By Keith Idec
Tyson Fury figures it shouldn’t be all that difficult to win the one heavyweight title he never owned and to regain the four championships he gave up.
The extremely confident former champion will have to beat two undefeated knockout artists to take the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBC and WBO belts, but he doesn’t have high opinions of Deontay Wilder or Anthony Joshua.
The 30-year-old Fury (26-0, 19 KOs) is expected to challenge Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) for the WBC title in November if he defeats Francesco Pianeta on Saturday night at Windsor Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Fury’s fight against Italy’s Pianeta (35-4-1, 21 KOs) will mark his second appearance since ending a 2½-year layoff caused largely by Fury’s addiction and mental health issues.
“May I highlight this, a little bit of heavyweight knowledge, facts,” Fury said during a press conference Tuesday in Belfast. “Lineal champions in the past, returning after long periods of time, 98 percent of them were unsuccessful in their title challenges. Did you know that? [Moderator John Rawling replied: I didn’t know that.] Well, you do now! Listen, it’s gonna be a long, hard road, and Pianeta is another step in the right direction. But by no forgone conclusion am I gonna win every belt nice and easy. Or so the history books say. But I have got a terrible habit of breaking molds and [not] doing what people want to hear and say and all that stuff.
“So hopefully I can be one of those two percent to come back and win ‘em all back. But it’s very easy to do. To win all the belts back, I’ve only got to beat two bums, basically. Wilder and Joshua, and that’s it, really. And they both haven’t got a boxing brain cell between them. So it shouldn’t be too hard for a great boxer like meself. But then again, who knows? It’s one of them, isn’t it? All’s I know is [Pianeta is] in my way. Mission [is to] seek and destroy on Saturday night, get him out of there nice and quick, so we can go home. And then we’ll see what Mr. Wilder has to say in the ring.”
Wilder and Fury will officially announce their fight in the ring Saturday night, assuming the heavily favored Fury beats Pianeta, a 33-year-old southpaw who has been knocked out three times. The 32-year-old Wilder will watch the Fury-Pianeta fight from ringside, where he’ll serve as a guest commentator for BT Sport’s broadcast.
Fury-Pianeta also will be streamed as the opener of a two-fight offering on Showtime’s YouTube channel Saturday (4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT). Belfast’s Carl Frampton (25-1, 14 KOs) and Australia’s Luke Jackson (16-0, 7 KOs) are set to fight for the WBO’s interim featherweight title in 12-round main event.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.