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Hughie Fury faces Sam Sexton on May.12 for British heavyweight title

Image: Hughie Fury faces Sam Sexton on May.12 for British heavyweight title

By Tim Royner: Former heavyweight world title challenger Hughie Fury (20-1, 10 KOs) is taking a big step down in class in challenging Sam Sexton (24-3, 9 KOs) for his British heavyweight title on May 12th at the Macron Stadium at the Premier Suite in Bolton.

This is a fight that Hughie should have taken before he fought for a world title last September against WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker. It makes little sense for Hughie Fury to be fighting the 33-year-old Sexton for his British heavyweight title now. That’s a backwards move for Hughie, who should be fighting top contenders to get back in position for another world title shot.

Hughie, 23, lost his last fight to Parker by a 12 round majority decision on September 23. Two of the judges scored it 118-110, 118-110 in favor of Parker, but the U.S judge had the fight a draw at 114-114. The boxing public saw it as an easy 12 round decision for Parker. Hughie was running from Parker the entire fight. When Parker would occasionally trap Hughie, he’d be grabbed in a bear-hug and prevented from throwing punches. It was a disappointing effort from Hughie. Hughie still believes he deserved the victory against Parker. His father/trainer Peter Fury and cousin Tyson Fury also believe he deserved the victory over Parker. Unfortunately, those 2 have nothing to do with the scoring of Hughie’s fights. Hughie lost the fight clearly, and the boxing fans that saw it agree with the judges’ decision. If Hughie is to ever get another crack at a world title, he needs to learn to stay in the pocket and fight rather than run and hold all night long like we saw him do against Parker. Hughie fought like he was afraid of Parker. It was almost comical, like seeing one of those Youtube videos where a fighter runs from his opponent and climbs up on the rope to try and keep from getting hit. Hughie was woefully bad against Parker. Even giving Hughie 2 rounds in the fight was a major stretch.

“I’m going to do what I always do and that’s perform to my best. I’m very excited to be back and facing Sexton for the British title and believe me I’m on a mission to claim back what should have been rightfully mine, the world title,” Hughie said. ”I am the uncrowned world champion and come May 12 you will see why that is.”

Sexton is coming off a close 12 round unanimous decision win over the 6’7” Gary Cornish last October in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was a good win for Sexton against a very poor heavyweight. Cornish wasn’t letting his hands go on a consistent enough basis for him to win the fight and take advantage of his size. The win for Sexton was his 9th straight since losing to David Price by a 4th round knockout in May 2012.

Sexton’s only career loses have come against Price and Dereck Chisora. Those are the only quality fighters that Sexton has fought as a pro. He’s mostly spent his time fighting domestic level opposition. Sexton’s biggest victories of his career were against Martin Rogan, a slugger known for his upset 10 round points decision win over Audley Harrison in December 2008.

Hughie is putting himself in a no-win situation in taking on Sexton for his British strap. If Hughie runs from Sexton and spoils for 12 rounds in losing the fight, he’ll be the laughing stock and his career will be seen as over. But even if Hughie beats Sexton, he’s not going to get much of any credit for doing so. After all, David Price knocked out Sexton in 4 rounds. That tells you something about Sexton’s talent level.

With all the talk from Hughie in the past about him on course to be the youngest heavyweight world champion ever, he should be able to fight and beat better opposition than Sam Sexton. The decision for Hughie to fight Sexton suggests that there’s a confidence issue with him and his team. If Hughie is the real deal, then he’s certainly capable of beating better opposition than Sexton. This is the type of opponent that Hughie should have been fighting in the first year or 2 of his career rather than after he challenged for a world title. It would be sad if Hughie’s career ends up seeing him at the British level defending that strap over and over rather than moving back up to fight world class opposition. If Hughie lacks the talent to cut it at the world level, he should find that out now rather than waste time fighting for domestic level straps against champions that couldn’t cut it at the top tier.

For Hughie to be successful in the heavyweight division, he’s to develop his power. He’s not going to be able to beat the best fighters in the division by running from them and constantly holding all night to keep them from getting their shots off like we saw in Hughie’s fights against Parker, Fred Kassi and Andriy Rudenko. Those fights were ugly to watch due to the spoiling that Hughie was doing.

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