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RETURN OF THE MACK Part 2

Deontay Wilder will take a seat ringside ahead of Tyson Fury’s 2nd return clash

By Andy Shore   - @intuboxing

This weekend sees Tyson Fury's second fight back after over two years away from the ring due to drug, food and alcohol abuse. If the first fight was a joke, and the third fight might just be for the WBC title, what can we expect from fight two, against Francisco Pianeta, this weekend...

Tyson's return fight was always going to be a soft touch, but the matchmaking was ridiculous! You'd have thought the smart move would have been to fight an out of shape, slow, soft punching heavyweight. Someone Fury could jab at, dance around, slowly break down and, ultimately, look good against. Instead, Sefer Seferi was all wrong for Tyson, in every way; he was a cruiserweight in size and stature, so he was terrified of getting hit. He was a small target, with reflexes aligned to his weight. In the first round, Fury seemed to lack any real belief - maybe not a shock when you imagine his lifestyle over the last 2 1/2 years, plus the fact he had everything to lose. He didn't engage, looked flustered when Seferi lunged at him, and even his jab looked slow and predictable. The fight in the crowd epitomised the appalling lack of action in the ring in the first two rounds as the pair joked around more than they fought. By rounds 3 and 4, you could see Fury was starting to feel confident enough to press the action; he attacked in spells and he showed some of his signature defensive reactions (not that Seferi offered any creative offense). It was no surprise when Seferi's corner ended the contest after the fourth as he was starting to get hit and he had no hope of landing. Dare I say, this matchmaking was typical of Warren and it did little to please all involved; those in the fight, the crowd or at home! I fancy Eddie would have gifted Fury a platform to impress...

So, this Saturday we move on to fight two. Pianeta is 6'5; a legit heavyweight. On paper, he's no threat, having been stopped by Kevin Johnson last year - a man that stops no one these days - in fact, he's lost two of his last three fights. Yes, Pianeta once fought Wlad, but that was over five years ago! He was unbeaten in 29 fights at that point (28-0-1), but let's keep that in context; in two of the three wins he had immediately before facing Klitschko, he beat Oliver McCall and Frans Botha, but both men were in their 40s at that stage! I'm not saying any of this to discredit the guy, more pointing out that he should be no threat to the lineal champ; albeit the post-abuse version, which I question will never be the same as that who bested Wlad (in arguably the stinkiest heavyweight title fight to ever go 12 rounds!).

Fury looked reasonably agile in the build-up to the Seferi fight, but then looked slow and out of sorts for four rounds. Accepting that he still had weight to shift at that stage, and he was bound to suffer some pre-fight nerves (which will no doubt have affected the energy in his legs), I'd expect him to be more himself in the fight against Pianeta. He's looking really sharp in training footage from the last few days; he's looking leaner and hungrier. 

The biggest question I have for Saturday night is how the impending Wilder fight will affect his performance; we can probably expect a safety first approach, as a loss would cost him a reported $10 million purse. But, on the other hand, knowing the Wilder fight is likely for November, Fury must have ramped up his training and should be more impressive as a result.

God forbid Pianeta wins and becomes the lineal heavyweight champion of the world... In reality, it's great to have Fury back and the fight with Wilder is mouthwatering on so many levels! Let's hope Fury wins in convincing fashion and Wilder is present so we get some WWE-style pre-fight build-up in the ring straight after ????????