Tyson Fury has dismissed suggestions money is motivating him to fight with Deontay Wilder, even though he ideally would box again before challenging the dangerous American.
In what will be only the third fight of his comeback and despite having fought just 14 rounds in the previous three years, Fury will travel to Las Vegas in November to meet the WBC heavyweight champion.
He eased to victory against Francesco Pianeta at Belfast’s Windsor Park on Saturday night amid clear signs of ring rust, and will only be fighting under new trainer Ben Davison for just the third time.
In Vegas he will paid the biggest purse of his career – significantly more than that earned as the mandatory challenger to Wladimir Klitschko – and one that at 30 will mean he never needs to fight again, but he insisted: “I’m not going into this for a pay cheque.
“I wouldn’t lose for £100million; you can’t pay any amount of money for me to go to Vegas to get sparked out. If I didn’t believe I could win I’d pack up and retire. I don’t box to be second best or to make the numbers up, I box to be the best I can be.
“If I ain’t good enough so be it; I’m taking this fight because I know I can win. I know multi-millionaires and billionaires too – money doesn’t drive me.
“I’ll go to Vegas for free and fight Wilder. I’d rather have no money and win than £200 billion and lose.
“In an ideal world I could have done with another 10-round or 12-round fight; we know the world isn’t ideal.
“At least this time I’m going in with two fights. I’m happy with the performance. I’ll bring some great guys over (to spar in preparation for Wilder). I’ve got enough time to prepare for anybody.”
He described America’s Wilder – who has won 39 of his 40 fights inside the distance – as his “hardest fight”, and will have a short break before beginning his preparations for the American, with the aim of shedding a further six pounds by Vegas.
“I promised the wife and kids we’re going to go on a gypsy holiday, so I’ll get the trailer washed down tomorrow, put it on the road and away we go,” he joked.
“There will be no stones unturned. We are going to America to win. If I can come back from the brink of defeat, I can do anything. I know what life’s like on the other side, of having no hope.
“At one stage I thought I was going to end up in a padded room, never mind be back boxing. I didn’t think I was going to survive. I was on the verge of committing suicide.
“I’ll put my best foot forward and rise up to the occasion. Going into Wlad (Klitschko) I only had two fights: Dereck Chisora and Christian Hammer, then I had 10 months out before beating Wlad.”