BRITAIN’S world heavyweight championship contender Tyson Fury likes to knock out his opponents, but he is no slouch when it comes to the verbal sparring, too.
His upward momentum stalled last year when a planned fight against former world champion David Haye was postponed on two occasions, with Haye now said to be considering retirement (again) due to a shoulder injury. Fury’s frustration boiled over ahead of his rearranged clash with Joey Abell of the USA next Saturday in London’s Copper Box Arena.
He said: “It was like I was going to win the lottery, had a winning ticket, and then I didn’t cash it. So obviously, I was a bit upset, but life goes on.
“This is boxing. Fighters pull out all the time. I don’t think he had any injuries the first time or second time.
“I’m on to different things and, hopefully, I’ll do well this year and I’ll forget about 2013 – unlucky for some, ’13, isn’t it? It was unlucky for me because it kept me inactive for the whole year. I only had one fight. But, this year is going to be a great year.”
The reason why, according to Fury, pictured above, is that he may get a world title chance against Wladimir Klitschko, holder of four of the championship belts, whose brother Vitali is the former WBC champion and is now one of the opposition leaders in Ukraine.
Predicting he would beat 37-year-old Wladimir even if the Ukrainian was only 25, Fury said: “Why can’t I beat Wladimir Klitschko? One, he’s never fought anybody of my stature and size and speed and movement and anything like that.
“Two, he specializes in sparring people, beating them up when they’re young and then bringing them over and knocking them out when they’re men. Well, he hasn’t sparred me or done anything to me when I’m young.
“Three, because I’ve already broke him down mentally to his face. And four, because [the late trainer] Emanuel Steward told him to his own face in front of a few people that I’d knock him out when my time was ready, in 18 months. That was 18 months to two years ago. So, if your mentor tells you you’re getting knocked out... you start to believe it.”
Fury wants to beat Abell to line up a rematch with Dereck Chisora to determine who is the best heavyweight in Britain once and for all.
Fury already has a decision over Chisora, but conceded that such a rematch is the only fight worth taking in Britain and a June date has already been set, possibly in a football stadium.
The giant Fury’s hackles were also raised by rival promoter Eddie Hearn’s claim that 2012 Olympic gold medallist Anthony Joshua could be only a year away from fighting Fury or Chisora.
“Eddie is full of hot air and is new to the game,” said Fury. “To talk about Anthony Joshua, a three-fight novice, against two seasoned professionals who have been there and done it and are highly ranked, is just nonsense.”
Fury’s father “Gypsy” John Fury was jailed for gouging out a man’s eye in a fight and the boxer revealed that, although he is out on licence, his father, who is also his trainer, won’t be at ringside next weekend.
“He’s not allowed to go anywhere near a public building for a few months, but he might make the one in June providing everything goes well,” said Fury.
Asked about opponent Abell, who some have said is an easy option, despite the American having 28 knockouts on his 38 fight record, Fury said: “I asked for an easy fight after 12 months out and they came back with a 6ft 4in southpaw puncher,” adding sarcastically, “can you get any easier?”
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