Current Irish heavyweight champion Tyson Fury will make his U.S. debut April 20th when he squares off with Steve Cunningham under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden in a World Boxing Council title eliminator.
Fury established himself as World Elite in the heavyweight division maintaining a perfect record through 20 fights capturing British, Commonwealth, and Irish titles in just a few years. Fury left British and Commonwealth titles on the table for reasons of his own, capturing the title in and representing the country that truly feels like home.
Fury told Irish Boxing “I think I have showed my true colours over the years. I vacated the British and Commonwealth titles, which some people say are more prestigious than the Irish title, but not to me. I vacated those belts for an Irish title shot because it meant more to me.”
The seemingly rash decision becomes quite understandable after Fury explains, “All my people are from Ireland. I was born in Manchester but I am Irish. I have lived in Ireland, visited all my life and when I fight I represent Ireland. It means alot to me as does the support I get when I fight in Belfast.”
And it was in Belfast about a year ago when Fury proudly captured the Irish title in a TKO victory over Martin Rogan. The 24 year old now sets his sights on a heavyweight title and fellow boxing greats agree.
Retired fighter Ricky Hatton, who held Light Welterweight titles and a Welterweight title in the WBA, IBF, and IBO, spoke to Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast and urged Fury to take control over the heavyweight division.
Hatton told Talk Sport, “Fury needs to kick on and make a move. The heavyweight division is wide open. The Americans can’t produce a heavyweight contender for toffee, can they?”
Hatton went on to explain that the heavyweight division’s most talented fighters, the Klitschkos brothers, won't be around for ever and that Fury needs to continue to seize the opportunities he’s earned.
“It won’t be long before the Klitschkos retire, and now is the time for him (Fury) to make serious moves and he’s doing that by making his debut in America at Madison Square Garden. Apart from the Klitschkos there’s no-one he should really fear and he should take the bull by the horns.”
Fury will hope to be one step closer to a World title after April’s fight. Hatton explains Fury has all the tools to win, he’ll just have to use them right.
“He’s got the ability and lately he’s been looking really good. A couple of years ago he was a bit hit and miss..good performance followed by a bad one, but he’s now getting some consistency.”
Fury will hope to keep his new found consistency as opponents will only be getting tougher each fight he wins.
Where does the term “the luck of the Irish” come from?