Joe Tessitore shares a story of first seeing the dramatic improvements in Tyson Fury's physique heading into his Top Rank debut.
Tessitore, who will call Fury's fight against Tom Schwarz on ESPN+, spoke to Fightful during a recent media conference call and talked about being impressed with how Fury has looked so much better physically in past months. Tessitore gave Fury a lot of credit with being able to have a more well-toned body, despite still being around 265 pounds, and when he saw Fury at a recent media workout, he said the large heavyweight could have been mistaken for a welterweight just by watching the way he moves around in the ring.
“I had the opportunity to spend time with Tyson Fury two hours after he landed at JFK airport and came in New York. I drove down from my house to meet him for dinner. As soon as he walked up to the restaurant and walked up to the table, I could not believe what he looks like physically now. He’s transformed his body and we had a long talk about that. The guy still weighs about 265 pounds, but just how he is so tight, so strong and so athletic right now. The training video and even what he did [in a recent media workout] the other day, the hand speed, fluidity, upper body movement, if you didn’t know any better, you’d think that you were looking at a welterweight or a middleweight and the guy is 6’9”," Tessitore said.
Now while Tessitore has a high opinion of how Fury looks right now, he does believe that the former unified heavyweight champion was not at his best when he fought WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder this past December.
"I thought his night against Klitschko was a high water mark. I do take into account that the version that we saw at Staples Center against Wilder was a guy still shaking off the ring rust, still not in his physical prime," Tessitore said.
Now Fury is looking to start a run that could culminate in a rematch against Wilder and according to Tessitore, this upcoming fight against Schwarz will be boxing's first look at the best version of Fury since ending a two-and-a-half year hiatus from boxing in 2018.
"The guy I see right now is an absolute physical beast and he knows it. He’s got that swagger and I think what you saw how lighthearted and how much fun he was having at the press conference is a guy that very much know what he is and where he is. I do think that this is a guy that we’ll get the best of right now. Yes, he’s had the personal stuff that he’s had to clear up, but at the end of the day, he doesn’t have a lot of miles on that odometer. You got a 30-year-old, 6’9”, 265-pound athlete so I do expect him to be the best that we’ve of him through this fight into early 2020 against Wilder when we see the rematch,” Tessitore said.
Fury vs. Schwarz will headline the June 15 Top Rank Boxing card from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas that will be streamed on ESPN+. Rising women's boxing star Mikaela Mayer will headline a prelim card that will be televised on ESPN2.