Hennessy says Hughie Fury will look for heavyweight eliminators

By Boxing News - 05/13/2018 - Comments

Image: Hennessy says Hughie Fury will look for heavyweight eliminators

By Scott Gilfoid: Hughie Fury’s promoter Mick Hennessy says the 23-year-old will be giving up his British heavyweight title fight and going after eliminators and final eliminators following his 5th round knockout win over British heavyweight champion Sam Sexton (24-4, 9 KOs) last Saturday night at the Bolton Whites Hotel in Bolton.

Hughie knocked Sexton down twice in the one-sided fight, dropping him in round 4 and 5. The fight was stopped by referee Terry O’Connor at 2:03 of round 5.

It was always expected that Hughie would give up the British title after beating Sexton, because 2016 Olympic silver medalist Joe Joyce (4-0, 4 KOs) had already given both fighters a warning that he was going to go after the winner of that fight.

Hughe’s promoter would be doing him no favors to put him in an eliminator where he would have to take on a lion like Luis Ortiz or Dillian Whyte. Unless Hughie is put in with someone who has business being in a world title eliminator, he’s going to get stuck having to face someone with talent. I didn’t see anything from Hughie last night that would suggest the could beat a good fighter in a title eliminator.

Hughie would be the man in the hot seat if he chose to keep the British title and defend it. But as expected, Hughie said he’ll be giving it up and moving on in another direction. Hennessy says Joyce and Dubois are not in Hughie’s plans. He wants to put Hughie in a heavyweight eliminator and final eliminator. It’s a bit early for that. Hughie lost his previous fight against former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker last September, and he looked something awful in that fight. For one of the 4 sanctioning bodies to throw the 6’6” Hughie a bone after the way he fought against Parker, it would be quite shocking. Hughie looked so bad against Parker that I couldn’t imagine any of the sanctioning bodies giving him a shot at an eliminator bout for a long time.

“I knew Sam Sexton was going to give his all tonight,” Hughie said after the fight. “I knew it was going to be a difficult Sam Sexton, because this was his last chance. He came in shape and he was giving it his all. I was so relaxed in there. I was falling asleep. I was confident tonight. All I wanted was one shot. I worked on my right hand over Christmas, and this is what I done. It was a boxing master-class,” Hughie said.

It didn’t look like Hughie was completely relaxed inside the ring against the 33-year-old Sexton. It looked to me like Hughie was moving constantly, threating Sexton like he was a knockout threat rather than a fighter with zero punching power and a 32% KO percentage. Sexton is a weak puncher, and there was absolutely no reason for Hughie to have been moving as much as he did. This was a fight that Hughie could have ended much faster if he’d stopped moving and stood and fought Sexton in the pocket. It looked to me like Hughie was having flashbacks from his fight against Joseph Parker last September. Hughie ate some right hands from Parker early in the 1st round, and from that point on, he was on the run from the New Zealand. It was a gawed awful fight to watch. Hughie wasn’t as bad last night against Sexton, but he still fought like he was fearful of going toe-to-toe with Sexton. Something in Hughie’s mindset held him back from wanting to brawl with Sexton.

“I would have wanted Sam Sexton to last a bit longer, because I wanted to see Hughie perform on the front foot,” said trainer/father Peter Fury.

Peter is kidding himself when he says he wanted to see Hughie on the front foot. The fight could have gone the full 12 rounds, and Hughie wouldn’t have been on the front foot. All Peter must do to know how Hughie would have fought the last 7 rounds of the fight with Sexton was to look at his contest against Parker. Hughie was never going to stand a slug with Sexton, because he doesn’t fancy that kind of a fight. It’s too dangerous for Hughie, who may not have the best stamina in the world, as we saw in his fight with Fred Kassi. Hughie was totally gassed after just 6 rounds against Kassi. He blamed his fatigue on his skin problem, but it looked to me like his body couldn’t handle all the running that he was doing. When a fighter is 6’6”, he can’t run for a prolonged period without gassing out. Hughie is going to need to learn how to stand and fight instead of running so much. When Hughie eventually faces another good heavyweight, he’s going to run himself into a state of exhaustion and then get blasted out. That’s Hughie’s destiny unless he changes the way he fights.

“I worked my entire fight to get to where I am,” Hughie said. “I don’t care about the money or anything. I’ve got one goal, and that’s to become a world champion. Whoever has got them belts, believe me, I’m coming. And when I do get the belts, I’ll hold onto them for a long time,” Hughie said.

I don’ see Hughie being able to win a world title against any of the current heavyweight champions. Parker isn’t around any longer as a champion, and Hughie was beaten by him 10 rounds to 2 on two of the judges’ scorecards. Just imagine what Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua would do to Hughie. He wouldn’t win a round against either of those guys in my estimation unless I was a judge giving Hughie a mercy round. You can argue that 2 of the judges for the Parker fight gave Hughie 2 mercy rounds, because I don’t see how he won even 2 rounds in that fight. I scored it 12 rounds to 0 in favor of Parker. The referee that scored the fight even at 114-114 was just way out in outer space with that score. I don’t understand what he saw from Hughie that made him believe he deserved to be given 6 rounds.

”I lost [to Joseph Parker], even though I thought I won the fight, it made me hungry,” Hughie. ”I’m going to be a vicious fighter now. The fighters now are going to be worried in the division. They’re going to be ducking me. We’re going to be in the mandatory position and then they can’t duck me,” Hughie said.

I don’t see any heavyweights ducking Hughie. I don’t think there’s much to gain for any of the heavyweight contenders in the division to fight a British champion. That’s such a huge step backwards for the top contenders like Alexander Povetkin, Jarrell Miller, Dillian Whyte and Dominic Breazeale. I don’t think any of them would even consider doing that. Hughie looked so incredibly bad against Parker that he really has to claw his way back up the rankings by proving that he’s not the same fighter that spoiled for 12 rounds and blew his chance at a world title.

“He’s always been a master boxer, but now we’re seeing a brilliant young heavyweight,” Hughie’s promoter Mick Hennessey said. “They’re novices [Joe Joyce and Daniel Dubois]. We’ve got a plan for him [Hughie]. We want him to be a world champion as soon as possible. We’re going to be looking for fights that progress his career to move him to the next level, eliminators, final eliminators for world titles. We’re going to move on, because he’s a world class young heavyweight. He’s the only one doing it at 23. He’s a baby in heavyweight terms,” Mick said.

What I’d like to see is the World Boxing Council ordering Hughie to fight Luis Ortiz in a WBC title eliminator, since Dillian Whyte wants no part of fighting the Cuban talent. If Hughie wants to fight in a title eliminator, then he should face Ortiz and try and earn the title shot rather than have it given to him, which you can argue is exactly what the World Boxing Organization did last September after giving him a No.1 ranking. I don’t think the WBC will even consider giving Hughie a shot in a title eliminator, because they’ve got a lot of good contenders waiting for their shot at an eliminator.

It’s admirable that Hennessey wants to put Hughie in a world title eliminator, but I don’t think he deserves to be in a world title eliminator off the back of a win over the 2nd tier fighter Sexton. To be a title eliminator, Hughie needs to at least have wins over a fringe contender or two. Sexton isn’t a top 15 contender at the world level. He’s an aging domestic level heavyweight.

“I said to Hughie if you’re going to make it in world boxing, you’ve got to stop him, because Sam Sexton, he’s a domestic fighter,” Peter Fury said about Hughie. “He’s not at world level. Let me see where you’re at. He showed that by not getting in deep waters with the likes of Sam Sexton. He’s going to move on. He’s not British level. He came back, got the belt. He’s going to move on. We’re going to get an eliminator. We’re going to sit down with Mick and our team, we’re going to move on and get him back into world title contention. We feel he’s the uncrowned heavyweight champion anyway,” Peter said of Hughie.

I don’t know when one of the sanctioning bodies is going to let Hughie fight in a title eliminator, but I’m guessing it won’t be anytime soon. Hughie needs to beat a heavyweight with a pulse before he can get pushed u high in the rankings.

I’d like to see Hughie beat one or two of these heavyweights before he fights in a title eliminator:

• Dillian Whyte

• Jarrell Miller

• Adam Kownacki

• Kubrat Pulev

• Dominic Breazeale

• Alexander Povetkin

• Tony Bellew

• Charles Martin

• Johann Duhaupas

• Luis Ortiz

• Carlos Takam

• Bryant Jennings

• Joe Joyce

• Daniel Dubois

A lot of boxing fans are saying today that the real reason Hughie is vacating his British heavyweight title without defending it is because he doesn’t want to get beaten by Joe Joyce, who he would have to fight if he chose to keep the belt. Joyce, 6’6”, is the same height as Hughie, but he’s a much bigger puncher with more talent. Joyce had the better amateur career and he looks to be better suited to the rigors of the pro game. Joyce is a rugged heavyweight, and he reminds some boxing fans of a young George Foreman.

First, Peter is dead wrong about Hughie being the “uncrowned heavyweight champion.” He is not an uncrowned champion. The harsh reality is Hughie was given an undeserved world title shot against former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker last September, and he was found out in that fight in getting exposed as being a spoiler. Hughie lost the fight by a lopsided 12 round decision on two of the judges’ scorecards, and that’s all there is to it. Hughie had a chance and he was shown to be too limited to win.

“You only saw a tiny bit tonight,” Hughie said in boasting about his talent. “I only got one thing on my mind and that’s to be a world champion. We’re going to do it. I’m not going to be in anyone’s shadow, and I’m going to be world champion,” Hughie said in what appeared to be a remark about him not being in Tyson Fury’s shadow. “I’ll let my fists do the talking.”

I seriously doubt Hughie purposefully held back against Sexton. I think Hughie was fighting as hard as he could in the fight with the limited ability that he possesses. Hughie utilized his jab, mobility and his right hand. What else does Hughie have in his arsenal? He doesn’t punch hard with his left, and he’s incapable of fighting on the inside or staying in the pocket. He either has a chin problem or stamina related problems that keeps him from being stationary or fighting on the front foot.

I think Hughie is going to continue to live in Tyson Fury’s shadow, simply because he lacks the talent, size and boxing ability that he possesses. Tyson is on another level as Hughie, and he always will be in my view. Even if Tyson was old and over-the-hill, I see him still being a better fighter than Hughie. There’s too much for Hughie to learn for him to get to the level where Tyson is at right now, and I don’t think he’s going to be able to get that knowledge.