Tyson Fury sets Irish eyes on world title bid
Tyson Fury says he wants his World title showdown with Wladimir Klitschko on Irish soil, having now become the mandatory challenger for the WBO heavyweight champion.
Manchester-based Fury gave what he described as "a masterclass" in forcing Dereck Chisora to retire at the end of the 10th round to lift the British and European heavyweight titles in London's Excel Arena on Saturday night.
The 6ft 9' unbeaten champion, who has relations in Nutts Corner, will return to the ring on February 28 before then going on to face Klitschko, who also holds the WBA and IBF titles in the summer.
"I have always said that I want to make history by becoming the first Irishman to win the World heavyweight title and that is still the case - and I would love it to be in Ireland, that would be the dream," said Fury, who turned southpaw just as he did when stopping Martin Rogan.
"The main thing is that I am the mandatory challenger for the title and the top man in the WBO told me after the fight that Klitschko is allowed one more voluntary defence, then he has to fight me within 90 days.
"If he doesn't the WBO have said they will strip him of the title. I hope that doesn't happen because I want to win my world title from the best guy out there and that's Klitschko.
"With my performance on Saturday night I have sent a message out to everyone. Dereck Chisora has lost before but always in competitive fights, even when he lost to Klitschko and David Haye he was throwing and landing shots but I totally outboxed him - he hardly laid a glove on me and that was me with only two fights in two years.
"I could have put the foot down and got him out of there earlier but I needed the rounds. I systematically broke him down and no-one - including Klitschko - has ever done that to Chisora. To be honest, I thought his corner should have pulled him out a lot sooner because he was getting badly beaten up.
"Now I'm looking forward to going to Belfast next week to see my auntie and show off my belts."
On the same London show, Chris Eubank jnr suffered his first defeat when losing a split decision to British, Commonwealth and European middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders.
The two men now seem destined to face each other in a re-match further down the line. Saunders, whose greater experience gave him the edge, said: "It was an extremely hard fight, his legs dipped after a shot in the second round and I wobbled him, but after that I got a bit complacent at times, and it was back and forth in the second half of the fight.
"We all know me and him don't like each other, but deep down I respect him as a fighter. I wouldn't say no to a rematch, that's for sure."
It was revealed after the victory that Fury had been close to withdrawing due to a chest infection last week.
"Nobody knows Tyson hadn't trained for the past three and a half weeks coming into this fight," trainer and uncle, Peter Fury, said.
"Tyson had a virus that put him bed-ridden. He's had flu injections, been up and down to the doctors, I took him to my place and put him in bed for three or four days.
"Last week he started to feel better and two days before this fight he said, 'listen I feel absolutely okay'.
"There was talk at one time of pulling this fight but we have to be on death's door to pull a fight."
The trainer added: "We rested him him up, took him for a few walks, gave him plenty of saunas and he came out of it.
"That's the level of fitness he's at. Even the sparring, we had him for a week and sent him home because he couldn't spar four rounds, he was weak."
Conrad Cummings ended his year impressively when he thoroughly outpointed Hungarian Norbert Szekeres, winning every round on all three judges cards in Denmark.
The Coalisland middleweight dominated from the opening bell of their six rounder, hurting the Magyar to body and head. Now manager Barry McGuigan will look to move him into championship class in 2015.
It was also a good night for Belfast bantamweight prospect Ryan Burnett who stopped Bulgarian Stefan Slavchev in the fourth round with a body shot, at the York Hall Bethnel Green.
Just like Cummings, Burnett - now looked after by Adam Booth - will be looking to step up to eight and 10 rounders very soon.