THIS is a big annum for Lancaster heavyweight hope Hughie Fury. Despite a spotless 18-0 (10) record and four impressive wins last year, Hughie saw his 2015 overshadowed to an extent by the rise of much-hyped domestic rival Anthony Joshua, who snared British and Commonwealth titles, and the ascent of his own cousin, Tyson Fury, to the world heavyweight throne. Despite that, many observers believe Hughie could be even more talented than Joshua (26) and both he and father/trainer Peter Fury – who also mentors Tyson – would be willing for the 21-year-old to meet the former Olympic gold medallist in the latter’s next outing, at London’s O2 on April 9, providing the terms were agreeable. Whether that intriguing clash comes to fruition or not, Fury is ready to make strides this year, starting at the end of February or early March, against hopefully a top 10-level opponent.

“I want to get my rankings up in my next few fights,” Hughie, the European No. 8 but not in the top 15 of a leading global body, told Boxing News. “I just want a good opponent, I’d face whoever will take it. I know I put the hard work and dedication in and I’m not really bothered about the British title; if it comes it comes. My focus is on world titles. By the end of this year, hopefully everything goes to plan and I get up in the rankings for all the major governing bodies. I want to be up there and have good fights this year.”

While the Fury clan were indignant regarding the IBF stripping Tyson of their heavyweight title, the fact that two major belts are out of his cousin’s grasp suggests more opportunity for Hughie.

“It’s better for me so I can clear them up hopefully,” Hughie added. “I don’t fight family, me and Tyson will never fight each other, but hopefully we will get all the titles between us.”