Stockport’s Hughie Fury has travelled to Bulgaria to take on IBF number 2-rated Kubrat Pulev in a 12-round heavyweight final eliminator at the Arena Armeec in Pulev’s hometown of Sofia tomorrow night.
The winner of this highly anticipated showdown will land themselves the number one spot in the IBF heavyweight standings and become the mandatory challenger to reigning champion Anthony Joshua.
Fury is the current British Heavyweight title holder. The 24-year-old stands at 6’ 6” tall and weighs in at 240 lbs. He is coached by his father Peter Fury and trains out of Team Fury Gym in Bolton.
His opponent is a tough looking Bulgarian boxer who holds a record of 25 and 1, with 13 of those wins coming via knockout. Pulev’s only loss came against Wladimir Klitschko in an IBF and lineal heavyweight title dust-up in 2014. He lost via KO in the fifth round.
Pulev was scheduled to fight Anthony Joshua in 2017, before Pulev had to pull out of the fight due to an injury and was replaced by Carlos Takam.
At just 23 years of age, Fury boasts an impressive 21 wins and just one loss professional record.
The loss was a narrow decision to Joseph Parker in September last year. It was a decision that many felt should have gone his way.
Following that defeat, he fought Sam Sexton for the British Heavyweight title and took just five rounds to get the job done.
Now Fury has his sights firmly set on the world title. We sat down with him to discuss the upcoming fight.
Dillian Whyte and Jarrell Miller have turned this fight down because they didn’t want to travel to Bulgaria. Why haven’t you?
If you can fight you’ll fight anywhere. If you want to be the best then you have to take these fights. I’m 100% confident I can beat anyone which is why I decided to take this fight in Kubrat Pulev’s hometown, because I honestly believe I can go there and get the win.
Pulev is a disciplined fighter who works well behind his jab. What do you think will be the most challenging aspect of this fight?
The whole fight is going to be a challenge. Pulev is a very good fighter and he is not going to go down easily, especially in his own back garden. He’s going to bring everything to the ring and I think we will see one of the toughest versions of Pulev we’ve ever seen. I’ve got a great team behind me and our strategy will help us prevail. I’m looking forward to the challenge.
Do you feel an added pressure to perform when fighting for a world title?
There is no pressure at all. I’ve put a lot of hard work into to training for this fight and on fight night I’m going to prove that. I think the pressure is on Pulev. He’s fighting me in his own country, in his home city. I’m a hungry fighter and it will be a difficult challenge for him.
What’s the first thing you look forward to after a fight?
To be honest with you, after finishing a fight and spending that amount of time training hard every day in the lead up to the fight, all I want to do afterwards is lay in bed all day and do absolutely nothing. That’s the best bit about finishing a fight.
If you beat Pulev you become mandatory challenger for Anthony Joshua. Where do you feel you could cause him problems?
If I get the opportunity to fight Anthony Joshua then I will be his worst nightmare. I’m definitely not underestimating Pulev, but if I get this fight out of the way then that is the fight I want. Whoever is in my way I’m going to finish them. I’m on my way to the top because I’m the best and I’m going to prove that.
Which fighter has influenced your career the most?
The greats such as Muhammed Ali, Marvin Hagler, Sugar Ray Leonard and Larry Holmes have had the biggest influence on me. However, I owe a lot to the team around me though as well. They’ve stood by me and helped me achieve everything in my career so far, especially my Dad [Peter Fury] who I have been training with since I was 15 years old.
Pulev is 37 years old and hasn’t fought in a year and a half. Do you feel this will give you an advantage?
I don’t think it really gives me much of an advantage to be honest. At the end of the day it’s just me and him in the ring. He’s got the home advantage but then he’s going to have to do a lot to beat me.
Are you hoping to put on some great fight nights in Manchester or does it not concern you where the fight takes place?
There is nothing like fighting in your own country, and especially in your own home town. I definitely want to fight again in Manchester. Old Trafford is the place I’d like to fight the most. Manchester is my home and it’s where I’ve been brought up so it would be incredible to fight in Manchester again.
The fight will be broadcast exclusively live on free to air Channel 5 on Saturday 27th October at 9pm.