In the seven months that have passed since Hughie lost to Kubrat Pulev in Bulgaria, we’ve been working diligently, correcting quite a few flaws and I’m really looking forward to seeing the new Hughie Fury on Saturday (May 25). We both know this is where he needs to turn the corner.
Take away his age and the physical side of things, what he now needs to understand is that he’s got to switch the lightbulb on and now use that experience he has gained. What I mean by that is he needs to learn from all the experiences he has had so far as a pro, the good and the bad, and use it to his advantage.
Because that’s what experience is all about. You can have a hundred fights and not learn a thing. It’s all about learning and doing the things you perhaps didn’t do before.
Against Pulev last October, the cut altered the fight tremendously. It took away Hughie’s game plan. Even so, ignoring the cut, I said to him in sparring many times before that fight, and even years ago, that he needs to get out of a certain way he boxes. Sometimes it takes a while for the penny to drop, but I think it’s good he has had these top-level fights because it shows what he needs to work on.
Whatever happened in Bulgaria, whatever part the cut played, I said to him, “The performance still isn’t good enough. You’re lacking in certain fields and that’s what you need to get a grip of.” I believe he has now rectified those flaws.
Because of his age, it’s a very difficult balance with Hughie. Bear in mind, though, what he has already done at just 24. He has fought for the world title, fought a final eliminator for the world title, and boxed abroad. He’s done everything at such a young age. You have to take the positives. He’s going to get so much value from these fights. We all thought he did enough against Joseph Parker to win but that’s by the by. In the Pulev fight, he came up short. We all saw what happened there. But Hughie has never jumped out of the ring and said, “Dad, that man was just too good for me,” or, “I felt his power and couldn’t do anything.” Quite the opposite.
At his age, he’s basically beating himself. There’s not an opponent he has fought who has really bothered him or dented his confidence. He knows if it just clicks for him, he’s got it all.
I don’t really know a lot about Chris Norrad, Hughie’s opponent on Saturday. I haven’t seen anything of him. I’ve just looked him up on BoxRec and that’s about it.
I know he has a winning record but also know he has been beating people with 50/50 records. He hasn’t really fought anybody. I hear he is durable, though, and that he comes to fight. That’s as much as I know.
Last week, Deontay Wilder, said a few things about Dominic Breazeale which I thought crossed the line. He’s a God-fearing man but a God-fearing man wouldn’t come out with stuff like that. I know I certainly wouldn’t.
When you go into a fight against somebody, the last thing you want to see is them badly hurt on the floor. You want to win, yes, but you want your opponent to go home safe and you hope they want the same for you. I’d like to think all this talk is just heat of the moment stuff with Wilder. He just needs to be careful about what he’s saying. I don’t believe he means it for a second.
That sort of talk won’t be affecting any opponents, or at least it shouldn’t. Hughie hears all the talk from Wilder and it hasn’t had an impact on him. In fact, you can print this: If Wilder needs an opponent because he can’t get whoever they’re trying to get next, Hughie will step in and fight him this year. It’s an easy fight to make. Hughie would fight him in a heartbeat.
Hughie would be an underdog in that one, but I think he’s on the verge of doing special things and I don’t talk lightly. Let’s get Saturday out the way, then get a good opponent for July or September, and if Wilder wants that fight towards the end of the year, or even in September, we would look at it.