By Frank Warren
THE jury is still split over Tyson Fury’s credibility as a viable world heavyweight title contender.
But it appears the 6ft 9in foghorn from Wilmslow, Cheshire will secure his shot at a Klitschko in 2013 if he can see off Atlanta’s Kevin Johnson in an official WBC eliminator at Belfast’s Odyssey Arena this evening.
Fury, 24, is still learning. He needs to work a bit more on his defence and strategy but is young enough to do so.
An incorrigible risk taker, he’s sometimes easy to tag with right hands and his eagerness to thrill fans by letting his heart rule his head may change with maturity and more experience.
To be fair, Fury has shown significant improvement in his last two outings after hooking up with his uncle Peter.
When he shows up in shape — as he did to beat Dereck Chisora last year — he’s a formidable fighting force.
In his teens, he won medals at both the European and World junior championships and was also a senior ABA champion so there’s pedigree there.
Commercially, his potential is limitless.
He has chiselled good looks, charm and has not been shy to exploit his English, Irish or gypsy heritage.
Already — due to terrestrial TV exposure on Channel Five — Fury is the most watched boxer in Britain.
If he can remain unbeaten, it’s conceivable he could be involved in stadium fights with David Price or either of the Klitschko brothers in the next 12-18 months.
Fury has changed trainers like most change their socks and has a history for struggling with weight management.
His father John, a bare-knuckle champion, is serving 11 years. Maintaining discipline could be the crux to how far young Tyson advances, only time will tell.
Still, the Fury Express should not be derailed tonight. His opponent is a short-notice sub, a tricky performer but not a big puncher who will do well to survive the scheduled 12 rounds.
Fiercely proud of his Irish traveller roots, Fury is seeking to become the first world champion from that community in the gloved era.
Tonight should keep him on course.
SAD news landed from the great fighting island of Puerto Rico last weekend that triple world champion Hector Camacho had been killed following a drive-by shooting.
A father of five, he was just 50 but had a long history of drug and alcohol abuse and was no stranger to the nick.
Cott the lot
MADISON Square Garden will come alive tonight for Miguel Cotto, the current darling of the Puerto Ricans.
The three-weight world champ meets unbeaten New Mexico southpaw Austin Trout for the WBA light-middle title and fans can catch the action live from 2am.
SOME say a better bet to become Britain’s first gypsy world champ might be middleweight Billy Joe Saunders.
The 23-year-old thoroughbred Romany has already claimed the Southern Area and Commonwealth titles and will be looking to upgrade to British champ when he clashes with Wiltshire whirlwind Nick Blackwell on my ExCel Arena promotion on December 15.