The Comeback Kid: Hughie Fury vs. Sam Sexton
By Dan Fitz-Simons: On May 12th, Hughie Fury (20-1-0) will take on Sam Sexton (24-3-0) for the British (BBof C) heavyweight title in Bolton, UK. Sexton, the 33-year old British champion, is ranked # 58 in the world and # 9 in the UK by Boxrec. He’s been around the heavyweight division for 13 years and held the Commonwealth belt from 2009-2010.
Sexton won 15 of his victories by decision and 9 more by TKO. Although his resume is not impressive, he has battled some decent British contenders including: Dereck Chisora, David Price, and Gary Cornish. However, he was KO’d by Price and TKO’d (twice) by Chisora. Moreover, he has never KO’d an opponent, and with only 9 TKO’s, he’s no banger.
The British champion fights from an orthodox stance, with good head movement and a plodding, relentless style. His awkward style, accompanied by exceptional stamina, enabled him to defeat Gary Cornish and win the BBofC title in an upset. Moreover, if Sexton beat the taller 6’7″ Cornish, he could also cause problems to the 6’6″ Hughie.
Both Hughie and Sexton last fought in September and October of 2017, so ring rust won’t be an issue for either of them. They also fought and defeated two of the same opponents: Larry Olumbamiwo and Tomas Mrazrek. But unlike Sexton, who has only fought in the UK, Hughie has fought in the U.S., Canada, Ireland, Monaco, and Romania.
With 20 wins and only 1 loss to Joseph Parker, Hughie is the favorite. At 23, he has 10 years on Sexton and is ranked # 23 in the world and # 6 in the UK. He’s 4″ taller than the 6’2″ Sexton, and has a 9″ reach advantage. In addition, Hughie went 12-rounds against Parker, so he shouldn’t have a stamina issue. Yet victories require more than good stamina.
In his fight against Parker, Hughie failed to follow up his jabs with a solid right and continued running, grabing, and backing into corners. If he’s to defeat Sexton, a more aggressive game plan is necessary. Ring generalship is crucial, and he’ll have to mix it up on the inside in the center of the ring with less clinching and more punishing upper-cuts.
There’s also a problem with Hughie’s European stance. When he drops his left, his jab looses split-second speed and accuracy. Nevertheless, He remains a world class fighter; his best days are still ahead. He has a good chin, fast foot work, and a superior skill set. If Hughie defeats Sexton, his next target could be the European (EBU) belt held by Agit Kabayel.
At only 23, Hughie could win both British and European heavyweight titles. Not bad for a comeback.
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