If Tyson Fury is still serious about returning to the ring July 22 in London, Frank Sanchez is more than willing to travel to England for a shot at Fury’s WBC heavyweight title.
The undefeated Fury has publicly complained about the trouble he and his team have had securing an opponent since negotiations with Oleksandr Usyk’s handlers ended late in March. Fury revealed recently that former IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO champ Andy Ruiz Jr. asked for a $20 million purse to face Fury in the brash Brit’s home country.
Sanchez would be much more reasonable than Ruiz if Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs) is interested in defending his title against the unbeaten Cuban contender.
“Tyson is a great fighter, no question,” Sanchez told BoxingScene.com. “But lately he’s been talking more than fighting. He is sitting on the belt. Tyson has grown fat and lazy as champion. He is talking more than fighting at this point. Shut up and defend your title!
“He says he cannot find an opponent. Well, I am ready at a moment’s notice. I believe in my heart that I am the best heavyweight in the world. All I need is a chance to prove it.”
Sanchez (22-0, 15 KOs) is ranked fourth among the WBC’s contenders for Fury’s title.
Former WBC champ Deontay Wilder is ranked number one, but Fury has beaten him by seventh-round technical knockout and 11th round knockout in their past two fights. Wilder (43-2-1, 42 KOs) also is reportedly a candidate to fight former IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO champ Anthony Joshua next in December in Saudi Arabia.
Ruiz (35-2, 22 KOs), who is ranked second by the WBC, apparently has priced himself out of a Fury fight. Joshua (25-3, 22 KOs) is ranked third by the WBC, but the British superstar isn’t a candidate to face Fury next.
Fury last fought December 3 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, where he dominated Dereck Chisora (33-13, 23 KOs) in what was commonly considered an unnecessary third bout between them.
Chinese heavyweight contender Zhilei Zhang was a candidate to fight Fury on July 22, but he was eliminated as a potential opponent when Joe Joyce activated his immediate rematch clause. Zhang (25-1-1, 20 KOs) upset London’s Joyce (15-1, 14 KOs) by sixth-round technical knockout April 15 at OVO Arena Wembley in London.
If Fury doesn’t return to the ring in the summer, it is possible that a year could elapse between his title defenses. Ukraine’s Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs), who owns the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO belts, hasn’t fought since his split-decision defeat of Joshua in their 12-round rematch last August 20 at Jeddah Superdome in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
“Tyson and Usyk are basically fighting once a year,” Sanchez said. “It is not right for every other contender in line for a title fight.”
Sanchez, 30, is also ranked third by the WBO and sixth by the IBF. The Miami resident, who is trained by Eddy Reynoso, most recently knocked out journeyman Daniel Martz (20-11-1, 17 KOs) in the first round of a tune-up fight April 8 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
Sanchez’s tentative plan is to box Chris Arreola (39-7-1, 34 KOs, 2 NC) next on a Premier Boxing Champions card, but he obviously would jump at the opportunity to fight Fury instead.
“I have to do whatever it takes to stay busy in my career,” Sanchez said. “I’m going back to camp with Eddy Reynoso at the end of this month. One way or another, I will be fighting this summer. I cannot be inactive. I recently took a tune-up fight to stay busy because it is better than not fighting. But I want to fight top names like Fury, Wilder, Ruiz, Usyk and Joshua. My time is coming soon, but it is becoming more and more difficult to stay patient.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.
ADD COMMENT VIEW COMMENTS (34)