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Tyson Fury has called out Tony Bellew and David Haye ahead of their May 5 fight in London, saying he would be happy to take on either of them if they want “to take a beating.”
The 29-year-old returns to the ring for the first time in over two-and-a-half years on June 9 against an as yet unnamed opponent, although Albanian Sefer Seferi recently appeared to reveal it is him, per Swiss publication 20 Minutes (via The Independent).
Fury is already seemingly seeking out opponents beyond June, though, and said he would take on either Haye or Bellew, despite previously claiming he would never fight the former following a pair of withdrawals from the Londoner, per James Dielhenn of Sky Sports: “Listen, if the opportunity arises for those guys to take a beating from me, I’m sure we can sort it out. It should be quite simple.”
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Fury’s last fight in November 2015 saw him down Wladimir Klitschko to claim the WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight titles.
The British fighter has since suffered depression and served a doping ban, but he is now firmly back in the public eye and ready to reclaim his titles.
He has revealed that taunts from American WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder that he could never make it back to the ring are what has motivated him, per Dielhenn:
“Really, it was Deontay Wilder who spurred me on and gave me the ambition to return. He [Wilder] said I couldn’t do it, definitely not, Tyson Fury is done. I thought I will turn this around and come back and knock him out. I don’t fear anybody, they’re all very good fighters, good champions but I believe with my skill and talent I beat them, even my confidence alone is enough to beat these fellas.“
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Fury also boldly predicted he could beat Wilder or current WBA, WBO and IBF champion Anthony Joshua with just one hand: “I believe I could tie one hand behind my back and beat [Joshua] and Wilder, pick either hand to go behind my back, that’s how confident I am.”
Such a display of confidence is, of course, typical of the Manchester-born Fury.
He will have to prove he is back to full fitness and form with a number of decent victories if he is to get his shot at Joshua or Wilder and a chance to win another world title.
If Seferi is indeed Fury’s opponent for June’s Manchester Arena clash, then a victory is unlikely to pave the way to a world title bout.
However, a victory over the winner of Bellew and Haye’s second contest would be a notable result as Fury looks to re-establish himself in the heavyweight division.