NEARLY TYSON TIME
By Frank Warren
THE TYSON FURY Roadshow is closing in on a North London stop at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday, where he will once more come up against his old adversary Derek Chisora, this time for the world heavyweight championship.
I think one thing we can all agree on about both Tyson and Derek is that there is never a dull moment when they are around. Put them together, so much the better.
These two are entertainers, fearless performers who always put on a show and deliver for the fans. I expect no different this weekend and Derek will be particularly fired up to prove that this is no foregone conclusion.
The two previous fights will have no bearing on this one. They were so long ago and both are completely different fighters now. Tyson has added bludgeoning power and brute force to his artillery.
Derek is a far more dangerous and consistent animal these days. He used to blow a bit hot and cold with his performances, depending on his mood, but now with the affection of the public behind him, he is a match for anyone.
There really are no easy pickings with Derek but, I can’t lie, I believe Tyson will win and win in style. That said, I feel the same way about Tyson taking on anyone in the world today.
I just hope I will be there to see it, even if it does mean venturing across to N17. Some of you might have noticed that I have been missing in action of late and it is down to the fact that I have undergone yet another operation on my back to try and alleviate the agony.
Much as it pains me to miss out on media events and fight nights because it is what I enjoy most, I have been ordered to rest. However, I will be doing my utmost to get myself there on Saturday and I am so looking forward to the occasion and also welcoming my old mucker Bob Arum back to London.
As well as seeing the No.1 heavyweight on the planet in action again, I am excited to see one of his eventual successors back in the ring when Daniel Dubois defends his WBA world championship against Kevin Lerena.
Everybody knows how highly I rate young Daniel and he has made huge strides since turning professional with us back in 2017. We are now at the point of no return and Daniel has got to be ready for the ultimate tests next year against the other big players in the division.
I believe he is ready and it is going to make for many massive events in 2023 when you consider Tyson wants to fight three times and Daniel and Big Joe Joyce will want nothing less. It is going to be a humdinger of a year for the heavyweights, what with Deontay Wilder, Anthony Joshua and Andy Ruiz also coming back into the mix.
Daniel has got a job to do first against Lerena, who comes over from South Africa high on confidence. He is a former IBO world champion at cruiserweight and the leading cruisers have made a massive impact on the heavyweight division in modern times.
FROM THE VANTAGE point of my armchair I was mightily impressed and happy with most of what I saw from The O2 on Saturday just gone.
Our young fighters did themselves and us proud with their title winning exploits. I thought Dennis McCann and Sam Noakes were excellent in seizing their Commonwealth title belts against good opponents and Pierce O’Leary dealt well with a tough, tough operator to win his first professional title.
Hamzah Sheeraz was simply outstanding in his Commonwealth title triumph over River Wilson-Bent and he demonstrated what a major force he is becoming at middleweight.
A big well done and congratulations to all of them, including young Tommy Fletcher, the strapping cruiserweight with dynamite in his hands. It is going to be a lot of fun watching Tommy progress and, with the size of him at his age, surely it is only a matter of time before he jumps up to join the heavy mob.
The downside of the evening was the unfortunate retirement of Zach Parker in his WBO Interim world title clash against John Ryder. I thought he was doing well in the fight and had him 3-1 up when the fight was pulled.
I don’t question his fortitude or bottle. Zach must have been in a lot of pain to take himself out of the firing line and I don’t want to see fighters risk their long-term future by carrying on with serious injuries.
Zach has now got to recover well and get ready to go again. There is no easy path and he will have to work his way back up the rankings. He has got time on his side and I expect him to do just that.
IN A LITTLE sub-plot from the weekend, I was baffled to hear the criticism directed at Hamzah Sheeraz by Amir Khan, who labelled our man arrogant and ignorant.
I know I speak for many when I say you couldn’t wish to find a more polite and courteous individual than Hamzah. He is a proper young gentleman who is so diligent and dedicated when it comes to his boxing.
I don’t know if there is a personal issue between Amir and Hamzah that is clouding relations, but as Amir will know well, the best way to resolve such a dispute is to stick the gloves on and sort it out.
I’m sure Amir wouldn’t have any problem making middleweight these days!