Boxing

Tyson Fury wants a slice of American Pie as he books WBC duel with Deontay Wilder

Andy Watters

EVERYONE in the room joined in.

With the deal sealed on a fight with Deontay Wilder it was sing-a-long with Tyson Fury and friends.

“Bye-bye Miss American Pie, drove my Chevvy to the levy but the levy was dry. Them good ole boys were singing whiskey and rye. Singin’ this’ll be the day that I die…”

Even promoter Frank Warren took part and at the end there was a huge cheer and the giant heavyweight sat awaiting questions from the assembled press with a beaming smile from ear to ear.

Love him or loathe him, the self-styled ‘Gypsy King’ who confirmed a WBC title challenge against current champ Wilder later this year, is a maverick entertainer.

Having said that, his performance against Francesco Pianeta in the Windsor Park ring on Saturday night was anything but entertaining, but there was a method to Fury’s one-paced display.

Over three years on the sidelines during which he ballooned in weight to 27 stone and battled with the mental health issues that he says drove him to the brink of suicide what the former Irish heavyweight champ needed was competitive rounds and Pianeta gave him 10 of them.

Fury, as always light on his feet, put little pressure on the German journeyman but boxed his way to a shut-out points win. Afterwards he faced down Wilder who had been a vocal presence at ringside before he climbed through the ropes.

“I’m gonnna knock you the f**k out boy,” Fury snarled at the unbeaten American who he looks likely to face in Las Vegas in December – it will all be confirmed next week.

Wilder doesn’t have a win over Wladimir Klitschko on his unblemished record but he is quick, unorthodox and has concussive power in both hands. He is truly a dangerous man and, on the evidence of Saturday night, Fury and his coach Ben Davidson have work to do before they tangle with ‘The Bronze Bomber’.

“Who would have thought you could take a 27-stone man and get him to lose nine stone in none months and have two comeback fights and box to a plan for 10 rounds?” said Fury.

“I’ve got a great team around me, I’ve got great family support and we’re going all the way to the top, nothing can stop us. Nothing is going to stop me from winning my titles back. Nothing.

“I wasn’t overlooking Francesco Pianeta, I had to get that job done, and now I can work on the gameplan for Mr Wilder. It’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be the hardest fight that I’ve ever had in me life.

“He’s very awkward, he’s very unconventional, punches come from all angles and he’s got dynamite in both hands. But if I miss all of that I should win!

“It’s going to be a good test, it’s going to be a jigsaw puzzle but I know I can work it out and bring the belt back to the UK.”

With Carl Frampton waiting outside, Fury held court at the press conference and, taking the microphone in his huge hands, he answered questions fluently and comprehensively.

“We believe it’s our destiny to become WBC world heavyweight champion of the world,” he said.

“I will rise to the occasions and I believe I will be victorious in the fight for may, many reasons. The biggest one of all is: I believe it’s written in the stars.

“Everything has turned around from where it was four years ago to today and I’m so thankful for that.”

Fury dedicated his win on Saturday night to the many people who suffer from mental health issues and says he wants to defend his WBC belt in Belfast.

“I’d love to because this is the fourth time I’ve boxed as a professional in Belfast and every single time the fans have turned out for me,” he said.

“They’re amongst the best fight fans in the world and they really have made me feel special, the Belfast fans, this time. They have showed the love and attention that I crave sometimes.

“They were cheering ‘Ole, ole, ole, ole’ and it was really spurring me on. I want to thank them for that.”

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