By Kevin Francis, courtesy of The Daily Star
TYSON FURY says he will walk away from boxing if he loses to Neven Pajkic in Manchester tonight.
The 23-year-old defends his Commonwealth heavyweight title against the Canadian at EventCity.
And the unbeaten Romany gypsy says he will be so upset if he can’t beat Pajkic that he will hang up his gloves for good.
Like Fury, Bosnian-born Pajkic has won each of his 16 bouts but the 6ft 9in Brit believes the challenger is simply not in his class.
He said: “If I lose to the likes of him I am never going to be world champion. If I lose I’ll retire. If Pajkic gives me a hard fight I’ll retire.
“Becoming world champion is my aim.
“Losing to Pajkic would be unpalatable for me. I have a dream and I don’t want that dream to be shattered.
“I do believe that by this time next year I will be heavyweight champ-ion of the world. I am convinced of that.
“Then, in 2112 and 2113, I aim to unify the division by becoming the undisputed world champion. That’s how confident I am.”
Fury’s promoter Mick Hennessy shares his fighter’s confidence in getting right to the very top of the heavyweight ranks.
He said: “I honestly believe that, within 18 months to two years, he will be the No.1 heavyweight in the world.
“And, not only that, I believe that he has all the ability to become the biggest name in the sport as well.”
But the 34-year-old Pajkic, who defected to Canada in 1996, will present a difficult obstacle for Fury to overcome.
He is the reigning Canadian champ and will certainly pose problems for Fury who captured the British and Commonwealth titles in July.
He relieved Dereck Chisora of both belts in that fight with an impressive 12-round win over the previously unbeaten Londoner.
Now he faces Pajkic in what is a genuine grudge match between two fighters who clearly dislike each other.
They exchanged words at ringside when in Canada last year with Pajkic throwing a towel at Fury during a verbal dust-up.
Fury said at a press conference with Pajkic this week: “If I wasn’t scared of getting my boxing licence taken off me, I would have jumped up and smashed my fist in his face. He has said some bad things about my family.
“I am going to punish this kid. I am an animal and going to unleash the beast.”
PREDICTION: I have never seen Fury looking so determined and I take him to finish off Pajkic around the sixth.
THE Fury-Pajkic fight will be shown live on Channel 5 from 9.45pm tonight.