After signing a deal with Matchroom Boxing just about a month ago, Hughie Fury wasted no time in putting together his first fight with his new promoter, and he’s made it a good challenge, as he’ll face Russian veteran Alexander Povetkin this Saturday on the Lomachenko-Cambpell card, which streams on ESPN+.
Fury (23-2, 13 KO) is still just 24 years old, but there are questions about how high he can really climb. He’s already had a world title shot, losing a decision to Joseph Parker in Sept. 2017, and he had a chance to earn another in Oct. 2018, but lost an IBF eliminator to Kubrat Pulev.
Fury went the distance both times, but lost fair decisions, and it’s a question of upside with Tyson’s younger cousin.
Povetkin (34-2, 24 KO) is 39 years old now and certainly past his best days, but he still ranks at least on par with Parker and Pulev in the minds of most. He’s coming off of a loss last September against Anthony Joshua at Wembley Stadium, so there is some reason to believe he could be rusty, having not fought in 11 months, or that the TKO defeat might have taken something from him.
But Fury will have to actually prove he’s the better fighter, which he knows.
“Povetkin is a good opponent but I believe that I belong at this level and I’m going to prove it,” said Fury. “Eddie showed me other potential opponents but at the end of the day, if you believe you’re the best then you want to fight the best, and I do. I’ve had a bit of bad luck in previous fights but this is the time for me to shine and show people what I’m made of.”
Povetkin, at 6’2”, will be giving up four inches of height to the younger man, but both of them are fairly light for the division, Povetkin thicker, usually coming in around 220-230, with Fury lankier, cutting himself down to 221 and 218 for a pair of tune-up fights this year, after weighing in at 236 for the fight with Pulev. Fury will also have a five-inch reach advantage.
“Stylistically I think he is perfectly made for me,” Fury said. “He is a good fighter who can’t be underestimated, and one shot can end it all in the heavyweight division. We’ve been working on things in this camp and brought in very good sparring partners who we’ve done lots of rounds with. I’m really looking forward to this and you will see on the night how I handle Povetkin.
“There’s nothing new with him, his style has always been the same. I will be the more active man in there and you can’t substitute for being active, but at the end of the day he is a professional and he’s experienced so he’ll be ready come fight night. I’m not really bothered about his power, I’m just concentrating on my own job and doing what I’ve got to do.”
Fury is adamant that he signed with Matchroom and took this fight so that he can get in with the best of the best.
“A win against Povetkin puts me right back into the mix and this is where I belong. It puts me on the platform where I can fight anyone I want and it gives me respect and that’s what I want. I want to be in command and to fight the best. I’m not the sort of fighter who wants to keep fighting journeymen. I want to fight the best and prove I belong at the top.”
On Saturday, he’s got another chance.