By Richard Thomas @RichardThomas
With ‘Lineal’ heavyweight champion Tyson Fury scheduled to fight WBC belt holder Deontay Wilder on December 1st, 2018, it is easy to forget that his younger cousin Hughie Fury is actually ranked higher by the IBF and is arguably more deserving of a world title fight.
To get his opportunity, however, the younger Fury will have to go up against far better opposition than the likes of Sefer Seferi or Francesco Pianeta. After losing controversially on points against New Zealand’s Joseph Parker the last time the Brit stepped up to world level, Hughie Fury will need to beat Bulgarian heavyweight Kubrat Pulev to get another chance at world honors.
A two-time European champion, Pulev holds an impressive victory over fellow Brit, Dereck Chisora, who sensationally knocked out top tier heavyweight Carlos Takam last July.
WHERE AND WHEN? Pulev’s home city Sofia, Bulgaria on Saturday 27 October, 2018, with the fight card starting at 10pm.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? The good news is that the top tier heavyweight clash will be broadcast live on the UK’s free terrestrial channel, Five.
WHAT IS AT STAKE? The fight has been made a final eliminator for the IBF world heavyweight title, currently in the possession of Britain’s biggest PPV star Anthony Joshua.
With the long anticipated heavyweight unification clash between the British based Joshua and American Deontay Wilder looking in doubt, the winner of Fury v Pulev could be in the frame for a massive IBF, WBA, WBO and IBO title fight with Joshua at Wembly Stadium in April. At the very least they will be almost guaranteed a fight with the winner of the April fight later on, if someone else fights Joshua in April instead.
WHAT ARE THE BOOKIES SAYING? Pulev is the slight favorite with the bookies with Sky Bet and William Hill both offering odds of 4/6 in the Bulgarian’s favor, and Hughie Fury the slight underdog at 6/4.
WHO IS GOING TO WIN? While the smart money will be on Pulev because of his hometown advantage and a near perfect record, the Bulgarian’s only blemish defeat being to Wladimir Klitschko during the Ukrainian’s decade long reign as king of the heavyweight division. Hughie Fury, in contrast, came up short on a judges’ decision against the then WBO heavyweight belt holder Joseph Parker.
While the respected Ring Magazine went on record saying that they thought it was a poor decision and Hughie Fury did enough to win the fight, the fact remains he lost the fight and needed to do more take the title from the defending champion.
Fury, 24, does have the advantage of youth on his side, against the 37-year-old Pulev. The Traveler also has momentum on his side following his fifth round KO win against Sam Sexton to win the British title.
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