PROMOTER Frank Warren confirmed today that Tyson Fury will headline London’s O2 Arena on Saturday February 28 in his final fight before going on to challenge for the WBO World Heavyweight Championship.
The undefeated Manchester star will face a top 15 ranked contender to be announced as he keeps busy ahead of a long-awaited shot at reigning WBO World Champion Wladimir Klitschko.
Fury put on the best performance of his career last month when he defeated Dereck Chisora for a second time, completely shutting out the Londoner with a dominant performance over ten rounds before Chisora was retired by his corner.
With the win, Fury took Chisora’s European title and also won the vacant British title for a second time, plus securing the number one spot in the WBO rankings and mandatory challenger position to the Ukrainian great.
The 25-year-old will take a break over Christmas and begin training again in early January as he will know the identity of his challenger by then.
“It’s great to have my first fight of the year up and announced so now I can go away, have a break over Christmas and then get back in the gym with a goal to aim for,” Said Fury.
“When I haven’t got a fight lined up I find it hard to concentrate, I need that focus to aim towards and at least I know I’m fighting on February 28th and then I’ve got the WBO World title fight next.
“I’ll have my opponent confirmed shortly and then I’ll let my trainer and uncle Peter get on with setting up the training camp and fight plans,
“The win against Chisora was very satisfying because I showed that I’m not just a crash, bang, wallop fighter, I can box clever and take someone apart clinically.
“I’m now the mandatory challenger to Klitschko and there’s no way he can dodge me, he can either vacate the title or defend the title against me, either way I’m going to fight for the world title this summer.
“Klitschko can have his fight in March, but then he knows he’s got me next, he’s run from me for the last two years and now knows that I’m reality and I’m next.
“He can be a fighting man and show the world he’s not scared by defending his title against me or prove what I’ve been saying about him for the last few years by vacating the title without fighting me.
“Ideally I want to fight the man who is holding the belt, the champion, this so called great Wladimir Klitschko, I don’t want the vacant belt, I want Klitschko.”
Warren revealed that he contacted the Klitschko camp to try and make the fight between Tyson and Wladimir for March but has had no response.
He said, “I emailed Klitschko’s business manager Bernd Bonte to try and cut through all the tape and make the fight for March, but I’ve not had a response back from them yet.
“That’s fine, but they’ll have to sit down and negotiate after Klitschko has had his fight fight or we can go to purse bids, either way Fury’s going to fight for the world title this year.
“We’ll have Tyson’s opponent confirmed shortly, but the main thing is that he keeps busy as he’s only fought twice in a year and half and this next fight will keep him active before he fights again in the summer.
“Tyson is the mandatory challenger to Klitschko and it’s a position we want to preserve. Klitschko is the long reigning champion, the guy who holds all the belts, and ideally we want him to defend the title against Tyson.
“Obviously Bermane Stiverne and Deontay Wilder fight on January 17 and the winner of that could be another potential avenue for Fury and if an opportunity comes up there then it will be worth exploring, but it’s Klitschko who we want.”
The multi-title show will also feature the return of Chris Eubank Jnr, who makes his comeback after his first career loss to Billy Joe Saunders last month, plus Cromer ace Liam Walsh defending his British and Commonwealth Super-Featherweight titles, Bradley Skeete returning to action and challenging for the Vacant WBO European Welterweight title, big-hitting Enfield star Frank Buglioni making the first defence, in his second reign, of the WBO European Super-Middleweight title, Erith talent Lewis Pettitt defending his WBA International Super-Bantamweight Championship; plus exciting welterweight Ahmet Patterson defending his English Welterweight Championship against Sunderland’s undefeated Glenn Foot that will also be an eliminator for the British Championship.