By Frank Warren
There is a saying that goes ‘anything worth having is worth waiting for’ and I reckon this is particularly true of Fury-Klitschko part two now we have finally got it over the line.
The top two heavyweights in the world will once again be sorting out the real pecking order of the division at the Manchester Arena on October 29 in what will be a spectacular night of boxing, live and exclusive on BoxNation.
We are thrilled to be broadcasting this event on the Channel of Champions, which continues to go from strength to strength and keeps delivering the big fights boxing fans want to see. There is also plenty to look forward to before Tyson makes his long-awaited return to the ring, not least Liam Smith taking on the might of Canelo Alvarez on September 17.
The week after that we are in Germany for Ovill McKenzie’s challenge for the IBO Cruiserweight title held by Marco Huck on a card that will also see Jamie Cox back in action. Then it is off to Harrow on October 8 to see if Liam Walsh can secure his ticket to the super featherweight top table in a final eliminator against Andrey Klimov, before we head back to Cardiff for a British title triple-header featuring Liam Williams–Ahmet Patterson, Chris Eubank Jnr-Tommy Langford and Bradley Skeete-Shayne Singleton.
And before that bumper package of fights, this weekend we will see if Roman Gonzalez can win a world title at four different weights when he challenges for the WBC super flyweight belt against the champion Carlos Cuadras.
Returning to the Manchester theme, Fury-Klitschko II has been billed as ‘Repeat or Revenge’, but it could just as easily be titled ‘The Gypsy Kings night’, as our WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders will be making a first defence of his belt in chief support of the main event.
There is also an intriguing contest booked in that could well leave Tyson dealing with a pleasing conundrum, courtesy of cousin Hughie.
Having lost the IBF belt in the aftermath of claiming the unified championship against Klitschko in November, due to not being in a position to fulfil a quickfire mandatory, he might end up choosing to drop another should he retain his status as top dog in the division when Dr Steelhammer comes calling on the 29th.
This is because we have secured up a marquee fight for young Hughie against Bob Arum’s highly ranked heavy, Andy Ruiz jr.
The Mexican-born Ruiz really is no mug, 26-years-old with a record of 28-0, with 19 of those wins via KO. He is ranked highly by three of the four governing bodies and at No.3 by the WBO, while Hughie is not far behind at No.5.
It will be a final eliminator contest between the pair, with the winner becoming mandatory for the winner of the headline fight.
So if Klitschko were to upset the applecart and reclaim his titles, he will not be able to shake off the Fury family as Hughie will be coming for him if he is successful against Ruiz.
If both the Fury boys win on the night, then who knows? It will be very interesting, but I don’t anticipate a family feud breaking out over the belt and Peter Fury can’t be in both corners.
First things first though, both have a big job on first before there is any talk of potentially dividing the family treasure.
It may, on the face of it, appear to be a jump in at the deep end for Hughie at the age of just 21, but he has never really been handed any knockover jobs.
His father Peter has schooled him tough and doesn’t place any value on fights that don’t last much longer than the ring walk. He has always sought to provide him with a hard night’s work, which is borne out by the 92 rounds he has on the clock from his 20 fights.
Some might say Hughie’s CV is devoid of the spectacular finishes of someone like Anthony Joshua, but that is because he has been tested every step of the way and not wrapped in cotton wool to protect his marketability.
It also demonstrates the total belief Peter has in his boy. This will be his toughest test to date though and, if successful, he will enter the elite end of the heavyweight division.
Hughie has had health issues to contend with that were largely responsible for his lethargic display against Fred Kassi at the end of April at the Copper Box. However, Kassi is not in the business of making anyone look good, having taken recent Joshua challenger Dominic Breazeale to the cards in his previous fight and was deemed unlucky to have the decision go against him.
He has taken time out since for treatment to a skin condition that was also sapping his energy levels. When he returns it will be at full throttle and he will need to be against Ruiz.
I believe he is ready to take the plunge now, he enjoys world class training camps with Peter and knows from Tyson what it takes to reach the top.
I have said before that Tyson and Hughie will turn out to be Britain’s answer to the Klitschkos and I am confident we will see two world champions in the Fury family in 2017.
More from Frank tomorrow