-old heavyweight, boxing at over 17 stone, had American Matthew Greer down three times in the second round before the towel was thrown in.
Team GB's Olympic boxing captain at London 2012, Thomas Stalker, continued his professional development at light-welterweight by disposing of opponent Dan Carr in a 60-53 points win after six rounds.
And Steve Collins Jnr, 23-year-old son of Irish super-middleweight legend Collins Snr, bloodied the nose of Somerset's Tommy Gifford in the first round but failed to capitalise, eventually drawing the contest 38-38 on the referee's scorecard.
Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury wins set up heavyweight summer clash
• Chisora beats Kevin Johnson on points
• Fury stops Joey Abell in the fourth round
Kevin Mitchell - theguardian.com
Dereck Chisora and Tyson Fury remain on track for a summer showdown they believe will lead to a challenge for Wladimir Klitschko's world heavyweight titles after decent wins against American heavyweights of contrasting styles and pedigree.
Chisora did slightly better in outpointing the former world title challenger Kevin Johnson over 12 rounds than Fury did in stopping the mediocre Minnesota tourist Joey Abell in four. But fans left the Copper Box Arena in London on Saturday night reasonably satisfied with both winners and keen to see Chisora and Fury fight each other again.
Fury won on points when they fought in 2011, and beat Johnson on points a year later. That form line suggests he should start favourite against Chisora, but it will be closer this time.
Chisora, throwing Tim Witherspoon-style bolo right hands – some of them borderline legal – put Johnson down in the fifth round and won by margins of 118-109, 118-110, 118-109 in defence of his WBO and WBA "international" titles.
"He came to fight," Chisora said. "Now we move on to the next chapter. He recovered very well from the knockdown and full credit to him. But I tell you right now I want to go to Moscow. I want to fight the Russian Alexander Povetkin in the Spring – and then we'll talk about fighting Tyson in the summer."
His promoter, Frank Warren, shrugged: what he and the boxing fraternity want is a Chisora-Fury rematch as soon as possible. Fury walked to the ring singing and left it smiling, pleased with another quixotic performance.
He had earlier described Abell as "my worst nightmare" – a 6ft 4in southpaw with power, albeit against nondescript opponents – but it took him less than a quarter of an hour to ease his doubts.
Fury weighed a career-heavy 19st 8lb and carried waist flab that told the story of his absence from the gym (and temporary retirement) after David Haye twice pulled out of fights against him last year.
Fury, a little underdone, was coasting behind a solid jab, clowning, smiling and generally whooping it up until Abell went to the canvas in the third, complaining of a low blow. Then the Mancunian got serious, decking his brittle opponent legitimately with a chilling right and again on the stroke of the bell.
The American, who has stopped 28 of 29 anonymous victims, buzzed Fury at the start of the fourth but was down twice soon enough and the referee waved it over, Abell's eighth loss and the seventh by stoppage. It was a decent night's work for Fury, but did little more than clear the cobwebs.
"Every time I fight I bring the action," Fury said. "I was happy with the performance. I enjoyed it. I'll be back in April, hopefully, against Chisora. I beat him as a 14-fight novice two years ago, but I want Klitschko after that."
His trainer and uncle, Peter Fury, revealed: "He was 22 stone five weeks ago and is still a stone overweight. He did what he had to do." His promoter, Mick Hennessy, said: "We've got a big summer show and he will take Chisora out in that fight, I'm sure of that."
Fury had earlier revealed that his wife had been admitted to hospital for surgery earlier in the week, someone had burned two cars outside his house and then he suffered a cut eye in training – courtesy of the American Eddie Chambers. Never a dull day with Fury.
On a busy undercard – promoter Frank Warren squeezed 11 fights into an entertaining bill – the rising London favourite Frank "Wise Guy" Buglioni confirmed his promise against the noticeably smaller Gaetano Nespro, dropping the 34-year-old Italian in the first, fourth and fifth rounds to retain his WBO European super-middleweight title.
George Groves, who challenges Carl Froch again for his world title at the weight in May, was an interested onlooker. They should meet one day. "He's a very good fighter," Groves said. "He does everything well, and he's moving on at a steady pace. He's got an exciting style. That's why he sells so many tickets."
Steve Collins Jr – with his famous father in the corner – had to work hard for a draw over four rounds at cruiserweight in his fourth professional fight, against the equally callow but no less determined Tommy Gifford, who had been stopped in two of his three bouts. Young Collins, chunky and strong, lost his shape under pressure, legacy perhaps of a lack of amateur experience.
A novice who was much more impressive was the 22-year-old welterweight Georgie Kean, whose third pro win was a systematic beating over four-round defeat of serial loser Dee Mitchell.
South Londoner Bradley Skeete won his 15th fight as he has done most of the previous 14, without trouble or much excitement – 120-108, 119-109 and 117- 111 – to see off the late replacement for the accomplished American Vivian Harris, Christopher Sebire from Rouen, and claim the vacant WBA Inter-Continental welterweight title.