BECAUSE Tyson Fury seems to get a kick out of stirring the pot, you never quite know when he’s being serious and when he’s, well, stirring the pot.
His apparent desire to fight Jarrell Miller on October 5, for example, could either be genuine, and lead to the fight getting made, or it could simply be a method ‘The Gypsy King’ has decided to employ to cause a little controversy and ruffle a few feathers. Who knows? But, as per an interview with Behind the Gloves, he sounds adamant he will be fighting in October and hopeful Miller, a three-time drug cheat, will be in the opposite corner.
“I’m fighting October 5 and I’m hoping it’s going to be Jarrell Miller,” Fury said. “But October would only be four months (of his six-month drug ban), so maybe they won’t give him his licence.”
Fear not. Should Fury find Miller an opponent too difficult to sneak in the back door, he has other options.
“If we can’t get Jarrell Miller, then Trevor Bryan, I want you,” he said. “If we can’t get Trevor Bryan, then I don’t know what we’ll do.”
Fury’s fondness for Jarrell Miller follows confirmation of a February 22 for him to rematch WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, an American with whom Fury will be inextricably linked for at least the first six months of 2020.
“Dillian Whyte, you ain’t getting the WBC title shot,” Fury said in response to his British rival’s recent goading. “I’ve tied Wilder up for two fights. We’re going to fight February 22 and then there’s a rematch clause. A trilogy.
“It doesn’t look like he’s going to get his shot. I don’t talk bad about Dillian Whyte before this interview, but I keep seeing him calling me the ‘Gypsy coward’ – I ain’t afraid of anybody.
“I slap men like him in my sleep. Dosser. Take all his teeth out with one back hand. When they talk s***, they get banged. “As AJ (Anthony Joshua) said: ‘Chat s***, get banged.’ Keep going and I won’t bang you, I’ll back hand.”
That’s all well and good, but a fight against Dillian Whyte carries far greater appeal than a fight against either Jarrell Miller or Trevor Bryan. Back hand or no back hand, dosser or no dosser, lineal title or no lineal title, it’s the truth.
A battle of likeable former three-weight world champions is being lined up for September, according to Scotland’s Evening Times.
Ricky Burns, one of Scotland’s most popular fighters, and Jorge Linares, a Venezuelan familiar to British boxing fans, are tipped to meet on September 7 at the SSE Hydro, Glasgow, in what would be a WBA lightweight title eliminator.
Burns, now 36, was last seen knocking out Scott Cardle inside three rounds in November, a result that served to jumpstart an 18-year pro career seemingly stumbling to its conclusion. Now back in contention, Burns, 43-7-1 (16), knows a win over Linares, someone who has twice beaten Anthony Crolla on UK soil, will represent his finest achievement to date and perhaps land him one final shot at gold.
Linares, meanwhile, is two years younger than Burns at 33 (Linares turns 34 in August) but equally battle scarred. Now 50 fights deep in a 17-year pro career, Linares, 45-5 (28), lost his WBA world lightweight title against Vasyl Lomachenko in 2018, then earlier this year was shockingly stopped inside a round by Pablo Cesar Cano. While known for being vulnerable, it’s safe to say Linares is probably no longer the force of old.
That said, with victories over Crolla, Kevin Mitchell and Luke Campbell, the skilful El Nino de Oro (The Golden Boy) has never had a problem bashing up Brits and will presumably be overjoyed to make the trip to the UK and add another scalp to his collection.