Fury believes he is a far more mature fighter after three big defeats as he prepares to face Christian Hammer in Newcastle this weekend.
“He’s from the Fury family – but he’s not Tyson. He’s a young guy. I will try to break him.”
Christian Hammer has history with the Fury dynasty, yet it was still a rather obvious missile with which he tried to disarm Hughie ahead of their fight on Saturday night.
The three-time European champion, who was stopped by Tyson in February 2015, might see this as some kind of personal vendetta against the cousin of the WBC heavyweight champion. UK Anti-Doping ruled that Tyson Fury’s eighth-round victory over Hammer should be scratched from the record after he tested positive for the banned steroid nandrolone, but the result still stands.
A string of accusations against the Fury camp followed, as the German-Romanian’s promoters questioned why his opponent had been able to punch with such ferocious power. Both Furys strongly denied taking any performance-enhancing drugs when the allegations first surfaced.
Even so, Hughie insists he does not need any added motivation as he bids to silence Hammer’s team once and for all. “All the motivation for me is just getting in the ring and doing my job,” he tells i. “He’s a tough opponent. We can’t underestimate him and he’s coming to win, so I’m expecting a great fight.”
The end goal is another world title shot. It is hard to believe Fury had just turned 23 when he fought Joseph Parker for the WBO belt, losing by majority decision.
His only defeats since came against Kubrat Pulev and Alexander Povetkin and in terms of his physical build, he is now a very different fighter. “Before, it was a boy against a man,” he admits. “You could see with my shape and everything. Now it’s a different story. I took all the learning from those fights and it’s brought me on leaps and bounds.”
There is, of course, one rather awkward hurdle in the way of becoming world heavyweight champion. Tyson Fury currently holds the WBC belt, which he defended with an 11th-round knockout of Deontay Wilder in Vegas last weekend. Eventually, he is expected to meet the winner of Oleksandr Usyk’s rematch with Anthony Joshua for the WBA, WBO and IBF titles and could therefore unify the division.
Regardless, Fury vs Fury is not going to happen. “I often get asked the question,” Hughie says. “But no, it’s not a circus act. I wouldn’t fight my cousin.”
Peter Fury, another key figure in the family’s prestigious boxing tradition, is both father and trainer to Hughie, two roles which have led to him growing frustrated at the more realistic fights available to his son.
“Training does get frustrating at times, not being able to fight as much as I wanted,” says the younger Fury, who has been out of the ring for 10 months since beating Mariusz Wach. “I have been dodged a bit, so hopefully now, I’m with the right platform and getting fights – and coming back starting with Hammer it’s a good start already.”
Last time he was in the UK, Hammer knocked out David Price, and he has also gone the distance against Povetkin and Luis Ortiz, setting up an intriguing spectacle on a stacked card in Newcastle.
Chris Eubank Jr will make his belated return after his 2 October bout was cancelled on the day due to Anatoli Muratov failing a medical. Indeed, it hasn’t been an ideal start for Boxxer, the new kids on the promoting block, with Lewis Ritson’s fight with Hank Lundy another casualty this weekend.
Fury, at least, is ready to seize his opportunity to make a statement, though he has not had any tips from his cousin. “The right fights will happen at the right time,” he insists. “But I believe the best should fight the best.”