TYSON FURY says he is so confident of beating Andy Ruiz Jnr, should the two ever meet, that he will happily use only one hand and let the fans decide which of his two he must keep behind his back.
It’s not to be taken literally, of course, yet Fury’s bold claim gives an indication as to how confident he feels right now and, moreover, suggests he doesn’t rate the new WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion of the world too highly.
“Listen, we never know what’s going to happen in life and I can never say no to anything,” Fury told TMZ. “But one thing I will say is, I will let the fans decide, which hand I put behind my back and beat Ruiz with the other hand – because I only need one hand for him.”
Before Fury can get anywhere near Ruiz, he must first earn his shot. Before he earns a shot, he must get past unknown Swede Otto Wallin on September 14 in Las Vegas.
Ruiz, meanwhile, remains focused on Anthony Joshua, the Brit he dethroned on June 1 in Las Vegas, and will soon be gearing up for their rematch in Saudi Arabia on December 7.
The sooner the better, his trainer, Manny Robles, told ESPN.
“We’re working on getting back together this week,” Robles said.
“I was hoping it would be [Monday] but it wasn’t, so we’re definitely working on that right now. We didn’t have a training session [Monday], but we’re scheduled to start training this week.
“He’s not in great shape, but he’s hitting the gym back home in Imperial. He’s running the treadmill, but obviously we haven’t fully begun training camp.
“Once we do we have [close to] four months to get ready for a fight. That’s enough time to get him in shape. Let’s hope we can get him back in the gym real soon and get him going again.”
If Tyson Fury is serious about fighting Andy Ruiz with one hand behind his back, now might be a good time to catch the out-of-shape Mexican. Leave it any longer and it probably won’t appear quite so straightforward.
Boxing’s often all about timing – the timing of punches, the timing of matchmaking – and, in the case of Sergey Kovalev vs. Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez, the timing was off.
This light-heavyweight superfight was mooted for a while and clearly interested Kovalev, yet was ultimately stopped from happening because of the timing of the offer received and the fact Kovalev had the small matter of a WBO light-heavyweight title defence against Anthony Yarde, his number one contender, already scheduled.
“Yes, we did have an offer, but we can talk about that after Saturday night,” Kovalev, 33-3-1 (28), said. “I have to say that the tickets were already on sale. Official agreements were already made. It was just three weeks before the fight. And the offer was indeed a big one, a substantial one.
“But you never do it like that, because I have to be here. This is my home and this is not what I do. Everything was already agreed. My primary task is to defend the title. If the fight will still be very interesting for Canelo, OK.”
With Canelo pushed towards the back of his mind, Kovalev is currently in Russia preparing to fight Yarde, 18-0 (17), this Saturday (August 24) at the Traktor Sport Palace in Chelyabinsk. He would be well-advised to focus on Yarde, an unbeaten and unproven challenger, but will no doubt be keen to recommence negotiations for the Canelo fight – a life-changing money-spinner – if all goes well in his latest defence.
Alvarez, meanwhile, the WBC and WBA middleweight champion, was expected to fight on the Mexican Independence Day weekend in September but had to relinquish that opportunity when he struggled nailing down a suitable opponent.
More than just suitable, Kovalev would have been ideal. If only he was available.
Next time, perhaps.