The latest incarnation of Tyson Fury, this one an Irish southpaw, stomped all over the cooling embers of Martin Rogan on Saturday, at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast. After a shy and somewhat ponderous opening, Fury floored Rogan with a quick left in the 3rd and then polished off the Northern Irish scrapper in round 5 with a rib-rattling left hook underneath.
Fury, 23, had dallied with a different coach yet again for this, his 18th outing. Another of his uncles, Peter on this occasion, picked up the reins that have squirted through a bewildering number of hands in Fury’s short time as a professional and, true to form, Fury surprised everyone from the opening bell with his impersonation of a port-sider. At 245 ¾, he looked fit at least, even if his new stance — employed no doubt in an effort to evade the right hands which have been ricocheting off his chin with increasing regularity in recent bouts — looked horribly forced, gauche even.
Earlier in the day, the nation had been gripped as Neptune Collonges pipped Sunnyhillboy on the line, in horse racing’s finest piece of theatre. Irishman Daryl Jacobs, decked out like Rogan in yellow and white, rallied from nowhere to eclipse Richie McLernon for a remarkable Grand National win. When Fury then emerged sporting McLernon’s colours, superstitious gamblers across the land had themselves an omen, one which would swell their collections of betting slip confetti.
Unlike the galloping grey, Rogan, 228 ¼, appeared to lack belief from the moment he entered the arena. It was an understandable position when one minds he is fast approaching 41 years of age, and had been tasked with bridging a considerable physical gap. Still, the old man pressed intermittently with scruffy attacks, enough to take the first two rounds — both of which featured less hits than “The Best of Shaquille O’Neal.”
Fury, 18-0 (13), took control in round 3. The big man landed three pecking rights and then a reaching left which bundled Rogan over. Settling into his new method, Fury controlled the 4th before crunching Rogan with a body shot in the next, which had referee David Irving (Ireland) pondering whether or not to let him fight on. Rogan’s trainer, Bernardo Checa, put an end to that dilemma by entering the ring to terminate matters at the 3:00 mark.
In-ring microphones picked up Fury consoling Rogan with the following: “At the end of the day, we’re still friends.” The Manchester-born leviathan then ordered the crowd to provide an ovation for their man who, after this third loss in seventeen bouts, has very likely reached the end of a hard road. It was a “charming” sentiment, so said erudite co-commentator Al Bernstein from ringside. Fury, a riddle both inside and outside of office hours, remains televisual gold.
Chris Eubank, Jr. halted Stranraer’s Paul Allison, 5-1-1 (1), in round 4 to make it three wins in a row (two quick) and remains a middleweight worth keeping tabs on.
Television: Channel Five
Promoter: Mick Hennessy