‘I’D LOVE THE JOSHUA FIGHT’

Hughie Fury speaks to John Den­nen ahead of his IBF heavy­weight ti­tle elim­i­na­tor

Boxing News - - Q & A -

‘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

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