The last time the boxing public saw Fury fight in anger he was out in Germany taking on the great Wladimir Klitschko, a bout in which he was a big underdog.
However, he pulled off one of the great upsets to take a unanimous decision and earn the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight world titles.
But he subsequently pulled out of a rematch and relinquished the titles amid a battle with depression and cocaine use.
Now, he returns in front of a partisan crowd in Manchester as he starts to rebuild his career after 1,000 days out of the ring.
8.45pm: Now we have a WBC International contest at middleweight – yes, that’s a belt apparently – but two very vaild fighters. Mark Heffron is an Oldham native and the crowd go wild for him. He is taking on Andrew Robinson, who jumps into southpaw at the beginning of round three but quickly thinks better of it.
Intriguing match-up so far.
8.30pm: Great drama! Metcalf drops his man early in the last round and then, as instructed, takes his time pressing on for the win. He stuns Nieto again in the neutral corner and has to chase him across the ring before landing one more punch, at which point the referee has no choice but to step in. At last, that’s the stoppage the corner wanted!
Only 30 seconds left in the fight, too!
8.25pm: More celebs spotted: the new IBF featherweight champion grinning away in the front row and a few rows further back, the one and only Gazza. Good to see him out and about and look relatively well.
8.10pm: Good friend of Tyson Fury and injured fighter Billy Joe Saunders has just walked past me. No sign of a limp or anything – for a man who has a hamstring injury, supposedly. He was due to fight Martin Murray on June 23 but pulled out, of course.
In the ring, Metcalf is through eight rounds and is ahead but this Nieto has never been stopped and looks very durable.
7.55pm: Metcalf, the favourite and the home fighter, going alright here but his corner are still quite urgent in their instructions, suggesting they know Nieto could pick up enough rounds to leave this fight close on the cards.
He is urged to work the body and has looked at his most dangerous “downstairs” but is also getting caught.
7.35pm: Next up is JJ Metcalf, another with an enormous pocket of followers in the crowd. He takes on Aitor Nieto in a super-welterrweight contest for the WBC International “belt”, such as it is.
7.20pm: Telling pressure from Gorman, who floors Turner right at the end of the second round with a brutal right upper-cut and then unleashes at the beginning of the third but can’t put him on the floor him – only for the referee to step in with the Irish fighter trapped on the ropes.
7.15pm: A fine first round from Gorman, who has left Turner bloodied with a couple of combinations: it is those fast hands that make him such an exciting prospect.
7.05pm: I’ve started celeb spotting from ringside. Stephen Graham, the actor of This Is England fame, has some pretty prime tickets while boxer Liam Smith is one of a plethora of fighters.
Frank Warren (obviously) has also just strolled to the ring, resplendent in a double-breasted, beige, check suit.
And finally, Ricky Hatton leads his charge Nathan Gorman to the ring to the sounds of the Killers. First fight of the TV card, a heavyweight one, is about to get underway.
6.40pm: That didn’t last long! Jack Massey floors Ian Tims in the second round of a proper tear-up and the towel goes in. A very popular Derbyshire fighter gets a well-deserved knockout.
Nathan Gorman will be the first of the televised fights, coming up in about 20 minutes.
6.30pm: Every round and a point off so Barrett gets an 80-71 decision win.
We’ve got a bit of time before the TV card starts at 7pm – so we’ve got Ian Tims and Jack Massey, in what was supposed to be a follow-on fight after the Fury bout but has been squeezed in here instead.
6.25pm: A little bit turgid, this one. One round to go and Barrett will take the win – Tellez has had a point off for low blows – but it’s not been impressive. Technically proficient but Barrett lacking in knockout power.
6.05pm: Zelfa Barrett’s jab looks beautiful tonight, even if Tellez isn’t the best fighter in the world. Blood pouring from the nose but he is still coming forward. Credit to him on that front. Three rounds of eight gone and Barrett is well ahead.
5.50pm: McGann stops him in the third round. Seemed to learn very quickly after getting his head knocked back by the jab in the first round. Nice start for the former mixed martial artist, who has a fair few Warringtonians singing his name high up in the Arena.
Zelfa Barrett and late opponent Edwin Tellez will be next in the ring for eight rounds at super-featherweight.
5.45pm: Electric start to his professional boxing for McGann, who drops Grant twice in the early stages. The referee lets him resume and the bell rings two seconds after the second count and probably saves Grant’s bacon.
Might not go much longer this because you’d expect McGann to have plenty of engine.
5.20pm: Jordan Thompson gets his ninth career win in pretty spectacular fashion, albeit against an opponent without much to give back. He drops Kalinovski in the second round and the spirit was gone then, I thought, but it took the referee until six seconds from the end of the second.
Thompson wins to delight the home fans. Jack McGann, former MMA fighter, is making his boxing debut next.
5.05pm: Arthur does indeed get the decision, winning every round and improving to 11-0. Not the most impressive performance in the world but he got the win.
Another Mancunian up next as Jordan Thompson takes on Dmitri Kalinovski.
5pm: We are still two hours away from the TV card but the boxing has already been going for an hour in Manchester, where Frank Warren has put on a 13-fight undercard to accompany Tyson Fury’s return.
We are expecting as many as 12,000 in for the main event and plenty of them will be here for the undercard main event too: local lad Terry Flanagan is fighting Maurice Hooker for the WBO super-lightweight world title.
We’ll be here every step of the way to build up to the return of Fury and bring you every result from a busy undercard.
Lyndon Arthur is just coming to the end of his six-round light-heavyweight contest against Charles Adamu. Doesn’t look like he’ll get a stoppage but the cards should go his way.
Read more here: Daily Express :: Sport Feedhappy wheels
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