Tyson Fury disagrees with the skeptics who’ve dismissed Dereck Chisora as an over-the-hill heavyweight who has no chance to upset him Saturday night.
Fury insists that Chisora did enough to out-point Oleksandr Usyk, the opponent most boxing fans wanted him to fight Saturday night, in their 12-rounder two years ago. The unbeaten WBC champion admits styles make fights, but based on the competitive nature of a fight Usyk won in October 2020 and his personal experiences with Chisora in the ring, Fury assured detractors that he has taken training very seriously for what he expects will be a grueling fight at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
The 34-year-old Fury fully understands that one punch can change his career for the worse, even when faced with an opponent who will turn 39 next month and has lost seven fights since Fury stopped him in their rematch eight years ago.
“I hear all these critics talking bullsh!t, who basically never took a punch in their life,” Fury said during a press conference Thursday in London. “But in a two-horse race, never underestimate anybody because anything can go wrong. And as we’ve seen many, many times in the past, when champions overlook their opponents and think, ‘You know what? I’m thinking about other names. I’m thinking about other big fights.’ And then you got the opponent training away nice and steadily, under no pressure, goes in there and knocks the motherf----- out. Seen it time and time again.
“But for me, that will never happen because I train very hard and I respect every opponent that I’ve ever faced. I give 110 percent every time I’m in the gym. I put in nine weeks of training for this fight. I’ve never had sex for six weeks. I wanna come in there like a rampant rabbit. And I wanna just put on a good show. You know, Dereck’s gonna come and [try to] knock me out. And I’m gonna come and try and knock him out, so there we are. It’s gonna be on like Donkey Kong. There’s nothing more to say.
Fury’s handlers tried to make a full unification fight versus Usyk (20-0, 13 KOs) and then what would’ve been an enormous domestic showdown with Anthony Joshua (24-3, 22 KOs) for Saturday night. When neither of those more meaningful matches materialized, Fury focused on fulfilling a promise he once made to Chisora by granting his friend a title shot.
Despite the wide odds on their third fight – at least 20-1, according to most sportsbooks – approximately 60,000 tickets have been sold to the card headlined by Manchester’s Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) and London’s Chisora (33-12, 23 KOs).
“Like I said earlier,” Fury recalled, “in the first press conference, like, ‘Why did you fight Dereck Chisora, because you’ve beaten him twice already?’ The thing is, like Dereck said, there’s a lack of names in the division. There’s plenty of depth in the division. There’s a thousand heavyweights in the world. But there’s a lack of household names. I could’ve fought somebody, I don’t know, 34-0, from I don’t know where, some foreign country. And everyone would’ve been like, ‘Who the f--- is this guy?’
“But you mention Dereck Chisora, they know who Dereck is, for good, bad or indifferent reasons, controversial, whatever, they all know who he is. And you know, [we’re] both known, so we’re gonna put on a good show. We sold out 60,000 tickets at Tottenham. So [there’s] very much interest.”
Fury-Chisora III is the main event of a BT Sport Box Office pay-per-view show in the United Kingdom and Ireland (6 p.m. GMT; £26.95). The 12-round battle between Fury and Chisora will be the main event of a fight-five stream by ESPN+ in the United States as well (1 p.m. ET; 10 a.m. PT).
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.