TYSON FURY has been a busy boy today. This morning he flirted up a storm with Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain and then he hotfooted across town to join Frank Warren and some other men in suits to announce his next fight, scheduled for June 9 in Manchester, will be televised live and exclusively on BT Sport.
All we’re waiting on now is an opponent. There was talk this would be cleared up this week, with an announcement imminent, but now we’re apparently looking at the middle of next week.
The frontrunner, according to 20 minutes, is 39-year-old Albanian Sefer Seferi (so good they almost named him twice). He previously suggested he was training towards the June 9 date in the hope of opposing Fury, someone he calls an “idol” and a “bear”, but has yet to have his dream fight confirmed.
A natural cruiserweight, Seferi is 23-1 (21), which, on paper, isn’t all that bad. But delve a little deeper and you’ll quickly discover just five of his opponents possessed winning records and that one of them, Manuel Charr, is the only man to have beaten him.
Better yet, take away the 23 wins and focus instead on the one defeat to Charr. In losing a decision to Charr in 2016, ‘The Real Deal’ second-guessed his own nickname and succumbed to a fringe contender stopped by Mairis Briedis and Alexander Povetkin and outpointed by Johann Duhaupas. It wasn’t the worst result in the world by any means, but it certainly indicates he won’t be much of a test for Fury (even a Fury shedding the rust of a two-and-a-half year layoff).
At cruiserweight, meanwhile, Seferi is rated as number two in Albania – positioned neatly behind his 41-year-old brother, Nuri.
Let’s wait and see. It might not – hopefully won’t – be Seferi, after all.
Also announced today was the next fight for former world super-bantamweight champion Carl Frampton. The popular Irishman will box at Belfast’s Windsor Park on August 18, live and exclusively on BT Sport, but will, like Fury, have to wait for TBA to become an actual living, breathing opponent.
Another fight with a home is Friday’s (May 4) WBO intercontinental middleweight title fight between Gary ‘Spike’ O’Sullivan and Berlin Abreu. That fight, part of the undercard of the super-featherweight fight between Ryan Garcia and Jayson Velez, will be shown live on eir Sport.
Of course, this isn’t the fight O’Sullivan, or his fans, were expecting this weekend. They were hoping for a clash with Gennady Golovkin, either in Las Vegas or California, but that unfortunately fell apart when O’Sullivan’s original offer was then later reportedly halved. After that, the Cork boxer said “thanks but no thanks” and went on his merry way, while Golovkin switched from Vegas to Carson and plumped for an inactive Vanes Martirosyan instead.
It’s the job of O’Sullivan to keep winning and ensure his name remains in the frame. It’s there already – he has been linked to both Golovkin and Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez in recent times – but a life-changing payday will only stay within arm’s reach if he can maintain his good run of form.
Texan Errol Spence Jr. is heading home. The gifted IBF welterweight champion will make a mandatory defence against Carlos Ocampo on June 16 at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas, it was confirmed late on Monday (April 30).
The Ocampo fight marks only the second time Spence will have fought on home ground as a professional and heads up the first ever boxing card held inside the 12,000-capacity Ford Center, which is part of the Dallas Cowboys’ training facility.
“I’m honoured to be fighting in Dallas before my hometown fans and the people who have supported me from the beginning,” Spence said.
“This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now. It’s going to be great to fight at The Star, and because I’m a big Dallas Cowboys fan, I’m looking forward to fighting on the campus of Dallas Cowboys’ world headquarters.”
And finally… Adam Morallee, a man about whom little was known yesterday, is today blowing up on social media as a result of his bizarre and hilarious rant (?), lecture (?), rallying cry (?), tantrum (?) at Monday’s Bellew vs. Haye II press conference in Liverpool.
One part David Brent, one part Will from The Inbetweeners, ‘Morallee vs. Merseyside’ tickled – probably an understatement – those at the top table, riled the Scousers fans in attendance, but, ultimately, grabbed the fight some attention it wouldn’t have received had Team Haye’s war cry been delivered by someone else.
On reflection, Morallee played a blinder. Almost like he meant it. (A Morallee victory, if you will.)
For posterity, and because it’s the Mona Lisa of awkward press conference speeches, here’s the full transcript (followed by the video):
Morallee steps to the mic, has a look around, scowls at Liverpudlians. You uncouth lot, he thinks to himself. How did I end up here? He then snarls; tries to look mean.
“The person who said history always repeats itself was wrong.”
Morallee relaxes, smiles. Nailed it, he thinks. He’s happy with the delivery and lets the greater message sink in.
“It doesn’t always repeat itself.”
Before Morallee can elaborate further, he’s cruelly heckled and shouted down. This infuriates him. He fights to control the simmering rage within.
“Two things might repeat themselves. You lot, screaming and shouting, and Tony Bellew playing games.”
He’s only 20 seconds into his speech but has already gone full Will McKenzie. Eddie Hearn, sat to his right, senses this and can’t wipe the grin from his face.
“They may repeat themselves. But you know what won’t repeat itself? You know what? This time David’s going to win!”
The crowd react as if Morallee has delivered his punch line. They laugh on command.
“This time he will. You now it as well. You know it!”
Morallee points at the camera. It’s not clear whether he has picked out a particular member of the audience, someone who really does know it, or is simply generalising and of the belief that the whole of Liverpool, or indeed everybody watching the Matchroom Boxing stream, knows it.
“And you know it,” he says, turning to Bellew. “You can kid yourself all you like, play your little games, ooooooh shout at me (peak McKenzie), that’s good. But you’re wrong, guys. Saturday night you’ll see.”
With that, he leaves.
It wasn’t so much a mic drop as a dummy drop, but let’s hope history does repeat itself and Adam Morallee is allowed to once again rattle through his favourite British comedy impressions on Thursday, when Haye, his client, and Bellew, clearly a fan, entertain the nation’s media for the final time.
— The Inbetweeners (@InbetweenerVids) April 30, 2018