Tyson Fury looks set to clash with North American champion Nicolai Firtha at the King’s Hall on September 17.
The 32-year-old from Ohio went the distance with newly crowned WBA world heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin last December and clearly promoter Mick Hennessy believes he will an ideal test for the British and Commonwealth champion.
Fury had hoped initially to be fighting Martin Rogan, and the Belfast man was offered the fight again, but it seems an agreement could not be reached.
Unbeaten Leif Larsen from Norway and former world champion James Toney also entered the picture but last night it seemed that Firtha was the frontrunner to face Fury (pictured).
Fury is relishing the chance of headlining at the King’s Hall for the first time on a bill which also features a welterweight scrap between Lurgan’s Stephen Haughian and former world light-welterweight champion Junior Witter, as well as Lurgan’s unbeaten Ryan Greene clashing with Ballyclare’s Willie Thompson.
“To fight at the King’s Hall with all the history it has is just going to be fantastic,” says Fury.
“Coming to Belfast straight after winning the British and Commonwealth titles means a lot to me. I want to have some great nights in Belfast.
“I believe I’m starting off on a journey with the Irish boxing fans and we’re going together all the way to the end.
“I know I still have a lot to learn but when I get in with one of the Klitschkos I’ll be ready to win the world title — and win it in style.
“I didn’t think I would be out again so quickly after beating Dereck Chisora but it just shows you that Mick is doing a good job. I’m a fighting man and I like to stay busy.”
Promoter Hennessy is hoping that September 17 will be the perfect launching pad for Fury to establish himself as the new hero of Irish boxing.
Meanwhile, former European super-bantamweight champion Willie Casey has been matched with Frenchman Daniel Kodjo Sassou in an eight-rounder on the bill, while former amateur ace Dee Walsh will be making his debut.
Hot prospect Carl Frampton is still hopeful of a title fight on the Odyssey Arena show next Saturday, which is headed by Paul McCloskey’s clash with Breidis Prescott.
The Odyssey show will feature east Belfast flyweight Luke Wilton in a six-rounder as he seeks to progress towards a shot at the British title and Omagh’s Dee Taggart.