Hughie Fury will bid to emulate troubled cousin Tyson Fury and become a heavyweight world boxing champion as on Friday it was confirmed he will fight New Zealand’s WBO titleholder Joseph Parker on September 23rd.
It will be a doubly emotionally-charged night as the title fight will be at the Manchester Arena, where a suicide bomber blew himself up on May 22nd after the end of an Ariana Grande concert resulting in 22 dead and scores injured.
The 22-year-old Hughie – who like Tyson faces a hearing with UK-Anti Doping over allegations they tested positive for the steroid nandrolone in 2015 – said he would prove the sceptics wrong.
“I’ve waited so long for this chance and my team have worked very hard to get me this fight and I’d like to thank everyone involved,” said Fury.
“I’m going to shock the world and prove all my doubters wrong and what better place to do it than in my home city of Manchester.
“Parker is a good fighter and I’ve no doubt we’ll both bring our A-game on fight night. I can’t wait to be crowned world champion.”
The undefeated Fury has a fight lined-up next Saturday – his last combat was against Fred Kassi in April 2016.
He had been due to fight Parker on May 6th this year in New Zealand but had to pull out of the title challenge because of a back injury.
Parker – whose record reads 23 wins in 23 bouts with 18 knock-outs – said he wasn’t intimidated by having to fight on his challenger’s home turf.
“Fighting away from home holds no fears for me. I will arrive having previously fought on the undercard of a Wladimir Klitschko world title fight in Germany and also twice in America.
“I believe that with so many kiwis and Samoans living in the UK, I may even have more supporters in the crowd on fight night than Hughie Fury.”
Fury, who has a record of 20 wins with 10 inside the distance, had spoken in late May of his desire to bring some cheer to Manchester in the wake of the terror attack.
“My hope is that fighting in front of Manchester fans for the world title would help give the city some light after the darkness,” said Fury, who has never fought in Manchester.
“But even though I’m a fighter and go into the ring and take punches, the real heroes are the victims’ families who will now have to show incredible bravery to carry on with their everyday lives.
“The one thing that has really showed me the love and compassion of the people in the city, is how they have all pulled together in this terrible time.”
Provided by Press Association Sport
Australian challenger Jeff Horn has made a massive blunder by not training against superior sparring partners in the United States in preparation for Sunday’s title fight, Manny Pacquiao’s team says.
The legendary 38-year-old Filipino, one of the greatest fighters of his generation, is widely tipped to overcome the unbeaten Horn in front of an expected 50,000 people at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.
Pacquiao’s Australian strength and conditioning coach Justin Fortune said Thursday the ‘Fighting Schoolteacher’ hasn’t done his homework and will be outclassed by the master eight-weight world champion.
People talk about Pacquiao like he's Cotto, some sort of legacy fighter. But Pacquiao waxed Bradley and Vargas last year. Still impressive.— adam abramowitz (@snboxing) June 25, 2017
“Manny is one of the greats and Jeff Horn is in a different league,” former heavyweight Fortune told reporters.
“If Manny puts his mind to it he destroys anybody in the world. He’s busted up some of the greats. Jeff Horn is the guy to knock out and we’re in the hurt business.”
Fortune, who once fought against Lennox Lewis, said Horn should have spent eight weeks in America against the best available sparring partners.
“Then you might have given him a real shot if he’d been training with A-grade guys all the time,” he said.
“Instead he’s been using (Filipino) Czar Amonsot as a sparring partner and he is nowhere near as fast as Manny.
“Horn won’t know what hit him because Manny is that quick.”
Fortune said he gave Horn no chance of causing a major boilover against the warrior known as ‘Pac Man’.
“People say ‘well, Manny hasn’t knocked anyone out in years’ but these are AAA guys, with pro-level experience, current or former world champions,” Fortune said.
“This guy (Horn) has nowhere near the experience at all. He hasn’t walked out in front of 50,000 people, ever.
“Nerves take a lot out of you when you fight. It’s actually terrible, there’s nothing you can do about it, happens to all of us.
“Manny’s done it, he’s used to it, it’s no big deal. Jeff’s not. I don’t think they’ve realised that.”
Horn defended his training strategy, saying he was more than happy using Amonsot, who is ranked number three with the World Boxing Association at junior welterweight (140lb, 63kg).
“It’s very hard for anyone to copy the style of Pacquiao but we got the closest thing out there that we could,” Horn said.
“I’ve definitely sparred the best I ever have for this preparation and I’m really happy with the rounds Czar gave me.”
Horn said while Pacquiao might be faster than him, he had an awkward style that the Filipino has not faced before.
“My style will give him problems and it’s a matter of timing him so that I can make him miss and land my hard shots,” he said.
Pacquiao (59-6-2, 38 knockouts) is one of the greats, while Horn, 29, has won 16 of his 17 bouts with one draw.
Pacquiao, who briefly retired last year before making a successful comeback against Jessie Vargas in November, has not stopped an opponent since his 12th round TKO of Miguel Cotto in 2009.
Trainer Freddie Roach has suggested Sunday’s fight is a stepping stone for Pacquiao to secure a rematch with American rival Floyd Mayweather, who outpointed the Filipino in the “Fight of the Century” two years ago.
Provided by AFP Sport
Gennady Golovkin has revealed his fight with Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez could be his last if their rivalry does not develop into a series.
Their WBC, WBA and IBF middleweight unification match-up at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena on September 16 has long represented the most enticing head-to-head for the boxing purist.
Victory would also prove each man’s finest hour in the ring, and could even be the 35-year-old Golovkin’s last a fighter.
Should the Kazahkstani win, he will have established himself as one of the finest middleweights in history and, at a time when observers believe he is showing signs of decline, he could choose to call it a day.
“Maybe after this fight, I’m finished,” said Golovkin, whose retirement would deny Britain’s WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders a potential high-earning fight. “Maybe not. I feel very good.
“Okay I’m 35 but I feel like I’m 25. But this is boxing, not soccer, it’s not a game, this is a fight and every fight is very difficult.”
Alvarez’s promoter Oscar De La Hoya expects such a competitive and entertaining affair that he has already spoken of the potential for a trilogy, though, and that is also on Golovkin’s radar.
“I’m ready, I want (a trilogy),” he said. “I believe it’s possible. It’s very interesting for me as we have a situation to (have a) rematch, maybe two or three fights.
“Now (after going the 12-round distance for the first time against Daniel Jacobs in March), I know I can do it. Before, they asked questions.”
The undefeated Golovkin’s aggression and ability, which has ensured 33 stoppage victories from his 37 fights and that he has fought for 12 rounds only once, has built his popularity in Mexico.
In 26-year-old Alvarez he is facing their most-loved active fighter, but, asked if he is risking his own popularity there, he responded: “I don’t know, seriously, I remember my fight with Kell (Brook, in London ), I come to the ring, ‘Boo’. Couple of rounds (later), ‘Okay, applause’.
“For me it doesn’t matter, American guy, Mexican guy… I love sport. We go to the ring for boxing, it’s sport for us, not political. Not ‘I kill you because you’re Mexican’. No, this is crazy.
“I know Mexican people, the same like UK people; everybody understands boxing, everybody loves boxing.”
Provided by Press Association Sport