UNBEATEN heavyweight Hughie Fury would relish the chance to fight IBF world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua if it were offered to him.
Cousin and gymmate of division kingpin Tyson Fury, 21-year-old Hughie headlines his first bill when he fights Fred Kassi on April 30, with a win granting him a spot in the WBO’s top five.
In this week’s Boxing News, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn states that they would consider Hughie for Anthony’s first title defence, but doubts Team Fury would take the fight, a claim Hughie refutes.
“That’s not the case. Let them offer it. I’d take that in a heartbeat. If they want the fight, get in touch,” he told us.
Joshua won the IBF title – which was stripped from Tyson last year – from American Charles Martin, who he knocked out in two rounds at the weekend [April 9].
While he was complimentary of Joshua’s brief performance, Hughie had a more scathing analysis of Martin’s.
He said: “Joshua did what he had to do. Basically he had a fella who laid down in front of him, he [Martin] didn’t come for a fight. A fighter to just lay down like that is no world champion to me.”
Having fought previously on Channel 5 thanks to the broadcast agreement his promoter, Mick Hennessy, enjoyed with the channel, Hughie will fight on BoxNation against Kassi as Hennessy’s deal with Channel 5 looks over.
Fury can see the rest of his career playing out on the subscription-based channel – including a spot on the undercard of Tyson’s rematch with Wladimir Klitschko on July 9 – and hopes to start drawing more attention with his performances.
“Provided everything goes well it looks like I’ll be on BoxNation for a while, we’ve got a good team around us. Frank Warren [who owns the channel] is the best, he’s got the big fights on the channel,” Hughie said.
“I’m very under the radar, but I’ve had 19 fights and people don’t really see what I’ve done for a 21-year-old. Anthony Joshua’s 26, coming through. I started when I was 18, had 12 fights in a year. There’s no heavyweights doing that today, I’m doing it the hard way. Once I do win a world title I’ll be holding on to it for a long time.”
Since beating Klitschko last year, Tyson has come under fire in the media for comments he has made about homosexuals and women. He came fourth in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year competition last year despite his historic achievement, while Joshua has been installed as the bookies favourite to win the prize this year.
Having grown up alongside Tyson, Hughie refutes claims that his cousin is not a decent role model and also plans to help earn the respect he feels his family deserves.
“It bothers me. Tyson is a good role model, look at what he’s achieved. If it wasn’t for Tyson, that title [the IBF belt] wouldn’t be available, Klitschko would still have it,” he mused.
“Tyson has been in every camp with me and we learn from each fight. He supports me, in camp and on big stages. He’s been good for me.
“I’ll gain that respect my own way, Tyson’s got his way, I’ve got mine. We’re two different characters. I am who I am, I’m not changing for anyone.”