Thursday, December 01, 2022

By George Sessions, PA

Tyson Fury has lofty plans to follow in the footsteps of Muhammad Ali by putting on a world tour in 2023 after dealing with Derek Chisora.

The world heavyweight champion will be the main event in London this weekend when he attempts to retain his WBC belt and put his friend to the sword for a third time.

While the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium clash has failed to capture the imagination like a potential fight with long-term rival Anthony Joshua or a unification battle with Oleksandr Usyk would have, there is still expected to be 60,000 in attendance come Saturday night.

Usyk remains in Fury’s sights but the ‘Gypsy King’ and American promotor Bob Arum revealed they have even grander ideas for the new year.

Muhammad Ali, second left,
Muhammad Ali, second left, fought all over the world (PA)

“In the last seven years I had three years out due to my downfall, my mental health breakdown, and then I had just under two years out with Covid so just under five years. I have only had two years of activity in the last seven years, which is not great,” Fury explained.

“After I beat Chisora and after I beat Oleksandr Usyk next year, I am going to try and go on a massive campaign all over the world.

“Emanuel Steward spoke to me about this years ago and said ‘wouldn’t it be good if a heavyweight champion of the world could go to places where no one else wants to go and get the Government to put the money up to put it on?’

“Like go to Antarctica, they have nothing else on there. Fire out places like one a month, a Tyson Fury roadshow, where were you for that? That is what I want to do. Frank (Warren) and Bob together could definitely do that.”

Top Rank promotor Arum reminisced about the late Ali doing similar during his time working with a boxer widely acclaimed as the greatest.

 

He helped take the world heavyweight champion to Indonesia, Zaire, Malaysia, Philippines and Puerto Rico with Ali fighting seven times in a 14-month period between 1975 and 1976.

“We did that for Ali,” Arum said. “We did him in Japan, Malaysia, we did him in Indonesia. That is what a true champion does because they are a world champion.

“There are a lot of good heavyweights, young heavyweights who want a crack and Tyson is not going to starve for good opposition. I think he beats everybody but still it is the same thing with Ali. We went from one to the other, the next guy up and Ali did it every couple of months.”

After briefly retiring earlier this year, Fury reiterated he would not overlook this upcoming third battle with Chisora but conceded the prospect of touring the world could be a good way to sign off.

Tyson Fury and Derek Chisora
Tyson Fury fights Derek Chisora on Saturday (Zac Goodwin/PA)

“I ain’t just a world champion of England and America, I am champion of the whole world. Look at them flags (on the WBC belt). I am their champion. It would be lovely to go out and do fights to give these fans the opportunity to see a world champion,” he added.

“I know it sounds like a pipedream, a fairy-tale story, but just to get these fights in, to give some random heavyweight – like Apollo did in the Rocky movie – the chance.

“Like an Italian Stallion. Give him a chance. Go to Australia, give one of their guys a chance. Go to China, give someone from China a chance. All over. It would be fantastic. What a way to end a career with 12 fights in a year. That is amazing.”

If Fury beats Chisora as expected, with every bookmaker putting him as the overwhelming favourite, a unification contest with Usyk could occur by March 4.

Promoter Bob Arum
Promoter Bob Arum has big plans (Zac Goodwin/PA)

Saudi Arabia remains the frontrunner but Wembley has not been ruled out.

Arum added: “Next week we will see how serious they are and everybody is determined, if it’s not going to be in Saudi Arabia, it will be at Wembley.

“If the money they are talking about is real, then you have to do it there. But as far as we’re concerned, we would much rather do it at Wembley for the fans.

“I know the Usyk people very well. His manager, Egis Klimas, is a good friend of mine. I know Oleksandr Usyk and I know he wants to fight.

“I have talked to Tyson and he wants the fight. That fight will happen next unless Mr Chisora lands his punch.”

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