By Terence Dooley
Peter Fury watched his son, Hughie (21-1, 11 KOs), demolish Norwich’s Sam Sexton in five rounds to win the British heavyweight title in Bolton in May in what he believes was the perfect comeback performance following last September’s bitterly contested decision defeat to former WBO holder Joseph Parker at the Manchester Arena.
The 23-year-old was adjudged to have lost by scores of 118-110 from John Madfis and Terry O'Connor, with the third judge Rocky Young scoring it 114-114, and this prompted Peter to claim that the odds are stacked against them.
However, the trainer also told BoxingScene at the time that the defeat would bring out his son’s destructive streak going forward and that this was the case when he took it to Sexton, who was floored in rounds four and five before referee Terry O'Connor waved it off at 2:03 of the fifth.
“It was a much better power performance this time,” said Fury when speaking to BoxingScene about the win and Hughie’s next move. “Hughie did what he intended to do, to not make the mistake of relying on the judges and to take things into his own hands.
“Sometimes it is a blessing when things go against you. He is a young man, and now he knows that he can punch and hurt anyone. There is a lot more to his game and arsenal and he’s getting better and better. Hughie is world-level, if you can’t see that then you don’t know boxing, so no one wants to fight him or if they do they want a lot of money for it. We had him beating Parker comfortably, but the judges didn’t see it that way. Parker fought ‘AJ’, and I don’t think Joshua did any better against Parker than Hughie did yet he won it by a landslide, which shows the politics we have in boxing.
“This is boxing. Hughie has got to make his mark, put all that behind him and move on. We hope for better, serious fights any time soon as [promoter] Mick Hennessy is looking at opponents to get him out again as soon as possible.”
There is talk of vacating the Lonsdale belt in order to meet a world-ranked opponent next. They are still waiting on word of his next fight date, but are also keen to ensure that he does not sit on the title and prevent other heavyweights from earning the right to contest it and move on with their own careers.
“Hughie respects the belt, he is very happy to have won it, but we have yet to decide whether to defend it or relinquish it and move on — we are looking at all the options,” revealed Fury. “If the right fight crops up we will take it and vacate so that someone else can fight for what is a very prestigious title. The British title is one that Hughie is proud to have won, it was a proud moment for our family as well.”
Channel 5 netted approximately 1.5 million viewers for the free-to-air fight, proving once again that heavyweight boxing is a big sporting draw. Fury hopes to parlay these figures into wider exposure in order to build enough momentum to once again force a mandatory title shot.
“The viewing figures were unbelievable actually, crazy figures, and we were absolutely delighted with them and the event overall, really,” he said. “I don’t think Hughie will get any world titles gifted to him so we will have to go down the mandatory path again. No one gets gifted anything, if you can fight and you are world-class you will get there regardless and I’m sure we will get there again.
“Hughie is very fit, he is a 12 round fighter and doesn’t start blowing over the rounds — he trains to do those rounds. We spar him against all different opponents, push and train him hard, and he will never lose a fight due to being tired or not having the engine to do the rounds, he can do them without any problems.”
Update: The IBF look set to put Fury forward for a final eliminator against Kubrat Pulev after Pulev's team failed to agree terms with Jarrell Miller. Dmitry Salita, Miller's promoter, has told Sky Sports that talks broke down over the location of the fight after Pulev won the purse bids and his team proposed putting it on in Sofia.
“We were trying for the fight to happen in the United States, or at the very least some kind of neutral territory, and we just couldn't make that deal,” said Salita.
“We'll explore other options, but I think we'll have something significant to announce soon.”
Fury is currently rated at number five with the IBF and number four rated contender Alexander Povetkin is likely to challenge their holder Anthony Joshua in September, paving the way for Pulev and Fury to fight for the right to meet Joshua down the line.
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