Tyson Fury prepared for 'hardest fight of his life' against explosive Deontay Wilder

JOHN DILLON
Points win: Fury beat Pianeta on points in Belfast: Action Images via Reuters

Tyson Fury believes he will face the most dangerous challenge of his boxing career when he fights Deontay Wilder later this year.

Promoter Frank Warren was finalising details of the fighter's publicity tour of the USA and Britain ahead of official confirmation of their meeting, which is likely to be at the T Mobile Arena in Las Vegas in November.

Wilder was due in London to do some publicity filming for BT Sport after changing plans for a press conference - with Warren preparing an official announcement of the venue and date by Friday.

Both boxers are flamboyant characters whose words will generate lots of headlines during the build-up. But beyond the hype Fury acknowledges that the unbeaten American’s combination of big-hitting power and an awkward style presents him with his toughest test in the ring.

The self-styled Gyspy King secured his challenge for Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title belt with a wide points win over 10 rounds against Francesco Pianeta in Belfast on Saturday.

Fury said: “It will be the hardest fight I've ever had in my life.

“The reason is that Wilder is very awkward and very unconventional. Punches come from all directions and he has got dynamite in both hands.

“But I am confident I can work it out and bring the belt back to the UK.

“It's alright having massive power but if you can't land it, you’ve lost.

“It's very hard to land punches on me. I am cool, calm and calculating and also very awkward. I’m always riding the shots.

“When I beat Wladimir Klistchko in 2015, he had power. He had one of the biggest right hands in boxing history. But he couldn’t land it on me effectively and cleanly.

“I’m a better boxer than Wilder technically. I think his style is made for me. And if I do get hit, I don’t have a glass chin.

“It's going to be a good test and a good jigsaw puzzle.”

Fury, 30, has had only two fights since returning from a two-and-half year lay-off caused by depression and weight and drug issues.

The enforced break meant he had to relinquish the WBA and IBF titles he won from Klitschko in Dusseldorf. But he is unbeaten in 27 fights, with the comfortable defeat of Pianeta at Windsor Park being viewed as a good run-out for Fury’s range of elusive and clever ringcraft.

By contrast, Wilder, a 32-year-old from Alabama, is a big-swinging and big-hitting power puncher with a long reach who has knocked out all but one of his 40 opponents – but has struggled to create a major profile in his homeland.

Promoter Warren has seized the opportunity to catapult Fury back into the big time ahead of schedule after the breakdown of plans for Wilder to meet London’s WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in a much-anticipated unification fight.

The move suits Wilder because his alternative prospects were low-key – a re-match against 37-year-old Cuban Luis Ortiz whom he defeated in March or a mandatory WBC defence against little-known American Dominic Breazeale.

'It's on': Fury is set to face Wilder in Vegas (Getty Images)

Now a major Las Vegas occasion is in prospect, with Fury – who trains at Ricky Hatton’s gym – set to be followed to the US fight capital by a raucous horde of fans similar to those who flocked there to back his fellow Mancunian a decade back.

The collision - probably on November 17 - has been given the seal of approval in America by veteran promoter Bob Arum, who insisted that it out-strips Joshua’s sell-out contest against Alexander Povetkin at Wembley on September 22, which is a mandatory WBA title defence.

Arum said: “It’s a great heavyweight fight. It makes the Joshua–Povetkin fight look like small potatoes. It's great that it is in the US. Let the Brits watch fights that are not nearly as good over there.”