Fury stops Firtha
Tyson Fury extended his undefeated record to 16 fights on Saturday night with a fifth-round stoppage of Nicolai Firtha in front of a boisterous crowd in Belfast.
But the 6ft 9in traveller of Irish descent survived a scare in the third round before the victory, when Firtha exposed his vulnerable defence with a combination at close quarters that wobbled Fury.
That aside, it was a largely impressive performance by the British and Commonwealth champion, who worked cleverly behind his punishing jab, using it to set up his powerful right hand, which would eventually finish the contest.
Firtha was rocked and bloodied in round one, dropped in round four, and then eventually rescued by the referee in the fifth - despite the fact he was still standing.
‘I had to take a good shot there and come back,’ Fury told Channel Five in the post-fight interview. ‘It was an action-packed fight and I really enjoyed it. He was taking some tough shots, and in the end he took too many.
‘I've got to keep working the jab, keep working the right hand behind it, and keep improving my defence. I'm learning, you don't become a finished product overnight.
‘He was seconds away from being blasted out of there, I caught him with a swinging right hand and he was gone. [Alexander] Povetkin hit him with every shot in the book, but I've been in there and stopped him with a stinging right. It shows big men are big men and little men are little men. Stay out of my way.’