Tyson Fury will challenge WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas in November after easing to a 10-round victory over Francesco Pianeta at Belfast’s Windsor Park.
The 30-year-old needed only to defeat his overmatched opponent to secure the ambitious fight, which will represent only the third since his comeback began in June, and was afterwards joined in the ring by the powerful American where both fighters and promoter Frank Warren confirmed they will meet.
Crucially for Fury, after the disappointment of his four-round victory over Sefer Seferi in June, in being taken the ten round distance he was given the chance to shift much of the ring rust that would have developed during his near-three-year absence.
He will have to lose further weight and continue to rediscover his sharpness following an unremarkable performance in which he rarely hurt his opponent, but standing opposite Wilder, he vowed: “I’m going to win this man’s belt and bring it back to defend right here in Belfast.
“You can’t knock out what you can’t hit. This man (Pianeta) couldn’t land a blow on me. This was the performance I needed to prove against a tough opponent that I can move and box again at the best level.
“It was a calculated boxing performance as promised. Working on my boxing, get the rounds in. I’m very happy with my performance. It was a step up in opponent; I needed to box and move and still show I can go 10 rounds."
Frank Warren, who promotes Fury, views the contest with Wilder as the biggest heavyweight fight since Lennox Lewis traveled to the United States in 2002 to fight Mike Tyson in one of the most lucrative boxing events in history.
“It’s the best heavyweight fight out there in a long time, isn’t it? I would say the Klitschko against Joshua was a really good fight to watch, I’m not saying it wasn’t, but Klitschko had already been beaten by Fury," Warren said.
“These two guys are unbeaten, you got the lineal champion and the WBC champion. This is on the level of Lewis against Tyson. I think it’s a really big fight.”