YOU just can’t get away from Tyson Fury at the moment.
If he isn’t in the boxing ring beating overmatched opponents in defence of his ‘lineal heavyweight title’, he can be found recording Christmas songs in the booth with Robbie Williams or appearing in the WWE with Braun Strowman.
It’s called making money, milking it, striking while the iron’s hot, and Fury, thanks to a deal with ESPN and a larger-than-life personality, is as hot as he has ever been right now, keen to add strings to his bow, and zeroes to his bank account.
This go-getting approach will, however, end in tears if Fury’s entrepreneurial spirit results in him being enticed to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to compete for their heavyweight title.
Or at least that’s the view of UFC President Dana White, who says Fury will be biting off more than he can chew if he thinks a WWE cameo is a gateway to a UFC career.
“Fury’s worked hard his whole life to become one of the top four (heavyweights) in the world in boxing,” White said. “Why would you want to even come over and attempt this? I don’t think it ends well for him. It doesn’t make sense for his career.”
Fury says a lot of things that never happen, of course. It’s part of his charm, part of his appeal. But, in this case, he has revealed Conor McGregor is willing to train him following talks with the Irishman and even pinpointed two potential opponents: Stipe Miocic and Francis Ngannou.
“I’m dipping my toes in all waters right now, like WWE,” Fury said. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed but I’ve got WWE now, my book, autobiography, ITV documentary, song with Robbie Williams, big Deontay Wilder rematch and then you know… fingers in all pies.
“I’m trying to get that big fight going on with whoever. Listen, I’m not afraid of any of them. Who’s the heavyweight champion of the world in UFC? Stipe Miocic, is it? He just beat Daniel Cormier in the rematch, good body shots, bam, bam, got him out of there. I’d fight him in a heartbeat, no problem. Or Francis Ngannou.
“Any of the heavyweight champions they’ve got. I ain’t afraid of any of them. I’m the Gypsy King. Listen, I’m a boxer, but I am one bad ass mofo.”
Gypsy King. Bad ass mofo. Lineal heavyweight champion. WWE star. Future UFC contender.
All well and good, but the only title of any relevance or importance right now is the WBC one Fury stands to win if able to defeat Deontay Wilder, the current champion, on February 22.
It’s not yet known whether Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez will stick around at light-heavyweight having snatched the WBO title from Sergey Kovalev on Saturday (November 2), but most believe he will decide to finally settle at super-middleweight, the division seven pounds south.
If that proves to be the case, Callum Smith, the WBA champion at 168 pounds, will be more than happy to show him around.
“I think he will come down, whether he goes back to 160(lbs) or 168(lbs), I’ve no idea,” the talented Liverpudlian told Sky Sports.
“I’ve seen an interview, saying he’d consider cruiserweight. I don’t know, but if he comes to 168, I believe I’m the number one in that division, so he’ll have to come and beat me to take that place.
“But I’m not going to waste my career waiting for a fight that might never happen. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, there are still plenty of other big fights.”
Smith’s pursuit of big fights has so far been a frustrating one, anything but fruitful. Since beating George Groves in Saudi Arabia last September, the new champion has defended his belt just once, in June against Hassan N’Dam, and has been linked with but never been able to secure big fights against big names.
A date with Canelo would certainly end his dry patch but Smith must first retain his title against John Ryder, a fellow Brit, on November 23 in his home city. Only then will he allow himself to start dreaming again.