TYSON FURY’s unbeaten record nearly ended aged just 22 after being crushed by an unknown Canadian.
The Gypsy King has faced many tough tests along the way, including in his epic trilogy when he defeated Deontay Wilder.
TONIGHT he takes on Derek Chisora at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – a third fight between the two.
But one of the most notable came in 2011 when Fury faced off against little-known Neven Pajkic for the Commonwealth heavyweight title.
Fury had brushed aside 16 opponents before his fight with Pajkic as a professional but was shaken up in front of his own fans in Manchester.
The now 45-year-old is believed to be the first man to throw Fury to the canvas when he caught him with a right hook in the second round.
After the build, in which Pajkic described Fury as ‘with an ugly face’, he recalled to Sky Sports: ‘I only cracked him at 30 per cent.
“I didn’t expect him to go down. I practiced the right hand and left hook. To my surprise, he fell after the first hit.
“I was hoping he’d be dazed with the right hand, then I’d take him out with the left hook.
“The right hand should be a setup. I wish he hadn’t gone down because the left hook came and would have knocked him out.
“Fury fought a guy I beat, Nicolai Firtha. A tough guy.
“That fight told me everything I needed to know. Guys who study their opponents? I understand. But it’s a dog fight, that’s it.
“I did what I’ve always done – head down, walk forward, swing.
“The same punch I used to drop him. I knew that. And I practiced this punch.”
I only cracked it with 30 percent.
Fury would bounce back before taking revenge in the third round when he knocked out his opponent.
Pajkic then realized in that moment that he was fighting a future champion.
He added: “He overcame adversity that night and showed his championship mentality.”
Fury’s most famous comeback came against Wilder in their first fight, when he somehow managed to get off the canvas after being brutally knocked down in round 12 to salvage a controversial draw.
He had to wait 14 months to land his rematch with the American before being crowned WBC champion.
It was a similar storyline in their trilogy, as Wilder twice dropped Fury in the fourth round, who scored a knockdown the round before but managed to bounce.
He then knocked out Wilder in tenth and eleventh place where the fight was won once and for all.
Pajkic says Fury’s will to get back up and fight separates him from the rest of the division.
He added: “There is no man who cannot go under. If 250 pounds cracks your chin, you’re going under.
“Fury often keeps his hands down and lets his left shoulder drop when he stabs, so he leaves himself more exposed than he should.
“But down? He has the will to get back up. That makes him different.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/1016305/tyson-fury-neven-pajkic-ko/ Tyson Fury was nearly KO’d by unidentified fighter Neven Pajkic who says the world champion has an ‘ugly face’ – The US Sun