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Written by Ian Wallwork

"Like the Hagler / Hearns of the heavyweights."

This is how Tyson Fury's promoter, Mick Hennessey, chose to describe the Manchester giant's latest fight with Bosnian-born Neven Pajkic. Whilst the three-round brawl was entertaining to watch, comparing the heavyweight match in Event City with the classic 1985 Hearns / Hagler three-belt title fight is a bit of a stretch, even for a promoter. 

Whilst Fury remains unbeaten, there is cause for concern with the cocky giant. He was always the favourite to win this fight and many felt he would do it in style. Things did not go that way. Tonight, Fury brought along his flaws and displayed them for the entire boxing world to see. We already knew his defence was suspect. Against Dereck Chisora in July, Fury was wobbled. Two months later when he fought Nicolai Firtha, Fury was wobbled. This time, against Pajkic, Tyson Fury was knocked down for the only time in his seventeen fight career.

Was Tyson Fury Over-Confident?

The pre-fight build went the usual Tyson Fury way. He treated us to a two minute monologue declaring himself the greatest thing since Tivo. Later, he marched into the ring with Bono's voice echoing through the arena, "I still haven't found what I'm looking for" suscinctly summing up Tyson Fury's mental state. He approached the ring in deep focus and paused for a second before lifting a giant leg over the top rope.

Pajkic clearly took the first round. He went at Fury from the beginning, ducking his head down and charging in an effort to avoid his taller opponent's jab. He swung wildly at Fury, making no pretence at accuracy as he sought to land a few solid punches on the Manchester giant's face. Fury caught a few but he left the first round unscathed. Points wise, the round went to Pajkic.

Fury would have been advised at this point to use his jab, which is one of his main attributes, to keep his shorter opponent at a safe distance. He did not play it this way and too many times he allowed Pajkic to get inside and deal damage. It is slowly turning into Fury's trademark - letting to many punches land easily on his face - and this time he was not able to ignore them. In the second round, Pajkic caught him so sweetly that Fury hit the floor like an egg dropped off a roof.

Tyson Fury lies on the floor of the ring

Fury Turns it Around

In the third round the fight flipped on itself. Pajkic lost all semblance of a guard and Fury was able to take his pick of places to hit. He landed punch after punch and finally got the knockdown that was inevitable at that point. Pajkic got up but he was soon down for the second time. There was almost a third knockdown for him, but the referee called time. Tyson Fury successfully defended his Commonwealth title but the victory must surely be a bitter one.

Two points about tonight's fight must worry Fury fans. Firstly, Fury's defence has caught him out in each of his three fights. I count one wobble against Dereck Chisora, another against Nicolai Firtha and now a knock down against Pajkic. He needs to do something about this or he will be spending a lot more time on the floor of the ring. Secondly, Fury's conditioning seems to get worse with every fight. Undoubtedly athletes have it tough, and let's face it, who doesn't slack off every once in a while? But if Fury doesn't watch out he will soon become Butterbean's protégée.

Tyson Fury is still unbeaten but he is a long way off a world title shot.