Hughie Fury faces a career acid test on Saturday night when he boxes Russian veteran Alexander Povetkin. This heavyweight special attraction is part of the supporting cast to Luke Campbell’s audacious attempt to topple the master, Vasiliy Lomachenko.
While Campbell may be up against it in the main event, Hughie also has a lot riding on his battle with former world champion Povetkin. Fury has already had two cracks at a world title and, despite giving a good account of himself both times, ultimately came up short on both occasions. First he boxed Joseph Parker for the WBO belt in Manchester, September 2017, losing on points, before travelling to Bulgaria in late 2018 to unsuccessfully challenge Kubrat Pulev in an IBF title final eliminator.
Both the IBF and WBO belts were until recently in the possession of Anthony Joshua, before “AJ” was unceremoniously toppled by Andy Ruiz Jr in New York. Hughie’s new promoter Eddie Hearn has revealed that before he signed up the Stockport talent, he had already planned on matching this particular Fury with Joshua, but thought Fury’s team did not fancy it.
Now that Eddie and Fury, along with Mick Hennessy, are all on the same page, Hearn has suddenly realised that they would’ve accepted a Joshua fight had it been put to them. At 24 years of age Hughie is still a baby in heavyweight terms. Povetkin is considerably older, but wiser, and more experienced. Fury must use his full box of tricks to tame a man who has fought at championship level for many years and who previously won an Olympic gold medal.
Father and trainer Peter Fury sees his son as a world level contender. Victory over Povetkin will cement that claim. Peter also remembers the potential opportunity that was once on offer for a Fury-Joshua fight. Peter recalls that they already had a fight lined up so his wish was to honour that fight, gaining further experience in the process, before then refocusing their attention to Joshua. As it transpired, AJ boxed Dillian Whyte instead and talk of a match with Hughie Fury died down.
Hughie’s style has often been criticised as overly cautious or negative – almost like a slimline version of his cousin Tyson. He will need to grab the bull by the horns against Povetkin and start letting his right hand go. Povetkin is older but still possesses the accuracy and impressive hand speed of his youth. The Russian star can also punch. If Fury can avoid the bombs, and be offensive enough himself in spurts, then he can claim the win. However, Povetkin does have the potential to hurt him at any point. It’s an intriguing undercard affair.
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