MANCHESTER, ENGLAND -- Tyson Fury eased back into his boxing career after a two-year, seven-month exile with an undemanding four-round win over Sefer Seferi on Saturday night.
After much talk about how good he is going to be, including comparing himself to Muhammad Ali and Floyd Mayweather, Fury did not encounter much difficulty in forcing the outsized Seferi to quit before the fifth round at Manchester Arena.
The former WBA-IBF-WBO world heavyweight champion enjoyed his moment but did not get into his stride until the fourth round, and that was enough for Seferi to surrender on his stool.
After his first fight since upsetting Wladimir Klitschko on points for three world heavyweight titles in November 2015, Fury said in the ring: "I felt fantastic, it was like having my debut again.
"I've had a long time out the ring and I needed some rounds, so I was taking my time. The caliber of opponents will keep on rising. I will be better next time."
Promoter Frank Warren plans on Fury fighting again at Windsor Park in Belfast on Aug. 18, on the undercard of WBO interim featherweight champion Carl Frampton's next fight.
This always was going to be an exercise to reintroduce Fury safely back into boxing after the trials and tribulations he has gone through in his two-year, seven-month exile.
Germany's Manuel Charr, who holds the secondary WBA title, is one potential opponent for Fury in the next six months.
Fury's skills are still intact, although they lacked the zip and zing of his win over Klitschko.
The 6-foot-9 Englishman claimed to have lost 112 pounds for his comeback, and although he still has more to lose after weighing in at 276 pounds, he showed his boxing skills have not been eroded by the layoff.
Albania's Switzerland-based Seferi was hopelessly outgunned in the fourth round, and it convinced him to quit. But Seferi was a nuisance for Fury early, and the former champion was warned for joking around.
Fury played to the crowd in the first round and looked a bit embarrassed when Seferi tried to rough up the former champion.
Fury's first decent bit of work came at the end of the first round, when he landed a quick combination, but in the second, referee Phil Edwards warned him for his conduct.
Seferi did a good job of surviving, and Fury struggled to lay a glove on him in the second round.
Seferi showed some ambition in the third round, but Fury picked him off with his long arms, landing heavy punches in the fourth.
Fury, who is 28 pounds heavier than when he fought Klitschko, will be encouraged by his performance, but victory should be kept in perspective. Seferi is 39, has not boxed at an elite level, was 7 inches smaller and nearly 70 pounds lighter than Fury.
Just boxing again was an achievement for Fury, whose life span out of control after ending Klitschko's nine-and-half year reign.
After twice pulling out of rematches with Klitschko, Fury admitted problems with depression, excessive drinking and cocaine use before it was revealed he failed drugs test in February 2015.
Fury was eventually given a backdated two-year ban for testing positive for the banned steroid nandrolone and in exile he piled on the pounds while the WBA, WBO and IBF titles slipped into the hands of others.
Fury's English rival Anthony Joshua, the WBA-IBF-WBO champion, and American Deontay Wilder, the WBC champion, remain distant targets for Fury, whose priority now will be to build up some momentum against tougher opponents.