The last time Tyson Fury and Hennessy Promotions rolled into Belfast, Martin Rogan turned up unannounced at Tyson’s King’s Hall press conference and a war of words quickly ensued between the two camps. Fury eventually fought Nicolai Firtha on that occasion but for a while it looked as if he and Martin would get the chance to sort out their differences. Now they will – at the Odyssey Arena on April 14. The pair got together for a press conference that was made memorable for a whole different set of reasons as both men entertained the eager onlookers with a variety of stunts and gags.
“All my focus is on April 14, I’m not underestimating him at all,” said Rogan, during the serious part of the conference. “I’ve been working so hard in training and it’s only right that the Klitschkos have mentioned Tyson Fury’s name because he’s world rated. I should’ve got a crack at a world title after I beat Matt Skelton but I’ll not cry over spilt milk, I’ll move on to the next episode of my career.”
That episode comes as a make-or-break night for the man who has always lived up to his since disposed nickname of ‘The Entertainer’. The self-decreed ‘Iron Man’ may be the wrong side of 40 but he is in fine nick and ready to derail the Fury freight train – live on Channel 5.
Martin later took a sideswipe at so called “outside influences” who he claims have added in their own bit of internet-based skullduggery to try and ratchet up the tension on boxing forums. Like the Belfast veteran, Fury has also been training hard and is looking forward to a tough night’s work. Unlike previous training camps he insists that everything has been going well and the Wythenshawe man is desperate for a bash at the Irish title before moving on to bigger things.
“I just hope he’s prepared, because I’ve never put myself through this much training ever in my life,” growled Fury. “I had a few problems going on at the time that I’m not going to go into, but now I am 100 per cent focused on my aim, my goal – and that’s to be the heavyweight champion of the world.
“I see Martin Rogan as being in my way, he’s holding the key for me; he’s stopping my family from eating, so any man who’s going to get in with a 6’9” man who weighs 18 stone and has been training like a demon – away from the celebrity lifestyle and away from my family for 15 weeks by fight time – is in trouble.”
Always looking for a psychological advantage, Rogan later found time to try and lever a winner-takes-all agreement in to the contracts to up the ante on his younger opponent. Fury was enthusiastically receptive and as promoter Hennessy nervously chuckled away, the idea fluttered away as quickly as it had arrived.
“You said if Chisora beat you then you’d give him your purse,” recalled Rogan. “Well let’s say if I win then I get your purse. People, get to the bookies as soon as you can because he’s going down! I’m dealing with the issues surrounding this fight. I don’t want to ruin your dreams but after April 14, when I knock you out, you’ll go away and watch me again on TV knocking a few others out! On Sky Sports against the Klitschkos though, not Channel 5.”
To which Fury responded, “If he beats me then I’ll be going nowhere apart from back to his house to shine his shoes for him.”
It was generally all good natured banter and things took a turn for the surreal towards the end as Rogan produced a pair of comedy spectacles and accurately mimicked the recently deceased Northern Irish comic Frank Carson.
“Forget about stand-up, it’ll be lie down for Tyson Fury,” quipped Rogan.
As the late Carson would’ve said, “It’s a cracker!”