LAS VEGAS -- Tyson Fury overcame a bloody cut over his right eye to pound out a unanimous decision Saturday night over Sweden's Otto Wallin and set up a lucrative heavyweight rematch with Deontay Wilder.
Fury remained unbeaten in 29 fights and retained his claim to the lineal heavyweight title against a fighter who was little known but gave the big Englishman all he could handle.
With blood streaming down his face, Fury dominated from the middle rounds on in what was supposed to be little more than a tune up fight for his scheduled February rematch with Wilder. He was a 30-1 favourite at fight time, but after being cut in the third round had to reach deep to pull out the win.
The three ringside judges had Fury winning by scores of 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112. The Associated Press had Fury winning 116-112.
Fury was cut over his right eye in the third round, and it clearly bothered him as the fight went on. Blood flowed down the right side of his face and stained his trunks, and Fury kept wiping at the cut to try and keep the blood out of his eye.
Referee Tony Weeks stopped the fight briefly in the sixth round for the ringside doctor to look at the eye. When the fight resumed, Fury fought at a quicker pace, seemingly realizing he might be running out of time.
With renewed determination, he kept the pressure on Wallin the rest of the way to cement a huge payday against Wilder, who he fought to a draw in December.
Wallin was still fighting hard in the final round, stunning Fury with a right to the head and chasing him around the ring in search of a knockdown that never came. Wallin, fighting for only the second time in the U.S., suffered his first defeat to fall to 20-1.
Much of the fight was fought at close range, as the two men brawled on the inside. That was particularly true in the later rounds, as Fury (29-0-1) tried to land uppercuts and Wallin kept punching at Fury's bloody right eye.
Fury started landing cleaner punches as the fight went into the later rounds and when he wasn't punching at Wallin he was leaning his 6-foot-9 256 1/2-pound fame on him. Wallin fought hard, but seemed to be tiring in the later rounds as Fury built up a lead on the scorecards.
Wallin was trying to score the biggest win for a Swedish heavyweight since Ingemar Johnansson defeated Floyd Patterson for the heavyweight title in 1959.