Tyson Fury says he's determined to learn from “the master” Lennox Lewis in his bid to conquer the heavyweight division as he cries out for Irish opponents.
Fury left the King's Hall on Saturday night having crushed opponent Nicolai Firtha’s dreams in the fifth round in spite of a wobbly third round.
Fury, who didn't look in as good a shape as when he claimed the British and Commonwealth titles from Dereck Chisora in July, allowed himself to become embroiled in a slugfest in which he had the final say at 2:19 of the fifth round.
The King's Hall may have been far from full but if, as expected, Fury returns on November 12 it would be a surprise if every seat wasn't snapped up because, frankly, he's the most exciting heavyweight from this side of the Atlantic for 30 years.
Lewis was undoubtedly the best, but Fury's innate desire for a tear-up marks a contrast to the more cautious former undisputed champion.
“I'm the best heavyweight to come from here since Lennox Lewis,” said Fury, who had Firtha's face in a bloody mess from the opening exchanges.
“Lennox was an outstanding heavyweight with an incredible jab and I can learn a lot from him. I'll be watching DVDs of him because although I have a good jab I know it can get better.
“Lennox conquered the best in the world and I know that I can do the same. I'll fight anybody next.”
Fury, who was delighted with the passionate support he received, shrugged off those hairy moments in the third and reiterated his desire to be based in Belfast.
“It's heavyweight boxing, you get hit. I got caught at the side of the head and was off balance but I came back and did the job. I was determined to entertain the fans. They pay their money for a fight and that's what I gave them.
“I loved the way all the people got behind me, the atmosphere was amazing. I'm going to ask Mick if I can come back here in November because the reception I got was out of this world. I'm going to base myself out of Belfast now.”
While Fury believes that he could take a version of the World title from either Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko, realistically he seems to be a year away at least from such a fight.
He added: “I always wanted the Irish title, but it seems I can't get an opponent to fight me. If you can coax Martin Rogan into a fight with me I'll just laugh at that one. It just seems that the Irish title won't happen because Coleman Barrett and Rogan won't fight me.”
Meanwhile, former European super-bantamweight champion Willie Casey returned to the ring after his World title defeat and enjoyed an eighth round stoppage over Frenchman Daniel Kodjo Sassou.
Sandy Row's Joe Hillerby chalked up his fifth successive win when he outscored fellow Belfast man Tommy Tolan 39-38, while David Walsh won on his debut 39-37 against Gerard Healy, in his second contest.