MANCHESTER, ENGLAND -- After two years and seven months away, Tyson Fury returned to the ring with a four-round win over Sefer Seferi on Saturday. What did we learn from the former world heavyweight champion's comeback?
It was too easy to make bold statements
After showboating and joking around, Fury finally got going in the fourth round of a ring return that did not reveal too much about his potential to threaten world heavyweight titleholders Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder.
It was so comfortable that it resembled an exhibition bout early on. Fury played to the crowd: at one point, he turned 360 degrees to face his reluctant opponent, put his hands in the air and stuck his tongue out.
No sooner had he started than the fight was finished, with Seferi's corner keeping him on the stool at the end of the fourth.
It was a shame because we only got to see a brief glimpse of what Fury has left in his comeback.
A lack of action and the quality of opponent make it hard to judge whether Fury can be a force again after his exile.
Some called it a farce, but perhaps Fury was allowed one easy one after the troubles he has been through. Fury had to lose eight stones in weight after serving a backdated two-year doping ban and also had problems with depression, drink and recreational drugs.
The next opponent needs to be better after this.
Fury II is more popular
British fans have warmed to Fury in his absence from the ring and he is now more popular than ever.
The Manchester Arena was not quite full, but it was pretty close to its 20,000 capacity and they liked what they saw [even if there was not much of it]. Former England footballer Paul Gascoigne was among those who were there to see Fury's comeback and it is difficult to remember him performing in front of a bigger U.K. audience.
People find Fury a compelling and amusing figure. Some admire him for overcoming depression and losing eight stones for his comeback. And a lot are interested in following his next journey. After going from hero to zero, can Fury go from zero to hero?
Fury splits opinion. In 2016, he was heavily criticised for anti-Semitic, homophobic and sexist comments but this time around he has been careful about what he says. He still swears, rants and says outrageous things like comparing himself to Muhammad Ali or a goldfish.
He's never going to conform and be like Roger Federer or Anthony Joshua, who he wants to fight next year. Joshua in many ways is the antithesis of Fury: a marketing dream who has universal appeal.
Fury is anti establishment, anti corporate and says things he shouldn't and that's why the public like him and are into his comeback.
In his exile, Fury has not lost his off-beat sense of humour and it is another trait that appeals to fight fans and beyond.
No need to rush
Now Fury is up and running, promoter Frank Warren will want to keep him busy and focused to close in on world titleholders Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder.
Seferi was nearly five stones lighter than Fury [who weighed in at 19 stones 10 pounds] as well as seven inches smaller. Harder tests will better prepare Fury for the division's elite, but as his promoter Frank Warren said in the post fight press conference, there is no need to rush the Manchester boxer.
Wilder and Fury will be busy with other opponents -- and perhaps each other -- until well into 2019, giving Fury the chance to build up momentum.
Manuel Charr, the German who holds the secondary WBA belt, is being mentioned as a future opponent but it would be surprising if he is in the corner for Fury's next fight at Windsor Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on August 18.