Tyson Fury has successfully retained the lineal heavyweight title with a clear, albeit hard-fought unanimous decision victory over the previously undefeated Swede Otto Wallin.
Neither fighter was ostensibly dominant throughout the early proceedings, but it was the Swede who took the attacking initiative first, behind well-educated combinations from the southpaw stance.
Fury, as ever, maintained imperturbable under pressure but the concern was readily apparent on the face of trainer Ben Davidson after the third round, when a choice left hand from Wallin opened up an unsightly gash on the Mancunian’s right eye.
Buoyed by a greater sense of urgency with blood flowing liberally down the right side of his face, Fury began increasing his output in addition to using his natural strength to lean on his tiring counterpart.
Fury was able to capitalise on his size, coupled with his supreme conditioning, as he radically changed his approach and ploughed forward, pummelling Wallin with powerful combinations at close range.
The cut briefly threatened to be a decisive factor in the outcome of the contest, before the referee deemed Fury fit to continue in the sixth round.
As Wallin back-pedalled and looked to muster up a second wind, Fury continued to walk him down, hurting Wallin on multiple occasions in the later rounds and nearly forcing a stoppage in the penultimate stanza as a series of devastating punches drove Wallin back against the ropes.
Nevertheless, the Swede demonstrated incredible tenacity to somehow survive the onslaught and rallied hard – briefly stunning Fury with a thunderous left – but his efforts were ultimately in vain as Fury was deservedly designated the winner with scores of 116-112 coupled with somewhat generous tallies of 117-111 and 118-110 in his favour.