Tyson Fury still needs an opponent for September 17, and may be digging deep to find one. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)
Reigning British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion Tyson Fury is still trying to secure an opponent for his September 17 fight in Belfast, and the latest name to enter the rumor mill is Norwegian Leif Larsen, a former shot putter and NFL player.
Larsen (14-0, 11 KO) is a big heavyweight at around 6'5" and 265 pounds, but he's 36 years old and really just a novice fighter. After competing in the shot put as an amateur, Larsen turned to American football, and played college ball as a defensive tackle at UTEP before being drafted in the sixth round of the 2000 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. Larsen didn't last in the NFL, and turned to boxing in 2003.
Fury (15-0, 10 KO) picked up the British and Commonwealth titles from Dereck Chisora on July 23 in London, and the fight returned boxing to network television in the UK, doing very good numbers on Channel 5. The network was so impressed that they will be televising Fury again on September 17, even without a set opponent, and attractive or competitive options having long since dwindled.
If Fury does face Larsen, or someone else on that level, and blows them out, I think you could expect him to fight again late in the year. Larsen would be a pretty deep dig for an opponent, but the notice is getting quite short, and you'd be unwise to expect anything truly better at this point.