Leicester Mercury

‘Mini Tyson Fury’ could blow his chances of lifting world title


SHELDON Purdy reckons he could blow his chance of becoming a world champion in Leicester next month, writes Matt Bozeat.

Purdy meets Tanzanian southpaw Adam Yahaya at the Morningsid­e Arena on Saturday, September 11 after being unable to entice one of the world’s top lightflywe­ights to the city.

The 36-year-old was willing to dip into his own savings to bring over a world-ranked fighter – and fears once the best in the 7st 10lbs division see the mini Tyson Fury in action they will never agree to fight him.

“I’ve offered top contenders and champions career-best money and they still won’t come here to fight me,” said Purdy ahead of his eight rounder on the Carl Greavespro­moted show.

“I was willing to throw big money at it to realise my dream of becoming a world champion. But nobody wanted to know.

“I’ve had to take footage of all my fights off YouTube because I think once they see I’m six inches taller than every other lightflywe­ight and have a 70 inch reach they don’t want to fight me.

“I’m like a mini Tyson Fury. I’m a nightmare to fight. Even if they beat me it’s going to be a tough night’s work.

“That’s why I took my fights off YouTube. But this next one is on the Fightzone app, so everyone will be able to see it.

“Once they see how tall I am and that I have the reach of a welterweig­ht, nobody will want to fight me and I might never get my world title shot.”

Wicha Phulaikhao struggled to lay a glove on Purdy at the King

Power Stadium in November 2019.

The Thai had twice challenged for world honours and Purdy felt his showing against him was proof he can mix with the best in the 7st 10lbs division.

“If it hadn’t been for Covid-19, I think I would have had a world title shot by now,” said Purdy.

“I was on the brink of massive fights. Covid came along at the wrong time and now I don’t know how long I’ve got left in boxing.

“I’m 36, I’ve been out of the ring for a while and I won’t know if I’m still me until the bell goes.”

Yahaya goes into the fight boosted by back-to-back stoppages, improving his record to 21 wins from 29 fights with two draws.

“He’s coming with ambition,” said Purdy, who has a two-year-old son Romeo with wife Tammy.

“This is only my eighth fight and I’ve got another opponent with a winning record who’s fought at championsh­ip level.”

The top-of-the-bill fight at the Morningsid­e Arena features Earl Shilton southpaw Kyle Haywood meeting Ryan Amos for the vacant Midlands Area super-welterweig­ht championsh­ip.

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