Hughie Fury vs. Chris Norrad on May 25 in Manchester, UK
By Charles Brun: Former heavyweight world title challenger Hughie Fury (21-2, 11 KOs) will be returning to the ring this month against little known 35-year-old Chris Norrad (17-0, 8 KOs) in a scheduled 12 round fight on May 25 at the Victoria Warehouse in Manchester, England.
This will be the 24-year-old Hughie’s first fight since his one-sided 12 round unanimous decision loss to Kubrat Pulev last October in an IBF title eliminator. The Hughie vs. Norrad fight will be shown on Channel 5 in the UK. With Hughie’s long seven month layoff, and his defeat to Pulev, it’s not surprising that he’s being matched against a little known fighter like Norrad. Hughie’s management weren’t going to put him in with anyone good with his long layoff and the way he was beaten by Pulev. Hughie was trounced by Pulev. That was a total schooling last October. Pulev was leagues better than Hughie.
The Canadian Norrad has fought lesser opposition during his 10-year career. He has recent wins over these unrecognizable fighters: Abraham Pascual, Hugo Lomeli, Alberto Martinez, Sandy Pembroke, David Whittom, Alexandre Hamel and Frank White. The fact that Hughie’s management are matching him this weakly suggests that they don’t want to take chances of him losing if they put him in with someone halfway decent.
It’s unclear how fast Hughie will be moved after he defeats Norrad. Hughie is only 24-years-old. If his management wants to rebuild him from scratch, they can keep him busy fighting eight or nine times a year against moderately talented heavyweights, and then slowly bring him back to world class depending on how good he looks.
The 6’6” Hughie has failed to achieve the greatness that some had believed him capable of attaining when he first turned pro six years ago in 2013. The high point of Hughie’s career came with his seventh round technical decision victory over journeyman Fred Kassi in April 2016. That fight was also the beginning of a downward descent for Fury’s career, as he looked exhausted after six rounds and was taking punishment from Kassi. The fight was stopped in the seventh round after suffered a cut from a clash of heads. The fight then went to the scorecards, and Hughie was given a seven round technical decision victory. Some boxing fan think Hughie quit.
Hughie won the Kassi fight by the scores 69–66, 70–64, and 69–65. Unfortunately, Hughie was booed by the boxing fans, because they saw him laboring badly and looking like he was on his way to losing to the fight when he banged heads with Kassi. Afterwards, there was talk from his trainer Peter Fury that Hughie was only operating at roughly 30 to 40% due to health problems impacting his immune system from a skin problem. After Hughie’s health problem was taken care of, Peter wanted to get him a title shot with IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua for late 2016. After a year and a half layoff, Hughie challenged WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker for his title in September 2017. Parker easily beat Hughie by a 12 round majority decision by the scores 118-110, 118-110 and 114-114. Hughie came back from that loss to defeat British domestic level heavyweight Sam Sexton by a fifth round knockout last year in May.