“I believe that when I get there, when I get to fighting him, I will beat him,” Raphael Akpejiori says Tyson Fury is the ‘top’ target as the Nigerian heavyweight attempts to continue his KO run on Saturday
Tyson Fury’s stunning powers of recovery are like ‘The Terminator’ but Britain’s world champion ‘will be beaten’, says destructive contender Raphael Akpejiori.
The unbeaten Nigerian, who has won all 12 of his fights by knockout, aims to force his way into Fury’s plans next year by continuing his explosive run of victories.
Fury is expected to defend his WBC belt against Dillian Whyte in April after climbing off the canvas twice to sensationally stop Deontay Wilder in last month’s trilogy clash.
“He is the man at the top and my goal is to go to the top,” Akpejiori told Sky Sports.
“It would take someone with my power. Not just my power, because he’s faced Deontay Wilder three times, and it hasn’t fazed him because he’s a master boxer.
“I have to develop a boxing skillset to be up to his par. My power along with that.
“We’re about the same height, we’re about the same height. I’m a little more athletic. I’ve played multiple sports and I can do anything with my body that I command it to do at any time.
“He’s been doing this for a long time. I’ve being doing this for a good part of five years.
“I’m learning a lot over the course of time. I believe that when I get there, when I get to fighting him, I will beat him.”
Akpejiori is yet to be extended beyond the second round and would relish the challenge of trying to shatter Fury’s aura of invincibility.
“He’s not going to stay down. He was knocked down four times in the last three fights [with Deontay Wilder],” said Akpejiori, who shares the same strength and conditioning coach as Deontay Wilder.
“If I ever knocked Tyson Fury down, I will keep boxing like it’s the start of the round. It would be very stupid for me to go in there and start gassing myself with power punches, knowing the man in front of me is a Terminator.
“I’ll work for another knockdown and hopefully I’ll get three or four knockdowns in a row. I have to stop him on his back or even on his feet, then I can raise my hand in victory.
“The Terminator will be beaten, that’s what I’m saying.”
Akpejiori’s countryman Efe Ajagba, the Rio 2016 Olympian, suffered a recent setback after he was floored and beaten on points by Frank Sanchez.
But Akpejiori remains confident that he can return to Nigeria as a world champion.
“Fortunately for me and unfortunately for the country, I am the only undefeated heavyweight in the world that represents our country and I hope to keep it that way,” said the Miami-based fighter.
“I am motivated to win a world title. I will win a world country and I will put my country on the map with a world title.
“At the end of the day, it’s a whole lot of work that needs to be done.”
The 31-year-old plans to pull off another devastating win over Santander Silgado in Miami this Saturday.
“Every time I touch people, they come to an awakening right there in the ring, ‘Okay, this is not going to be an easy night.’
“I’ve actually had a lot of guys tell me that after the fight.
“It’s always happened and I believe that it will happen this time around.
“My last opponent, he said he was going to show me something different that I had never seen in my life before.
“When he got into the ring and I hit him with a right hand, he quit on the stool.”