By Charles Brun: Tyson Fury says he’s hoping to face either Jarrell ‘Big Baby’ Miller or Trevor Bryan next on October 5 in his next fight. Fury (28-0-1, 20 KOs) says he needs an “American” opponent for his next fight on ESPN, because the network wants him to fight someone from the U.S this time. Fury points out that Miller is under suspension after testing positive for banned substances recently.
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum already ruled Miller out as Fury’s next opponent, saying that it’s “silly” to discuss him being an option for him due to him not having a boxing license.
Bryan, 29, isn’t well known in the U.S, even though he comes from that country. His record is filled with largely no names, and his ranking is arguably higher than it should be. In other words, Bryan is another Tom Schwarz level heavyweight contender. That’s bad news for boxing fans if Fury is involved in another mismatch against a guy with an inflated ranking. Bryan’s best career wins have come against these fighters:
- BJ Flores
- Derric Rossy
- Epifanio Mendoza
- Elieser Castillo
- Galen Brown
Flores used to be a cruiserweight contender, but now he’s moved up to heavyweight. He’s pretty old now at 40, and he’s not well suited for the heavyweight division. It doesn’t say much that Bryan’s best win of his career is against Flores.
Miller’s suspension will expire beyond October, so it’s unlikely Fury will be able to fight him. Bryan (20-0, 14 KOs) is ranked #1 with the World Boxing Association, which means he’ll probably wait until he gets a title shot against the WBA champion Andy Ruiz Jr. rather than fight Fury for small money. Fury says his management offered Kubrat Pulev to fight him, but he’s the IBF mandatory, and he’s going to wait for his title shot against the winner of Andy Ruiz Jr. vs. Anthony Joshua rematch. Pulev, 38, would be a risky fight for Fury, because he has a great jab, and excellent size at 6’4 1/2″.
In Fury’s last fight, he fought little known German heavyweight Tom Schwarz on June 15 in New York, and the fight didn’t sellout. Fury ended up destroying the highly ranked #2 WBO Schwarz by a second round knockout.
It wasn’t a competitive fight at all, and Schwarz looked horribly poor for a fighter ranked at #2 by the Word Boxing Organization. Schwarz was so bad that Fury gained nothing from the fight in terms of increased popularity in the States. If anything, Fury might have lost popularity in the eyes of the U.S fans, because of how poor his opponent was.
Fury targeting Big Baby Miller or Bryan
“I’m fighting on October the 5th. I’m hoping it’s going to be Jarrell Miller, but I read today that he’s still has a six month suspension as from June the first,” said Fury to Behind The Gloves. “So, June, July, August, September, October. October will be four months. So maybe they won’t give him his license. So if we can’t get Jarrell Miller, then Trevor Bryan, I want you. If I can’t get Trevor Bryan, I don’t know who I’m going to get. [Kubrat] Pulev doesn’t bring anything to the table at all. ESPN, they an American fighter, but a Bulgarian fighter that nobody knows, and nobody is interested in that. We offered him [Pulev] the fight, and he’s said, ‘no,’ because he’s mandatory for Joshua [Note: Andy Ruiz Jr. is the IBF champion, not Joshua], and he’s going to wait until he gets that mandatory. So that’s what his route is going to be,” said Fury.
It doesn’t sound promising for Fury in his hopes of getting Bryan or Miller to fight him on October 5. However, if Fury’s promoters at Top Rank Boxing are able to come up with a big enough offer, they could get Bryan, 29, to potentially agree to a fight with him. It’s still unlikely though. Bryan can make big money fighting the winner of the Ruiz Jr. vs. Joshua fight. ESPN and Top Rank would need to be able to match that kind of money, and it’s unclear whether they can or if they would be willing to do that. This would be a bad time for Fury to face Jarrell Miller, given that he just tested positive for three banned substances when he was signed to fight Anthony Joshua.
Fury says the other options for his next fight in October are one of these guys: Bryant Jennings, Charles Martin and Adam Kownacki. The highly ranked #4 IBF & #5 WBC Kownacki (19-0, 15 KOs) is from Poland, but he lives and fights in the U.S. If Fury were to fight Kownacki, he wouldn’t be fighting an American. Kownacki does have a fan base in the New York area, but he’s not well known in the U.S. He’s got some fans in New York. A fight between Fury and Kownacki would do well in New York, but it’s not going to be a huge affair. Kownacki might not be willing to fight given his high ranking with the IBF and WBC. Kownacki is better off waiting to get a title shot against Joshua or Ruiz Jr.
Fury: ESPN wants an American for me to fight
“February 22 in Las Vegas, my new home,” said Fury in saying that he’ll be fighting Deontay Wilder on that date. “It’s like that now. If we can’t get Jarrell Miller, and we can’t get Trevor Bryan, who do we get? Who is there in America? People want American heavyweights for me to smash to pieces. ESPN is in America in New York. So they don’t want another European. They want an American fighter. So who is there? There’s Jarrell Miller, Trevor Bryant, there’s Bryant Jennings, there’s Adam Kownacki [Note: Kownacki is not an American, he’s from Poland], Andy Ruiz Jr., Charles Martin, Gerald Washington, Dominic Breazeale. There’s a few, but who is going to be a credible opponent? Gerald Washington and Dominic Breazeale have been chinned [recently], so they’re out of the running unfortunately. Bryant Jennings is fighting Joe Joyce [this Saturday] next week. I’m not sure who Kownacki; he’s fighting Chris Arreola,” said Fury.
If Bryant Jennings (24-3, 13 KOs) defeats Joe Joyce this Saturday night in this Saturday on July 13 in London, England, then its very likely Top Rank will have him fight Fury in October. However, there’s a good chance that the 34-year-old Jennings will lose that fight. Jennings is coming off of a 12th round knockout loss to Oscar Rivas last January. Although Jennings gave Rivas a tough fight, he ended up getting stopped. Jennings is from Philadelphia, so he would be perfect for an opponent to face Fury in New York. He’s not popular with the casual boxing fans in the U.S, so it probably wouldn’t help ESPN if Fury faces him rather than a fighter that comes from outside of the U.S.
Tyson Fury willing to fight anybody
“I’ll fight anybody. I’m not really bothered,” said Fury. “I just want a 12 round fight against the toughest opponent I can find, because I need another tough fight for the Wilder fight on February 22, because Wilder is having a great fight with [Luis] Ortiz, and we saw Ortiz take him 11 rounds before. So I’m anticipating he’ll give him a decent fight again. So I need a durable opponent to give me some rounds. Obviously, Wilder [beats Ortiz], but he’ll knock him out a lot quicker this time. He’s [Ortiz] another year older. He’ll get rid of him soon. The guy [Ortiz] says he’s 40, but I think Wilder will knock him out quick. I said Wilder would knockout Dominic Breazeale quick, because their styles are made, and they did. So we’ll see what happens,” said Fury.