Posts Tagged ‘Tyson Fury’

Looking at options after Vitali Klitschko’s decision to vacate WBC title

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After fighting Francesco Pianeta in May, Wladimir Klitschko is expected to face Alexander Povetkin. (Nadine Rupp/Bungarts/Getty Images)

Wladimir Klitschko may get a chance to unify his title with the vacated title of his brother Vitali. (Nadine Rupp/Bungarts/Getty Images)

Vitali Klitschko’s decision to vacate his WBC heavyweight title has created a scramble among boxers eager to fight for the coveted belt. On Tuesday, top contenders Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder engaged in (another) vulgar exchange on social media, while Bermane Stiverne and Chris Arreola both have made cases that they deserve a title shot.

How will it sort out? Here’s a suggested scenario:

Make Stiverne-Fury for the vacant title: Last April, Bermane Stiverne (23-1) beat Chris Arreola in a WBC eliminator, establishing Stiverne as the No. 1 contender on the WBC rankings. Whether he earned the right to be in an eliminator is debatable — boxing insiders get a good laugh out of the WBC’s monthly rankings, as they often appear to ignore merit — but Stiverne did win the fight.

Tyson Fury (21-0) is ranked No. 8 by the WBC, but his résumé is more complete than that of anyone ranked above him, a list that includes Bryant Jennings, Mike Perez and Dereck Chisora. Fury owns wins over Chisora, Steve Cunningham and Kevin Johnson in the last two years. His activity — he has not fought since stopping Cunningham last April — has been limited by the postponement and ultimate cancellation of a fight against David Haye. Still, among heavyweight contenders, Fury is as worthy as any to fight for a vacant title.

Make the new titleholder face the winner of Arreola-Wilder: Quality heavyweight fights in the U.S. have been scarce in recent years; Arreola-Wilder would be one of them. When Arreola (36-3) is in shape — as he was during a first-round destruction of Seth Mitchell last September — he can be very good. What he lacks in technique he makes up for with an iron chin and crushing power. Deontay Wilder’s list of opponents is pathetic, and he has been wobbled by non-punchers in the past. But he also possesses thundering one-punch power and, at 6-foot-7, Wilder (30-0) has the kind of size that is difficult to match up with.

It’s a classic crossroads matchup: Arreola, 32, the aging contender against Wilder, 28, the untested Olympic bronze medalist just entering his prime. It’s a fight Showtime would snap up in a heartbeat and it would produce a winner worthy of a title shot.

Whoever emerges gets Wladimir Klitschko: Make no mistake, Klitschko is dying to unify the titles. When Vitali held the WBC belt, Wladimir said all the right things. Privately though, Wladimir badly wants to unify the titles. Klitschko figures to be tied up with mandatory defenses for the first half of 2014, leaving would-be WBC contenders to fight it out for the title. Whoever comes out of that scrum will not only be battle tested against two legitimate heavyweight opponents but will have an increased profile that will undoubtedly create a bidding war among premium networks to secure the rights to the fight.

– By Chris Mannix

  • Published On Dec 17, 2013
  • Tyson brings the Fury with seventh-round knockout of Steve Cunningham

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    Tyson Fury (left) took a hard punch in the second round, but knocked out Steve Cunningham in the seventh. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

    Tyson Fury (left) took a hard punch in the second round, but knocked out Steve Cunningham in the seventh. (Mary Altaffer/AP)

    NEW YORK — Three thoughts on Tyson Fury’s seventh-round knockout win over Steve Cunningham:

    Fury packs a real heavyweight punch

    No question, Fury is still a work in progress. At 24, his style is sloppy, he leaves his chin exposed—evidenced by the punch Cunningham landed that in the second round that sent Fury toppling to the canvas—and he doesn’t use his jab enough to keep smaller fighters off  of him. But he packs a wallop and uses every inch of his 6-foot-9, 257-pound frame, leaning on Cunningham and wearing down the two-time cruiserweight champion. Cunningham fought a sharp fight: He moved well, landed accurately and, thanks to a knockdown and a point deduction, appeared to be in a good position on the scorecards. But the strength and size of Fury took its toll, and a series of shots in the seventh capped by a clubbing right hand put Cunningham down and out.

    Read More…

  • Published On Apr 20, 2013
  • Quick Jabs: Donaire-Mares bout in limbo, Gamboa to escape punishment

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    Nonito Donaire

    Golden Boy Promotions is trying to get Nonito Donaire (above) and Abner Mares in the ring together. (AP)

    Golden Boy Promotions ratcheted up its pursuit of a fight between super bantamweights Nonito Donaire and Abner Mares this week, submitting a contract to an attorney for Top Rank, which promotes Donaire, for a guaranteed $3 million purse for the fight. That money — however it is split between Donaire, Top Rank and manager Cameron Dunkin — would be a record purse for Donaire. Unfortunately, it’s not enough. I’m told Top Rank has no interest in the offer. It prefers Donaire fight in April, on HBO; the contract gives Golden Boy the ability to hold the fight as late as June 30. It also states that should the fight need to be postponed, Golden Boy has the right to reschedule it within 90 days or cancel it outright, provisions Top Rank isn’t willing to live with.

    Instead, Top Rank plans to move ahead with an April 13 date for Donaire and match him against either super bantamweight titleholder Guillermo Rigondeaux or former bantamweight champion Vic Darchinyan.

    Personally, I think this is all pretty stupid. If scheduling is the biggest issue — and forget the network issue, if Golden Boy is putting up close to $5 million between Donaire and Mares, it’s a safe bet it winds up on HBO — then shame on the promoters for not finding a common ground. And according to Golden Boy Promotions CEO Richard Schaefer, it’s not. Schaefer told me on Wednesday that he has “all the flexibility in the world” when it comes to changing the date and that he personally sent an email to HBO letting network executives know he had no intention of squeezing them out, that he would take the best financial offer for the fight, regardless of the network.

    “What usually happens when you get a $3 million offer is you come back with comments,” Schaefer said. “If we can do this or that, we have a deal. But it just doesn’t seem like they want the fight. I’m going to keep trying. I’m going to keep pursuing until [Top Rank] announces something. Then, I’ll move on.”

    • One of the names published in a scathing Miami New Times report  connecting athletes to a company that allegedly provided steroids and other performance enhancing drugs was that of Yuri Gamboa, a 2004 Olympic gold medalist and current super featherweight contender. But while Major League Baseball investigates the players who were named in the report, Gamboa has nothing to worry about. That’s because boxing — with one of the worst drug testing systems of any major sport — will not retroactively punish a fighter, nor will it do any kind of investigation. In fact, if Gamboa, who tested clean after his December fight in Nevada, has been using something, there is little incentive for him to stop. Clearly, the arcane testing by state athletic commissions isn’t catching him.

    • Brian Kenny has been a superb addition to Showtime’s broadcasts. Kenny is a pro’s pro, a skilled interviewer and an excellent host.

    • Heavyweight contender Tyson Fury is close to a deal that will match him with former cruiserweight champion Steve Cunningham on April 20 at Madison Square Garden. The fight will be an afternoon show broadcast nationally on NBC. Cunningham’s wife and manager, Livvy, told me that while they do not have an official offer — and though they prefer a fight with Alexander Povetkin — they were interested in a Fury fight. Cunningham, of course, is coming off a controversial loss to Tomasz Adamek in December.

    • One of the names I’m hearing for the Cunningham-Fury undercard is Curtis Stevens, who is coming off a spectacular first round knockout of journeyman Elvin Ayala last month.

    • Boxing Scene has an interesting post detailing how the WBA and former middleweight champion Felix Sturm colluded to avoid forcing Sturm to defend his title against Gennady Golovkin.

    • Last week, heavyweight contender Bryant Jennings told he was out of a proposed March 9 date on NBC Sports Network. Jennings said the money he was being offered was the same as what he made last January, when he made his television debut. Main Events CEO Kathy Duva denied that the offer was the same, telling me that it was, in fact, double what Jennings made in his first fight.

    • Can Sergey Kovalev fight again soon? Please?

    • I can understand Zab Judah’s frustration with the postponement of his Feb. 9 fight against Danny Garcia, but accusing Garcia of faking an injury is just dumb. Injuries during training happen, unfortunately, and Judah himself has experienced them: In 2008, Judah fell in a bathroom, a fall that opened a gash on his arm and forced the cancellation of a fight against Shane Mosley. Garcia-Judah has been rescheduled for April 27.

    • Lucas Matthysse’s spectacular first round knockout of an overmatched Mike Dallas Jr. will only enhance his reputation as the most feared fighter in boxing. While Matthysse wants a fight with Danny Garcia, expect Showtime to try to lure him back into the ring quickly, possibly as early as March.

    • Paging Vernon Paris.

    • Johnathan Banks wasn’t too excited when Seth Mitchell exercised the immediate rematch clause in his contract following Banks’s knockout win over him in November. Banks wanted to take an interim bout, preferably against Alexander Povetkin, before facing Mitchell again. But at a recent public workout, Banks sounded like a fighter who has found motivation.

    “Mitchell has contradicted himself,” Banks said. “Right after the fight he was very humble, gave me respect for the win and said he was going to have to go back to the drawing board, work his way back to the position he was in. Now I hear him saying things like ‘I didn’t win the fight or knock him out because I was the better man that night,’ and that it was his mistakes that were the cause of the loss. I find that to be out of character for this guy who seemed to be humble and respectful of me as a fighter prior to the first fight. When I lost to [Tomasz] Adamek as a cruiserweight, I lost. I can see [Mitchell] coming for the knockout this time. He says he is going to be different this time. I believe he will be.

    – Chris Mannix

  • Published On Jan 30, 2013
  • Quick Jabs: Manny Pacquiao in no rush to fight, Glazkov-Scott card could be unwatchable, more

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    Manny Pacquiao

    Despite rumors, Manny Pacquiao probably will not be fighting in April. (AP)

    • Speculation has been rampant in the boxing industry that Manny Pacquiao could return to the ring in April, possibly in a fight in Singapore, Macau or Abu Dhabi. Yet I’m told that there is no sense of urgency to rush Pacquiao back into the ring.

    Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach, told recently that he prefers that Pacquiao — who was brutally knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez last month — stay out of the ring until September. Pacquiao’s promoter, Top Rank, isn’t pushing to make the fight, partly because getting a $10-million site fee secured in the next two months would not be easy, and partly because Top Rank, like Roach, doesn’t see any need to rush back in the ring, not with another $30 million payday coming Pacquiao’s way in a potential fifth fight with Marquez. Most of the talk of a comeback fight is coming from Pacquiao’s business advisor, Michael Koncz, who will need the full support of Top Rank to make the fight happen. And right now, he doesn’t have it.

    • Last week, Main Events announced that heavyweight prospect Vyacheslav “Czar” Glazkov would headline an NBC Sports Network Fight Night show against undefeated Malik Scott on February 23. Now there has been some backlash to the choice of Scott. Despite good size (6-foot-3) and an unblemished record, Scott is rarely, if ever, in an entertaining fight, preferring to jab his way to lopsided wins on the outside against inferior opposition. It’s how his career has gone and, at 32, it’s likely how his career is going to be.

    Certainly Scott wasn’t the promoters’ first choice. Main Events thought it had a deal with heavy-handed heavyweight Magomed Abdusalamov before he backed out. They it turned to Joe Hanks, Jason Estrada, Travis Kauffman, David Rodriguez, Justin Jones and Franklin Lawrence. Each turned the offer down.

    There is plenty of upside for Glazkov (14-0). Beating Scott (35-0) would be a nice feather in his cap. The fear though is that Scott, as he has done his whole career, will use his length, box on the outside and win a boring, unwatchable decision. And for Main Events, which has made Fight Night a success largely by putting together exciting fights, that would be a disaster.

    • Shane Mosley, whose skills have deteriorated significantly in recent years and who retired following a lopsided decision defeat to Saul Alvarez last May, is coming out of retirement to challenge welterweight titleholder Paulie Malignaggi at the Barclays Center in April. Putting aside that Mosley, 41, whose declining motor skills have been noticeable to reporters who have interviewed him the last few years, has reached the point where just fighting is especially dangerous, there is almost no way that can be an entertaining fight.

    • British promoter Frank Warren announced a terrific card to be held March 16 at Wembley Stadium in London. Headlining will be lightweight titleholder Ricky Burns, who will attempt to unify the 135-pound titles against fellow titleholder Miguel Vazquez. In addition, light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly will defend his belt against mandatory challenger Robin Krasniqi, super middleweight prospect George Groves will face Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye, and Dereck Chisora, who has not fought since being knocked out by David Haye last summer, will face an undetermined opponent.

    Chisora’s participation in the show is contingent on him being relicensed by the British Boxing Board of Control, which suspended Chisora’s license indefinitely after he provoked an ugly brawl with Haye last year.

    The card will be televised in the U.S. on Epix and

    • Heavyweight contender Tomasz Adamek will likely have to deal with charges stemming from an arrest for driving under the influence in upstate New York last week, but physically Adamek emerged from the three-car wreck unscathed. Adamek reportedly crashed his car into a parked vehicle, which was pushed into another parked car, while driving late Saturday night near Lake Placid, N.Y.

    Adamek is hoping to face Kubrat Pulev later this year in a fight that will determine the next mandatory challenger for Wladimir Klitschko.

    “Fortunately, he’s fine,” said Adamek’s promoter, Kathy Duva, in an email. “This will not affect his next fight.”

    • Undefeated heavyweight Denis Boytsov, who is recovering from elbow surgery, has resumed training again. I’ll care when the oft-injured Boytsov starts fighting again.

    • Lightweight Adrien Broner’s impressive stoppage of Antonio DeMarco last November has many clamoring to see him in more big fights, including some at junior welterweight, one of the deepest divisions in boxing. However Broner, 23, has no plans to move up in weight anytime soon.

    “That’s what everybody wants you to do,” Broner said. “They have just seen me dominate and put on a great performance… but I just moved up to this weight [135 pounds]. I still make the weight [by] eating steak and potatoes every night at training camp. I make the weight comfortably, so I’m going to stay here for a lot of good fights that I still can have at 135-pounds.  So, I’m going to flush out this lightweight division and then we can go up to the light welterweight and crush their dreams. We’re going to stay here for a while.”

    • An interesting fight under discussion for the spring: Steve Cunningham, the former cruiserweight titleholder coming off a controversial loss to Tomasz Adamek last month, against Tyson Fury, the big (6-foot-8) heavyweight prospect who has been looking for name opponents.

    -Chris Mannix

  • Published On Jan 15, 2013
  • Quick Jabs: Gennady Golovkin’s next move, Seth Mitchell experiment probably over and more

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    Gennady Golovkin (above) will defend his middleweight title against an opponent to be determined on Jan. 19 in New York at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. (AP)

    Some quick jabs …

    • I’m told HBO is now considering two possible opponents for Gennady Golovkin’s Jan. 19 middleweight title defense: Fernando Guerrero, a one-time prospect who is represented by Al Haymon, and Gabriel Rosado, a rising junior middleweight who is currently the IBF’s mandatory challenger for Cornelius “K9″ Bundrage’s title. To me, the decision is an easy one: Guerrero — who beat Rosado in a controversial eight-round middleweight fight in 2009 — has done nothing recently to warrant this kind of opportunity. Rosado, meanwhile, beat three quality opponents in 2012, all on NBC Sports Network, all by knockout. Rosado is the definition of a television-friendly fighter. A matchup with Golovkin would be a war.

    • Super featherweight Teon Kennedy’s injury forced Main Events to find a new opponent for undefeated prospect Jerry Belmontes in the co-feature of the Dec. 8 card on NBC Sports Network. On Monday they announced that Eric Hunter (16-2) would step in. Hunter has been on the shelf for most of the last two years, fighting once (last July) since December of 2010.

    • Kudos to Seth Mitchell for accomplishing a lot in boxing despite not picking up the gloves until he was 24. But this experiment is probably over. You can’t teach a chin and in his last two fights Mitchell has been buzzed by Chazz Witherspoon and knocked out in two rounds by Johnathan Banks. There are things Mitchell can do to improve — he still has no idea how to hold when he gets hurt — but if light hitters like Witherspoon and Banks can wobble him, he’s a sitting duck for one of the Klitschko brothers.

    • Speaking of Banks: I’d like to see him face one more quality opponent before looking for a fight with Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko. A matchup with Tyson Fury, David Price or his preferred choice, Alexander Povetkin, next year could make Banks some money and, if he wins, give him some momentum heading into a major title fight.

    • I’m looking forward to Miguel Cotto-Austin Trout on Dec. 1 at Madison Square Garden, but that undercard is horrendous. Jayson Velez and Danny Jacobs — questionable choices for a televised undercard to begin with — will fight separately on Showtime’s broadcast in fights that do nothing for me. Velez (19-0) will face Salvador Sanchez II (30-4-3), nephew of Mexican legend Salvador Sanchez, while Jacobs (23-1), the former prospect and cancer survivor who will fight for the second time in three months, gets Chris Fitzpatrick (15-2).

    • I don’t know what has gotten into Carl Froch, but after another impressive knockout — this one over handpicked challenger Yusaf Mack — I just don’t know how Lucian Bute can beat him. Froch is just too strong.

    • Bring on Adrien Broner-Ricky Burns.

    • Thank you, Fred Sternburg, for sending out 400 emails letting everyone know that Manny Pacquiao gave away free turkeys last week. My overflowing inbox extends its regards.

    • Hey British promoter Frank Maloney: Your comment that Wladimir Klitschko would be happy not to have to pay Emanuel Steward his 10 percent after a one-sided win over Mariusz Wach last week was disgusting and classless. Steward, a longtime mentor and trainer for Klitschko, lost a battle with cancer last month. Maloney should be ashamed.

    – Chris Mannix

  • Published On Nov 20, 2012
  • Quick Jabs: Lucian Bute’s underwhelming victory, Jean Pascal’s return and more

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    Lucian Bute (right) showed little in Saturday’s points win over Denis Grachev (left) that suggested a rematch with Carl Froch would go any differently. (AP)

    Some quick jabs …

    • Lucian Bute needed a win to regain his confidence after last May’s devastating knockout loss to Carl Froch. But nothing I saw in Bute’s unanimous-decision win over Denis Grachev on Saturday convinced me Bute will beat Froch in a rematch, tentatively scheduled for next March. Bute looked tentative at times, was backed up way too often and looked clueless when forced to fight on the inside. Put it simple: If that Bute shows up against Froch, it will be lights out again.

    • A quick thought on Grachev: I believed he was a good fighter when the Bute fight was made, and I still do. The fight was close — the 118-110 card submitted by Canadian judge Claude Paquette reeked of hometown scoring — and Grachev was the aggressor throughout. The super middleweight division is loaded and I would have no problem seeing Grachev in a big fight next year.

    • Maybe it’s just me, but I’m really looking forward to Wladimir Klitschko’s fight against undefeated 6-foot-8 challenger Mariusz Wach. I think it has the potential to be a pretty good fight.

    • Count me among the many disappointed that Tyson Fury’s fight against Denis Boytsov has been called off. Fury-Boytsov was just the kind of fight the heavyweight division needs: a matchup between two undefeated, would-be contenders that would bolster the resume of the winner and weed the loser out of the division rankings. What’s worse, Boytsov pulled out because, according to his promoter, he wasn’t going to be in shape for the fight. Not in shape? Then why did he agree to the fight in the first place?

    • Marco Huck’s entertaining cruiserweight title defense over 42-year old Firat Arslan was fun to watch but provided incontestable proof that Huck should not go anywhere near Wladimir Klitschko. Huck is young (27) but is showing the wear and tear of a fighter who doesn’t know how to duck. A matchup with Klitschko — which Huck has publicly pleaded for — would be criminal.

    • Hey, look, Jean Pascal is coming back. That is until Pascal — inactive since losing to Bernard Hopkins in May 2011 — finds a reason not fight. Between Pascal and Andre Dirrell, I’m not sure who has wasted more prime fighting years.

    • Almost four pounds over the light heavyweight limit. Way to be professional, Allan Green.

    • This 50 Cent-Floyd Mayweather feud is pretty entertaining, and it only figures to get better. History suggests that 50 will soon release a track bashing Mayweather and Mayweather will use the press tour for his next fight to verbally smack 50 around all over the country. Still, in a battle for the boxing industry, my money is on Mayweather. Floyd is a marketing genius with the biggest draw in town — himself — in his stable. 50 Cent has an unwatchable fighter in Billy Dib, an inactive one in Andre Dirrell and another, Yuri Gamboa, who may be on his way back to Top Rank. 50 is a gifted recording artist but he doesn’t seem to have a clue about how to make it in boxing.

    • Memo to Tom Loeffler: Keep Gennady Golovkin away from the super middleweights. The latest intel has Golovkin returning in January against either Edwin Rodriguez or Thomas Oosthuizen, two 168-pounders. Golovkin is powerful and seriously skilled but he is not a particularly big middleweight (5-foot-10) and it makes no sense for him to be moving up. I admire Golovkin’s willingness to take on all comers, but a better fight — with the understanding that neither Daniel Geale or Peter Quillin will face him — is Matthew Macklin. Golovkin-Macklin would sell a lot of tickets at the Madison Square Garden theater and be a pretty good fight.

    – Chris Mannix

  • Published On Nov 06, 2012
  • Three thoughts from David Price’s swift knockout of Audley Harrison

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    David Price (right) made quick work of Audley Harrison (left) on Saturday in Liverpool, scoring a first-round knockout to retain his British heavyweight title. (AP)

    Three quick thoughts from David Price’s 82-second knockout of Audley Harrison on Saturday night in Liverpool …

    It didn’t prove much, but Price did exactly what he needed to do. The new hope in British heavyweight boxing proved coldly efficient against Harrison, the 2000 Olympic gold medalist whose professional career has failed to realize once-great expectations. A thudding straight right exploded on Harrison’s chin less than a minute into the fight, triggering a punishing flurry capped by a right hook that sent the 40-year-old crashing to the canvas with a broken nose and concussion. Thus Price (14-0, 12 KOs), who turned pro after winning Olympic bronze in 2008 and captured the vacant British heavyweight title last year, passed the first real challenge of his career — a devastating showing that required less time than his spine-tingling ringwalk to “You’ll Never Walk Alone” which electrified the sellout crowd of 8,000 at Liverpool’s Echo Arena. The general thinking is the 29-year-old Price is too raw and inexperienced to challenge Wladimir or Vitali Klitschko, the brothers who collectively rule the division. But given the dearth of fresh challengers at heavyweight and Price’s formidable size — at 6-foot-8, 245 pounds, he’s one of the few contenders who can look down at the champions — many within boxing are bullish on the Liverpudlian’s chances to one day inherit the title. “I think he’d beat the klitchkos now,” tweeted Ricky Hatton after the fight.

    It’s time for Harrison to retire. The faded veteran getting served up to the young lion is a tradition as old as boxing itself, and Saturday’s latest episode was no less cruel. Many had called for Harrison (28-6, 21 KOs) to quit the sport in 2010, after he capitulated so weakly in a third-round knockout loss to David Haye in which he threw just one punch. Those suggestions will only intensify after Harrison was booed from the ring Saturday night, a desultory farewell for a fighter who fell from national hero to figure of public ridicule during a 12-year career marked by mystifying underachievemnt. “If I lose to David Price, I’ve got no future,” Price had said this week. “It’s over for me as a professional fighter if I lose to David Price. This is my door. This is the door I have to walk through. This is the last-chance saloon for me and I would not want it any other way.” After a showing that couldn’t have been any less competitive, Harrison’s decision should be easy.

    Price should fight Tyson Fury. Though Price is tentatively slated to return on December 8 against Matt Skelton (who won on Saturday’s undercard), Frank Maloney, who promotes the Liverpudlian, wasted no time in calling out British compatriot Tyson Fury in the aftermath of Saturday’s laugher. Maloney offered £500,000 to Fury (19-0, 14 KOs), who last year vacated the British heavyweight title rather than face Price, who was the mandatory challenger. Since then, Fury has appeared to change his tune, prodding Price and campaigning for the bout via social media. (“He needs to get off the Twitter, stop Twittering and take this fight,” Maloney said.) Less than an hour later, Fury responded in a foul-mouthed TV interview with Channel 5 from ringside during the James DeGale-Hadillah Mohoumadi bout, expressing his willingness to make a fight the public wants to see, one that could potentially fill a stadium in the U.K. “I’ll fight David Price any day of the week,” Fury chirped. “It’s personal between me and you and I’m going to do you some serious harm, you big stiff idiot.”

    – Bryan Armen Graham

  • Published On Oct 13, 2012