Belfast - In the opening bout of SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL, lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury shut out Francesco Pianeta to line up a 2018 showdown with WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder. (photos Ramsey Cardy).
Fury (27-0, 19 KOs) established his jab against Pianeta (35-5-1, 21 KOs) and displayed the movement, hand speed and footwork that a prime “Gypsy King” utilized to dethrone Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 to become the unified and lineal heavyweight champion.
“I think it was a calculated boxing performance, as promised,” said Fury, who was fighting for just the second time in nearly three years. “We were able to get 10 good rounds in with a tough man. I was working on my boxing, trying to slip and slide, use the jab and get the rounds in. I was very happy with the performance.
“It’s no secret I need the rounds. I need to prove that I can go 10 rounds and have plenty left in the tank, and I did that tonight.”
After the fight, Wilder entered the ring to announce that the two undefeated heavyweights have agreed to a 2018 showdown for Wilder’s WBC title. A date and venue for the event, which will be produced and distributed by SHOWTIME PPV, will be announced shortly.
The 6-foot-9 Fury, who never lost his titles in the ring, will now face the 6-foot-7 Wilder, who has 39 knockouts in his 40 professional fights.