‘I’D LOVE THE JOSHUA FIGHT’
Hughie Fury speaks to John Dennen ahead of his IBF heavyweight title eliminator
‘NOW MENTALLY, PHYSICALLY I’M COMPLETELY DIFFERENT’
ON Saturday (October 27), Hughie Fury takes on Bulgaria’s Kubrat Pulev at Sofia’s Arena Armeec in a final eliminator for the IBF heavyweight title. Victory overseas would put Fury on course for the fight he craves, challenging the unified world champion Anthony Joshua.
Are you expecting the atmosphere in Bulgaria to be particularly hostile?
I’ve been out there before. It doesn’t really bother me what it’s going to be like or whatever. It’s just another day in the office.
What has your training camp been like for this fight?
The training camp’s been up in Bolton and training camp’s been torture. We’ve had all different types of sparring partners from all over the world.
What do you think of Pulev as an opponent?
With preparation we’ve got everything in order. We’ve prepared well and now we’re just going to go over and do the job and we’re looking forward to it.
Pulev’s a well rounded fighter, he’s got plenty of experience. But we’ve got all that covered. All his weaknesses and stuff we’ve kept a close eye on. We’re super prepared for all this. Everything he’s bringing we’ve got an answer for.
Why did you decide to go over to Bulgaria to fight him?
To me it’s just a fight. He’s a man at the end of the day, it’s a ring, he’s got a pair of gloves so it doesn’t really matter to me where it’s at.
Are you confident you can get a decision over there?
We’ve got our game plans and everything so like I say we’ll stick to our gameplan and it should all go to plan.
Will the winner of this inevitably fight Joshua?
100 per cent. This is the big fight and all the rewards I’ll reap afterwards. The main thing is just get past it.
What do you think of Joshua and what have you made of his recent performances?
Joshua’s done well to get where he’s at, he’s put the hard work in. But I think there are a lot of vulnerabilities there. I’d love that fight to happen.
It would be a massive fight but I’m not looking past Pulev at the minute. The main thing is do the job there on Saturday and onwards and upwards. Do you think Pulev missing out on his fight with Joshua (through injury) has affected him mentally at least?
He’s an experienced man and it [this fight] is in his back garden. So I don’t think it’s going to deflate him. He’s going to go there and give it his all isn’t he? So we’ll soon find out.
Stopping Sam Sexton in your British title fight, how would you appraise your performance there?
There’s different levels in boxing. Just getting back in there and letting my shots go, I felt a different person. But that was then and it’ll be a different Hughie Fury again.
With the British title, do you think you’ll vacate it or hold on to it?
We’ll soon find out. With this one I’m not focusing on anything else, all I’m focusing on is the Pulev fight.
Are there any other fights that have caught your eye for down the line?
All I’m interested in is getting to the top and getting world titles. The Joshua fight, that’s what’s on my mind. The first thing is get past this.
What are your thoughts looking back on the Joseph Parker fight?
It is what is. I was out of the ring for two and a half years going off of illnesses, it would have been nice to have a warm up fight but, listen, that’s life. You take what’s in front of you, you take the fight. So the main thing now is getting back up there as fast as possible. It makes a big difference [being active now]. Especially now mentally, physically I’m a completely different person.
Are there any heavyweights you look to model your style on?
If I look back at the greats it’s always Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes and even lighter fighters like Marvin Hagler, Tommy Hearns for their explosiveness, and Sugar Ray Leonard with the variety of shots. I like all them type of fighters. You’ve got your own style, you just look at things for experience. Your own style is your own style, you can’t really change and copy other people’s style. Looking at other people just shows you that bit of experience and bit of knowledge, shall we say.
Your cousin Tyson is fighting Deontay Wilder, how do you see that fight going?
I wish Tyson all the best and hope he does it.
Watch Pulev vs Fury live on free-to-air Channel 5 from 9pm on Saturday October 27.
BETTER PREPARED: Previously Fury has challenged Parker for a heavyweight world title