By Jonny Stapleton
Tyson Fury landed in Belfast this week and today told Irish fight fans he is here to stay.
Despite questions about his Irishness from Belfast heavyweight Martin Rogan the Manchester based fighter, who after a long battle recently proved his Irish heritage, is adamant he is no plastic paddy.
Fury stressed he is on a mission to become The Emerald isles and the world’s number one heavyweight and hopes the Irish public row in behind him.
The British and Commonwealth champion, whose dream is to fight for a world title in Croke Park, is trying desperately to fight for Irish domestic honours on his Belfast debut, which takes place in the Kings Hall this Saturday night.
Despite seeing fights with Martin Rogan and Collie Barrett fall through the 6’7’ giant is still hopeful IABA will make Saturday’s bout a title fight.
Fury, who even considered getting Tyson’s revenge and wanted to fight the man that retired Mike Tyson Kevin McBride, claims late opponent Nicolai Firtha qualifies for the Irish title via his Kerry mother.
“I am really excited about the fight this weekend. It is my first fight in Belfast but it won’t be my last fight in Ireland,” Fury said yesterday. “I am proud to be Irish and here to stay. This is the first of many big Irish fights. I am looking forward to Saturday now and I urge the Irish fight fans to come out and enjoy it. There is still a chance Saturday’s fight could be for the Irish belt. His mother is from Kerry so he qualifies, but if it doesn’t get sorted out hopefully I will get the chance in the future. I want to fight for an Irish title. It has always been a dream of mine.”
The 23 year old tried desperately but in vain to fight for Ireland in the Olympics and claims he is overjoyed to be officially fighting under the Irish banner in Ireland for the first time.
The fighter whose mother hails from Antrim added,
“It means a lot to me to fight in Belfast because I boxed for the Holy Family club and there was a lot of stuff going round about me not going to the Olympic Games and that. It’s just all been really good to get it sorted. Now it is sorted and I’m eligible for the Irish title.”
Fury, who said he has already discussed competing on a future Irish bill with Kronx fighter and Cousin Andy Lee, dismissed suggestions the American Champion, who lost to Tye Fields a fighter Mike Perez stopped in Prizefighter, is a soft touch.
The giant heavyweight, who is being billed as the man to end the Klitschko’s heavyweight dominance, is expecting a tough test this weekend.
“He is the American champion and he should provide me with a tough challenge. He is a big man and inch shorter than me at six foot six. I am expecting to win, but I won’t go in soft against this lad. I know he went the distance with Povetkin and he has fought some top heavyweights. He beat a guy called Tony Grano – a top American– and knocked him out in two rounds so he is a dangerous fighter. He is big and can box so it should be a good fight.All the training is done and I just can‘t wait to fight.”