British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion Tyson Fury will make the first defence of his titles on September 17 at the King’s Hall.
It is understood that Fury — one of the hottest properties in World boxing — wants to make Belfast his base having missed out on the opportunity to represent Ireland at the Olympics four years ago.
Fury, who had boxed for Ireland, was denied the chance by boxing politics but now that is all behind him and he is determined to bring the World heavyweight title back to the Emerald Isle.
Immediately after winning the British and Commonwealth titles from Dereck Chisora, Fury called for an Irish title fight with former Commonwealth champion Martin Rogan and the Belfast man is understood to be the favoured opponent for the 23-year-old, whose uncle lives in Nutts Corner.
Rogan is lined up for a vacant EU heavyweight title fight on October 22 against Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev in Germany but a clash with Fury would clearly be much more lucrative.
For Rogan it would be opportunity to truly re-ignite his career and promoter Mick Hennessy has said that he has been in talks with the Belfast man’s representative following Fury’s exciting victory over Chisora last month.
Rogan was at ringside to watch Fury’s win over Chisora and made it clear he would be very keen on a clash with Fury, though now it will come to whether or not an agreement over purse money can be reached.
Should Rogan fail to agree terms for the fight then Fury will go ahead with a defence against a top quality opponent as he is looking to move quickly up the world rankings.
Fury’s first defence will come just seven days after the Odyssey Arena bill featuring Carl Frampton’s European super-bantamweight title fight with Spain’s Kiko Martinez and Paul McCloskey against Breidis Prescott.
Whether one show will have an impact on the other remains to be seen but there’s no doubt it is a coup to have such an exciting prospect as Fury coming to the King’s Hall.
Fury, whose win over Chisora attracted 3m viewers on Channel 5, has said that he would relish fighting in front of a passionate Belfast crowd.
“When I was denied the chance to box for Ireland at the Olympics it hurt me a lot and I truly believe that Ireland was denied an Olympic gold medallist,” says Fury.
“I want to win the Irish title, then the European title and of course I want that fight with Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko but that’s a fight that will take a lot of planning to put together.
“The main thing is that I stay busy, I don’t want to stagnate. I’m only 23 which is very young for a heavyweight, I have a lot to learn but you can see that I’m learning fast.”
An official announcement of Fury’s first defence is expected next week with an opponent to be named as well.
Meanwhile, an Open Elite tournament will be held next week at the National Stadium to help decide the Irish team which will head to the World Championships, also an Olympic qualifying event.