By Nick Parkinson, coutesy of The Daily Star
TYSON FURY insists he has no interest in going one better than Vitali Klitschko tonight.
The former British champion takes on American Kevin Johnson in a semi-eliminator for Klitschko’s WBC world heavyweight title.
Morecambe’s unbeaten Fury, 24, knows he cannot afford a shock defeat to Johnson at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast as he closes in on a shot at the Ukrainian.
Klitschko, 41, won every round but could not stop Johnson in a title defence three years ago, but Fury claims he feels under no pressure to win by stoppage.
He said: “I’m not interested in making any statement against Johnson – Tyson Fury is already a statement in himself.
“I’m not going in there to try and take him out with big shots from the first bell. I’m going to box to my usual best and I’m not looking to knock anyone out. I’m looking to box sensibly. This is my world title fight on the line. If I slip up, I lose everything.
“I’m not here to dance or play possum on the ropes, I’m here to fight. I’m going to give it to him proper and he’s going to go home as sick as a pig.”
Johnson’s only other setback was on points to compatriot Tor Hamer in the Prizefighter final in June, but Fury is dismissing the relevance of the American’s three performances at the York Hall.
He said: “He’s not a Prizefighter three-round fighter. He doesn’t start for three or four rounds, so his performances in Prizefighter mean nothing.”
Victory over Johnson, 33, will put Fury second in line to face Klitschko, or set up a shot at the vacant title, if the champion retires, against the winner of Chris Arreola versus Bermane Stiverne.
But Fury has this week been claiming he wants to go for Vitali’s younger brother Wladimir, who is the WBA, IBF and WBO champion.
Fury feels ready for either brother after adopting a stricter training schedule at the start of the year.
“In January I looked at myself in the mirror and saw an obese, fat pig,” he said. “I said I would either get myself in shape or hang up the gloves.
“We worked out a new training programme and I live on camp all year around. I’m really looking good.”
Fury has also hit out at abuse of him on Twitter about his gypsy heritage, saying: “I’m not here to be abused. I’m 6ft 9in and 18 stone. I will not be bullied.”