Tyson Fury was almost forced to pull out of his heavyweight clash with Dereck Chisora after a virus prevented the 26-year-old from training for three-and-a-half weeks, according to uncle and trainer Peter Fury.
The Manchester fighter coasted to a 10th-round stoppage win over Chisora at London’s ExCel Arena to claim the European and vacant British belt while also setting up a mandatory challenge to Wladimir Klitschko.
Fury dominated the encounter from start to finish to beat Chisora for the second time in three years but it was revealed after the victory that he had been close to withdrawing due to a chest infection last week.
“Nobody knows Tyson hadn’t trained for the past three-and- a-half weeks coming into this fight,” Peter Fury said. “Tyson had a virus that put him bed-ridden. He’s had flu injections, been up and down to the doctors, I took him to my place and put him in bed for three or four days. Last week he started to feel better and two days before this fight he said, ‘listen I feel absolutely okay’. There was talk at one time of pulling this fight but we have to be on death’s door to pull a fight.”
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The trainer added: “We rested him him up, took him for a few walks, gave him plenty of saunas and he came out of it. That’s the level of fitness he’s at. Even the sparring, we had him for a week and sent him home because he couldn’t spar four rounds, he was weak.” Fury’s 23rd career-victory sets up a mouth-watering clash with long-standing world heavyweight champion Klitschko, who holds the WBO, WBA and IBF belts.
Fury expressed doubts about Klitschko’s stomach for the battle, but promoter Frank Warren says the bout will go ahead next year. “It will happen,” Warren said. “The WBO have mandated it will happen. Klitschko’s next fight is in March and after that there’s 30 days for us to negotiate with him. The fight will be against Tyson Fury. He goes in as the number one mandatory challenger for the WBO title.”
Klitschko, who has won 63 of his 66 career fights, will represent a significant step up from Chisora, but Peter Fury is in no doubt about his man’s ability to beat the best. “Tyson will bring back a world title for Britain,” he said. “The thing with Tyson fury is you don’t know who is turning up. That’s why he has a big advantage – how can you prepare for someone like him? He’s able to switch his tactics up, he’s got that much potential.”
Billy Joe Saunders beat Chris Eubank Jr on points to retain his British, European and Commonwealth middleweight titles in a thrilling clash on the same card. Eubank, the less experienced, grew stronger as the fight wore on and proved a worthy opponent but it was Saunders who edged a close battle. A split decision saw two judges score the fight 115-114 and 115-113 in Saunders’ favour while one had Eubank victorious 116-113.
Saunders, 25, has won all 21 of his professional fights and will have a shot at claiming the WBO title against the winner of Andy Lee’s bout with Matt Korobov in Las Vegas next month.
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