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Hughie Fury says he’ll be ready for Joshua soon after Sexton fight

Image: Hughie Fury says he’ll be ready for Joshua soon after Sexton fight

By Scott Gilfoid: Hughie Fury (20-1, 10 KOs) expects to be ready for a world title shot against IBF/WBA heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua soon after he fights British strap holder Sam Sexton (24-3, 9 KOs) this Saturday night in a 12 round affair at the Bolton Whites Hotel in Bolton, UK.

Fury, 23, figures that he’ll beat Sexton without any problems, and continue his march to a world title shot against Joshua.

Hughie is coming off of a failed world title shot against former WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker last September. Hughie lost the fight by a 12 round majority decision largely because he refused to throw punches. Hughie was mostly just running around the ring, flicking punches into the air without connecting, and holding nonstop. It was perhaps the worst example of spoiling in a heavyweight title fight since the Lennox Lewis vs. Henry Akinwande fight in July 1997. Akinwande was disqualified in the 5th round in that fight due to his excessive holding. However, the holding that Akinwande was doing in the fight with Lewis was nothing compared to the grabbing and spoiling that Hughie did against Parker. The referee working the Parker-Fury fight, Marcus McDonnell, never took a point away from Hughie for his spoiling tactics. He let him get away with it. McDonnell would have done Hughie a world of good by taking a couple of points off for his holding and running, because he would have been forced to change his tactics and start fighting instead of spoiling.

”I fancy that fight,” said Hughie said to about the Joshua fight. “After this, I’ll be knocking on his door soon enough, if he’s still got hold of those belts. The sooner the better for me. Hopefully it will come, get in the mandatory position, and then that fight will happen. I’m ready for that fight. He’s never fought anyone like me. No one has ever fought anything like me,” Hughie said.

Hughie can’t be serious. He’s not ready for a fight with Joshua, and he certainly won’t be knocking on the door for a world title shot against him if he’s successful against the 33-year-old Sexton on Saturday night. It takes more than a win over a domestic level heavyweight like Sam Sexton for a fighter to get move up to a mandatory spot in the top tier of the heavyweight division.

Hughie isn’t ranked in the top 15 by any of the 4 sanctioning bodies at this time, and the reason for that is because he looked gawd awful against Parker, and he’s only had 1 fight in the last 2 years. After Hughie’s unimpressive 7th round technical decision win over journeyman Fred Kassi in April 2016, he fought just once in 2017 in losing to Parker. Since that fight, Hughie has been inactive for the last 8 months. That’s not a good thing for Hughie, because he’s not getting the most out of his career. He was doing well up until he met up with Kassi in 2016.

Hughie gassed out in the 6th round of that fight and was taking monstrous right hands from Kassi. The fight had to be halted when Hughie collided heads with Kassi in the 7th, causing a big cut over his left eye. The referee Tom O’Connor decided it was best to stop the fight on the spot instead of letting Hughie get to his corner to see if they could stop the flow of blood from his cut. The referee was criticized by a lot of boxing fans for choosing to stop it. Hughie was fortunate though that the fight was halted at the time, because Kassi had taken over the fight beginning in the 6th, and he landing big shots. Had the fight continued much longer, we probably would have seen Kassi knock Hughie out.

For Hughie to get to a mandatory spot without being helped along by a generous ranking from one of the sanctioning bodies, he’s going to need to take some risks by facing quality heavyweights. 2016 Olympic super heavyweight silver medalist Joe Joyce has expressed interest in wanting to fight the winner of the Sexton-Fury fight, but Hughie’s father/trainer Peter Fury said that he’s not on their radar. They have no interest in facing Joyce, which is too bad because Hughie has never beaten a quality heavyweight before during his career. Hughie’s last 5 wins have come against these fighters: Fred Kassi, Dominick Guinn, Larry Olubamiwo, Emilio Ezequiel Zarate and George Arias.

Joyce stands out well above those fighters. If Peter plans on having Hughie take on the contenders in the division from this point on, then he needs to step it up already. The old excuse about Hughie being too young to be thrown in there with world level contenders no longer works, because he already fought for a world title last year against Parker, and then complained bitterly afterwards when he didn’t have his hand raised. Since Hughie believes he deserves the decision in that fight, there’s no reason why he can’t take on other world class fighters. I don’t understand why Hughie is facing Sexton. This fight doesn’t make sense. If Hughie will be knocking on the Joshua’s door after this fight, why does he need to be fighting at the British level for that strap instead of going after the top contenders in the division?

It’s going to take Hughie a long time for him to get ranked at No.1 with one of the sanctioning bodies. I don’t think that any of the sanctioning bodies are going to do Hughie a favor again like the WBO title in giving him a No.1 ranking off of his wins over fluff opposition. For Hughie to get to the mandatory spot again, he’s probably going to need to beat the likes of Dillian Whyte, Kubrat Pulev, Jarrell Miller, Alexander Povetkin, Luis Ortiz or Dominic Breazeale. I doubt that Hughie will have a mandatory spot just given to him like the WBO did in making Hughie their mandatory for Parker after he beat Zarate, Kassi, Guinn and Olubamiwo. Those wins should have kept Hughie in the 2nd tier instead of launching him to No.1 2ith the WBO. I don’t rate those victories as being good enough to give Hughie a top 15 ranking, let alone a No.1 spot.

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