Fury stops 'Stone Man' in five
British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion Tyson Fury overcame an early wobble to stop Nicolai Firtha in round five at the King's Hall Belfast, although the decision was questioned by the American’s corner.
The 6'9" Fury, who wore down Derek Chisora to take his two titles in July, dominated the non-title fight but took a heavy overhand right in the third round that left him reeling.
But, with his 32-year-old opponent already bleeding, Fury rebounded well and knocked the Ohio slugger down in the fourth.
Still it was surprising to see referee John Keane decide to stop the fight towards the end of the fifth round, as Firtha was still competitive.
Fury was delighted to have stopped his opponent, who managed to go the distance in his December fight with WBA champion Alexander Povetkin.
"I had to take a good shot there and come back," Fury told Channel Five. "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.
"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."
Fury’s record is now 16-0 with 11 knockouts, with Fury down to 20-8-1 with eight knockouts.