Tyson Fury’s comeback opponent has been chosen to avoid the same pitfalls that undermined David Haye, his promoter Frank Warren has revealed.
Albania’s little-known Sefer Seferi will be the former IBF, WBA IBO and WBO heavyweight champion’s first opponent when he returns to the ring after an absence of over two and a half years at the Manchester Arena on June 9.
Despite being a career cruiserweight he is considered the durable figure Fury needs to regain the sharpness with which he once excelled, and without which Haye struggled.
After three years’ inactivity Haye fought twice in five months against opponents who failed to last even a combined three rounds, and when he then stepped up against Tony Bellew he suffered unexpected defeats while struggling with the ring rust he was yet to shed.
Improved preparations would have given him far greater chance of reviving a career that has since been left in ruins, and it is that very approach that Warren and Fury are looking to avoid.
“Here’s a guy getting into the ring not throwing the shots he normally throws,” the promoter told Press Association Sport of Haye.
“Winging in hooks because that was the only way he could put his weight down to land anything. He couldn’t throw off the back foot, front foot, because the legs wouldn’t take it.
“The difference with Haye – and I like Haye, we were close to doing something with him – is he was coming through with injuries, and looking for guys he could bang over as quickly as possible for obvious reasons.
“I don’t think he could do any rounds because had he done any he would have got the injury. They chose to do it that way; we’re not.
“Tyson’s been out of the ring for nearly 1,000 days. I made it very clear – his first couple of fights back are just going to be getting him ring-fit. Seferi went the distance with Manuel Charr so that’s a gauge for us; is he going to go the distance with Tyson?
“Tyson’s looking for a couple of guys to get the rust out of his system, and then we’ll step him up.”
Among those who have been sparring Fury is Tom Little, who on June 23 at London’s 02 Arena fights the promising Daniel Dubois for the vacant English heavyweight title, and he is adamant that Fury is already performing to his very best.
“I found the best heavyweight on the planet,” said the 30-year-old.
“The man’s unbelievable; he’s got the best timing I’ve ever seen in my life. He opens your eyes to what levels are in boxing.
“I didn’t feel out of place with him, but he’s another level. He’s got the best boxing brain I’ve ever seen. Phenomenal.”