Senior Boxing Journalist @JamesDielhenn
Fury vs Wallin: Tyson Fury back in Las Vegas to fight Otto Wallin but has Deontay Wilder on his mind
Last Updated: 09/09/19 5:33pm
There are many sides to Tyson Fury and in Sin City earlier this summer, the two most welcome parts of his personality – the showman and the master boxer – merged to put a beating on Tom Schwarz.
He punched Schwarz to a bloody conclusion about 10 minutes after removing a funny hat. Vintage Fury.
The hope of seeing that same version of Fury is what brings him back to Vegas this weekend for a second consecutive headline appearance in the city. Otto Wallin, an unbeaten Swede, is the opponent and a rematch with Deontay Wilder, expected in February, is the prize.
The threat of seeing another version of Fury - the one who laboured and cruised the distance with Francesco Pianeta, for example - is what makes him compelling every time he steps in the ring.
Saturday night's fight is a major opportunity for Fury to add weight to his claim to the throne in the heavyweight division. Victory and an electric performance won't guarantee him that, but will add another layer of intrigue to his anticipated second WBC championship challenge against Wilder next year.
Fury, who last time out dressed in the colours of the American flag, will this time be headlining on Mexican Independence Day, a significant date in the calendar for Las Vegas. Expect sombreros and Mariachi bands.
Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez, Mexico's premier boxing superstar, has fought on this weekend for the past three years (twice in mega-fights with Gennadiy Golovkin) and was expected to do so again until a search for a suitable opponent forced him to skip the date.
Fury is now the grand attraction for the thrill-seekers.
This is the fifth fight into his comeback after a two-and-a-half year absence while he battled mental health issues - he is now an advocate for helping people with similar problems.
It feels like a long time since he tormented Wladimir Klitschko in the days before their world heavyweight title fight in late 2015, before tormenting him further for 12 rounds. The brilliant Fury of that evening in Germany was consigned to be a ghost of the past when he ballooned to 10-plus stone over his healthy weight but, over the past year, he has re-emerged.
The way he rose off the canvas in the final round of his draw with Wilder, becoming the first of 41 men to survive a knockout against the American, is still hauntingly memorable. Fury has arguably never been more heavy-handed than in his two-round blowout of Schwarz in June.
The reflexes he displayed when he toyed with Schwarz became an internet meme. Again, vintage Fury.
Sweden's Wallin is a southpaw planning to ruin plans for Wilder vs Fury II, unbeaten in 21 but untested at this level.
Anthony Joshua dismissed Wallin's credibility, and Fury for selecting him, by saying: "I fought Wallin as an amateur. [Wilder and Fury] are the cream of the crop and shouldn't be fighting those type of people. I can't fight Wallin, I don't think I can ever fight lower-tier heavyweights."
The Swedish contender comes to town bullish about ending Fury's unbeaten record, telling Sky Sports: "Fury showed a good chin and a lot of heart in that fight [against Wilder], but maybe those shots have taken something out of him."
Wallin's attempt to make a splash in the USA have twice been a disaster. His debut ended in a no contest after an opponent suffered a fight-ending cut then BJ Flores withdrew days away from a scheduled bout. It is a year since his best victory against countryman Adrian Granat.
Wilder is already playing his part in the fun and games - he has speculated that he could overlook the Fury rematch and instead face the winner of Ruiz Jr vs Joshua for all the marbles.
"We're not going to fall into that trap again," promoter Eddie Hearn told Wilder.
And so over to Fury who writes the latest chapter of this era's heavyweight history.