Top Rank made no secret when it signed lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury to a co-promotional deal with Frank Warren in February that Fury's first fight of the agreement would take place in Las Vegas and on be broadcast on an ESPN platform.
Now the specific venue and platform are official for the 12-round fight with Tom Schwarz on June 15: the MGM Grand Garden Arena, live on ESPN+ beginning at 10 p.m. ET, Top Rank announced on Monday.
The 6-foot-9, 260-pound Fury (27-0-1, 19 KOs), 30, of England, has boxed twice previously in the United States, in New York in a seventh-round knockout win over Steve Cunningham in 2013 and on Dec. 1 in Los Angeles, where he battled to an exciting draw with world titleholder Deontay Wilder. But Fury said he has always wanted to fight in Las Vegas, and now he has his opportunity.
"I'm absolutely delighted to be boxing in Las Vegas on ESPN+. I always said I will never go to Vegas until I box there, and now I finally am," Fury said. "I can't wait to put on a boxing master class for all my fans. The British and Irish fans will invade Vegas. I can't wait!"
Top Rank had considered having the fight at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas and initially listed it as the venue when requesting the date to promote the event from the Nevada State Athletic Commission, but that was before MGM Grand officials showed interest in hosting Fury's next fight.
"It's with great pride that Top Rank and Frank Warren's Queensberry Promotions, together with ESPN+ and [Fury management company] MTK Global, will be able to present the leading heavyweight in the world and a megastar in boxing," Top Rank chairman Bob Arum said. "Tyson will be facing a tough, experienced and undefeated fighter in Tom Schwarz, who is coming to Las Vegas ready to shock the world."
Said Warren: "I'm very excited about starting the next chapter in the Tyson Fury story. With this new deal and co-promotion with Top Rank, it's all about getting Tyson out there to a huge audience, and nobody can do that in America like ESPN. He's the best heavyweight on the planet and the lineal champion. He's a superstar, and there is nowhere better for a superstar to have his next fight than in the mecca of boxing itself, Las Vegas."
There were also discussions between Top Rank and ESPN about whether the fight would go on ESPN+ or possibly the main linear television network.
"Tyson Fury is an incredible boxer with an incredible story, two things that are right at home on ESPN+," said Russell Wolff, the executive vice president and general manager of ESPN+. "Tom Schwarz is young, ambitious and unbeaten. This fight adds to an ESPN+ boxing lineup that has been packed with champions in its first year, making it a must-have for any fan of the sweet science. And we're just getting started."
The 6-5, 240-pound Schwarz (24-0, 16 KOs), 24, of Germany, will be taking a major step up in his opposition level but said he was excited to face an opponent of Fury's caliber in the boxing capital of the world.
"This is what I've been working for since I was a kid," Schwarz said. "A fight in Las Vegas against Tyson Fury is a dream come true. While I appreciate Tyson as a great fighter and a sportsman, I am young, ambitious and in the top of the world rankings. I've won 24 fights. I've got nothing to lose, and my 25th victory will come against Fury."