IT TOOK JUST 12 amateur fights for Tommy Fury to reach the conclusion that following in the family footsteps was the direction for him to travel.
The younger brother of lineal world heavyweight champion Tyson makes his professional debut on Saturday night at the Manchester Arena at the age of just 19.
Fury has been patiently learning his trade over the last year, developing his skills first in the gym of Pat Barrett and now with Ricky Hatton at the Hyde base used by Tyson when training in the UK.
He should be well prepared for all eventualities in the professional game, given that he has been right in the thick of training camps involving Tyson and cousin Hughie over the years and has seen first-hand what it takes to reach the very top.
However, it still seems to have taken a little while for the youngest fighting Fury to branch out and forge his own path in the toughest sport of all.
“I don’t know about you, but it definitely has for me and I have been training all year – training very hard as well,” reported the light heavyweight, who will feature on the BT Box Office blockbuster card in Manchester in support of the IBF world featherweight title showdown between Josh Warrington and Carl Frampton. “I just think it has come at the right time and I couldn’t be on a better show, so it has been worth the wait.
“It is all setting in now and it has been surreal taking it all in because it is the first of many. It is in my home town in front of my crowd and I can’t wait. All my friends and family are going to be there so I will have to put on a good show on the night.”
An extended stint in the amateur code was not to the taste of Fury, who indicated that a lack of vested interest pushed him towards the pros.
“I had 12 amateur fights and won the North West title twice and then I went to the nationals and got to the final of that. In my last fight I boxed a kid who had the British title belt and I boxed him in Yorkshire for it and never got it.
“I beat him on a unanimous and thought, I’ve had 12 and know what it is about, if you can fight you can fight and there was no point hanging around because it is two completely different sports.
“Just because you are a good amateur doesn’t mean you will make a good pro.
“I didn’t like it at all, with those headguards on and the big gloves. It was not for me at all, point scoring and it is like a game of tig really. In the professionals, especially if you carry power, you need to sit down on your shots.
“In three rounds you can’t really do that,” he added, pointing out that now is the time for his turn in the spotlight.
“Looking back at it now over the years when Tyson and Hughie have been training. They’ve been getting all the coverage, doing the media workouts and doing the fighting – now it is my turn.
“Everyone has seen me lurking in the background for years wondering if I would ever get my shot. Now it has come I’ve got to look forward to the moment, but it has come and I am going to take it with both hands because these opportunities don’t come along all the time.
“I’ve got the best start and I am going to make it a good one.”
Tommy Fury makes his professional debut on Saturday night at the Manchester Arena as part of the huge world title card. Josh Warrington defends his IBF World Featherweight title against Carl Frampton exclusively live on BT Sport Box Office, Saturday 22 December. Watch for just £19.95, for more info visit www.bt.com/sportboxoffice