By Chris McKenna, courtesy of The Daily Star
TYSON FURY is ready to go from king of the ring to champion of the chat shows as he aims to become a big hit in America.
The British heavyweight faces little-known German Tom Schwarz on June 15 in Las Vegas.
It is the first fight in his £80m deal with US broadcasting giants ESPN and American promoter Top Rank as he plots to take America by storm.
Fury will fly out to Las Vegas to finish off his training at Top Rank’s gym just off the Strip on Sunday ahead of the bout next month.
And his new US promoter Bob Arum is going to lay on a private jet to take him to LA for big chat shows like James Corden’s Late Late Show and Jimmy Kimmel Live.
That is because he believes Fury can become a household name in the US like former heavyweight champion George Foreman, who became as famous for a cooking grill as his career in the ring.
“When I met him and talked with him, immediately in my head two names came and one was Muhammad Ali and the other was Foreman,” said hall-of-fame promoter Arum.
“He can talk like Ali and resonate like Foreman.
“He will be known not only as a fighter, the goal is to get the ‘Mom and Pop’ follow him – the people that are interested in what goes on in America even if they are not sports fans or boxing fans.
“They will be attracted to him like they were with George Foreman.”
Fury was sporting a suit and shirt combo that had the faces of some of the greatest heavyweights in history plastered all over it at yesterday’s press conference to announce his June 15 fight.
The unbeaten former world champion said: “What Bob was referring to wasn't Foreman the fighter, but what he did with him as a promoter. i.e. he got him the grill deal which made him $250m.
“I said to Bob, what's your motivation for this deal? He told me he wants to ride a massive wave of success with Tyson Fury and I'll say that motivates me as well.
“I want to ride a massive tidal wave, a tsunami, of big fights. That's what I want to do. I want to cement my legacy of the greatest of my era and my division.”
For Fury to cement that legacy then the big fights with WBA, IBF, IBO and WBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and a rematch with WBC title holder Deontay Wilder have to happen.
But Fury told compatriot Joshua he needs to “grow up” and fight the big names as he prepares to face Andy Ruiz Jnr on June 1 in New York.
“Joshua is in my rear view mirror,” added Fury. “He’s stuck in a certain year. The big fights ain’t happening for him.
“He needs to grow a set of nuts and step up to the plate instead of talking about fighting the heavyweights and actually fight some.
“People are sick of hearing all the same stuff with him – grow up and step up to the plate and fight somebody.”