Lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury 26-0 (19) insists that Francesco Pianeta 35-4-1 (21) will be bringing his A-game when the two meet on the undercard of the WBO interim featherweight title clash between Carl Frampton and Luke Jackson at Belfast’s Windsor Park of August 18.
Fury, who will be having just his second fight in almost three years after a self-imposed exile to deal with mental health and substance abuse issues, is targeting a December fight with WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder 40-0 (39).
Pianeta, a 33-year-old Germany-based Italian southpaw, once challenged Wladimir Klitschko for the undisputed heavyweight championship but was thoroughly outclassed before being stopped by TKO in the sixth.
“Pianeta is just one win away from being back right there among the best,” said Fury in comments published by RingTV. “Everybody brings their A-game when they face me. They know it’s a lottery win if they can beat me.
“I sparred with him in Germany when he was 26 and 0. He was tough, strong and he is a good opponent – very good.”
Fury became the man to beat at heavyweight when he travelled to Germany in November 2015 to dethrone long-reigning champion Klitschko on points.
During his layoff from the ring the outspoken Englishman blew up in weight before returning to action in June when he faced cruiserweight Sefer Seferi, stopping him after four uninspiring rounds.
“I’m training hard in the gym every day,” said Fury. “I’ve had no time off since the last fight. I’m getting in great shape and I’m really focused on my job.
“Time is flying and it does when you’re having fun. I have a great team around me and we have got everything bang on. I’ve never, ever been this happy with my training and routine.”
US broadcaster Showtime, who carry Wilder’s fights in the States, have announced they will be broadcasting the Windsor Park card live from Belfast.