By Terence Dooley
Following on from last week’s confirmation that former heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury (25-0, 18 KOs) will return to the ring at the Manchester Arena on June 9 the 29-year-old held court at a press conference in Salford earlier today as he outlined his plans to get back to the pinnacle of the division following over two years out and a dual battle against depression and drug charges levelled at by the UKAD.
Now free to fight following a backdated UKAD ban, Fury joins Ancoats-based Terry Flanagan (33-0, 13 early) on the Frank Warren-promoted bill against an as yet unnamed opponent.
Flanagan, though, already has his opponent in place, he meets Maurice Hooker (23-0-3, 16 KOs) for the vacant WBO World light-welterweight title in his first fight at the new weight and has predicted that he will become a two-weight world titlist. “Me at my best beats Hooker at his best,” he declared.
“Frank knows that I like boxing in Manchester and hopefully I can put a show on on June 9. I like to get in the ring and do my talking, you’re going to see a bigger and better Terry Flanagan. I’ll become a two-weight world champion.”
With that said, Warren introduced Fury before reiteratin their desire to secure a showdown against IBF World, WBA Super World, IBO and WBO holder Anthony Joshua once he has a few fights under his belt. “I’ve missed Tyson Fury—he is what he is, he’s colourful,” declared Warren. “Fury against Joshua would not only be one of the biggest boxing events of my lifetime, but one of the biggest sporting events of my lifetime.”
Fury must first get back into competitive action. Despite a long layoff, the former British, Commonwealth and EBU champion argued that we have yet to see the best of him and that the break has done him more good than harm. “The two-and-a half years I have had out of the ring have helped me a lot,” he said. “Before I had a point to prove that I’m the best heavyweight on the planet. That fire is back again now—I can’t describe how delighted I am to be back.”
“My calling card is boxing and I have been blessed to have a talent that not many people have,” he added. “If I can come back from where I’ve been then anyone can. I am the people’s Champion and I’m finally going to get the chance to entertain the people of Manchester on June 9. Be there or be square.”
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