Fury gets up off canvas to stop Pajkic
Tyson Fury was sent to the canvas for the first time in his career before getting up to stop Neven Pajkic in three explosive rounds to defend his Commonwealth heavyweight title in Manchester.
In an entertaining mess of a fight, Pajkic knocked Fury to the floor in the second round with a big right hand midway through the round and Fury had to hang on for the remainder before gathering himself before the third.
However, mid-way through that third round he rocked Pajkic with a big right uppercut, and then further flurries with the right saw Pajkic hit the canvas twice.
With Fury still coming forward the referee decided to stop the fight, although Pajkic was annoyed with the decision, and perhaps rightly so, given that there was only 16 seconds left in the round.
Fury didn't look in good shape for the fight and it showed in the early stages. Pajkic was six inches smaller and nearly two stone lighter than Fury, meaning he had to lunge in to get close to the bigger man, but in the opening round Fury could not successfully use his jab to keep the Bosnian-born Canadian at distance.
Pajkic took the opener without doing much, but stunned the crowd in the second round by connecting with a huge overhand right that saw Fury's 6'9" frame go timber for the first time in his career.
Surviving that round was key for Fury, as he looked to put on a show in his first professional fight to be held in his hometown of Manchester.
He broke open the fight in the third round with a huge right uppercut although it took a few more punches to finally send Pajkic down.
Pajkic took an eight count but was still wobbling and again Fury came forward with the right, with a right-left combo eventually putting Pajkic down for a second time in the round.
The Canadian once more got up without conviction, but the decision to stop the fight looked harsh given the dwindling round clock.
With the victory, Fury moves to 17-0 (12 KOs) but the fight again showed his considerable flaws that makes any talk of a potential world title shot dangerously premature.
His defence was again non-existent at times, while his skill-set remains incredibly raw.
However his immense power, and undoubted heart, again led to a thrilling spectacle, and his made-for-TV qualities will no doubt leave the boxing public wanting more.
Pajkic also went into the fight with a 16-0 record but at 34 he is 10 years older than Fury and it is hard to see what positive direction his career can take after this defeat.
Meanwhile, on the undercard, Chris Eubank Junior showed classy hand-speed and good ring control to stop Kirrilis Psonko of Lithuania†in the fourth round of his professional debut in the middleweight division.