Tyson Fury has landed in Belfast predicting fight fans are going to get their first glimpse of the future heavyweight champion of the world.
The British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion clashes with North American title holder Nicolai Firtha on Saturday night at the King’s Hall and he is believes it is the start of a 12-month journey to a clash with either Vitali (WBC champion) or Wladimir Klitschko (WBA/IBF/WBO champion).
The Klitschkos have dominated the heavyweight division for a decade but Fury, who has joined the campaign to help Shankill Road club Cairn Lodge build new facilities, is confident that he will be the one to pick up the mantle of the sport’s flagship division.
Fury may still be a little raw at 23 but his July victory over Dereck Chisora, who was lined up to face Wladimir Klitschko before the loss, catapulted him to a new level. Now he wants to demonstrate to the Ulster boxing fans the potential that could one day land the biggest prize in sport.
Fury said: “The Klitschkos have shown they are great fighters but I have no doubt that I can beat any man in the world and that includes the Klitschkos.
“I could get into the ring with them right now and win but that’s a fight that takes a lot of time to make it happen and I just leave it up to my promoter Mick Hennessy to sort out how I make my way up to a fight with either Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko.”
Making reference to David Haye’s dismal showing against Wladimir earlier this year, Fury says: “One thing you can be sure of is that I won’t be moaning about a sore toe.
“I’m a real warrior, a true fighting man and I never back away from a challenge. The Irish fans know their boxing and they know a real fighter when they see one.
“After I won the British and Commonwealth titles I said I wanted the Irish title and that I wanted to fight in Belfast and I still hope one day I can get the Irish title because it means a lot to me.
“But I have to focus on Saturday night and getting the job done.”
The latest victory for the Klitschko family came at the weekend in Poland when 40-year-old Vitali brushed aside local hero Tomasz Adamek and it was significant that the only man he was thinking about facing afterwards was David Haye, who has already lost to his brother Wladimir.
“David Haye is world famous, not from boxing skills but from his long tongue. He is the world's biggest trash-talker and that's why everybody knows him. I want to knock David Haye out — I can do that,” said Vitali.
The heavyweight division is in dire need of a new star and promoter Mick Hennessy is convinced that the man with relations in Nutts Corner and Galway is the one to light up the big men — and steal the crown from the Ukrainian brothers.
“Everyone in boxing must know now that the only man who can beat the Klitschkos is Tyson Fury,” said Hennessy, who will be promoting his first fight at the King’s Hall on Saturday night.
“Tyson is a modern day heavyweight, he's 6ft 9' but he also has the speed, the heart, the hunger, the chin and the power to beat either one of them.
“I think 2012 is going to be the year that the World heavyweight division is turned upside down by Tyson Fury.
“He didn't get to box for Ireland at the Olympics in 2008 because of boxing politics but there would be no better way for him to give something back to the Irish fans than to win the World heavyweight title in the year of the London Olympics.
“We have total respect for the Klitschkos because they have proven themselves to be true warriors and the best in the division since Lennox Lewis retired but now they must realise that there's a new kid on the block and he's coming to rule the heavyweight division and his name is Tyson Fury.
“There's exciting times ahead for Tyson and his fans, starting on Saturday night at the King's Hall when there's going to be a real rumble between Tyson and Nicolai Firtha.
“I know with the backing of Channel 5 that Tyson is getting the kind of exposure he needs to become the world superstar he is destined to be.”
On Saturday night we should know a little bit more about just how far Fury can go.
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