by Johnny Walker
Anglo-Irish heavyweight giant Tyson Fury (19-0, 14 KOs) is looking to stake his claim as a top contender for the heavyweight crowns of the Klitschko brothers on December 1, when he takes on big-talking American Kevin “Kingpin” Johnson (28-2-1, 13 KOs) in Belfast, Ireland.
Fury is still a young pup in the division ruled by 36-year-old Wladimir and 41-year-old Vitali, but he’s impatient to show the world that he’s ready for the biggest challenges the division has to offer.
Tyson’s uncle and trainer, Peter Fury, says that his charge–who has been guilty of a lackadaisical approach to training in the past–is ready to show the boxing public a new side of himself against Johnson, who lost a wide unanimous decision to WBC champion Vitali Klitschko in 2009.
Fury “couldn’t be in better shape” for the tilt with Johnson, says his trainer.
“He has had great sparring and I think a lot of people are going to be shocked by just how good he looks and the performance he gives. It’s going to be a world-class performance and every other fighter in the heavyweight division will see that.”
Johnson made a step back up the heavyweight ladder with an impressive stoppage of rising Australian power puncher Alex Leapai earlier this year, but then lost to fellow American Tor Hamer in the British Prizefighter elimination tournament, when he appeared to run out of gas.
“Johnson is a world class fighter, this is no longer domestic level fighters, he’s a couple of steps up from anyone Tyson has ever fought before,” says Peter Fury.
“He’s a strong guy with his own world title aspirations so Tyson has to be ready for a hard night.”
Fury has also been engaged in a verbal war with his UK rival, Commonwealth and British heavyweight champion David Price, recently, and while the friendly Scouse giant is still fighting journeyman-level opponents like 45-year-old veteran Matt Skelton (who he takes on November 30 in Liverpool), Fury is looking to move past him into elite ranks of the heavyweight division.
“I have been very pleased with the way Tyson has dedicated himself and after beating Johnson he will be ready for Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko or anyone else for that matter,” Peter Fury states.
“2013 is going to be a huge year for Tyson, he’s the best heavyweight in the world right now.”
That last claim is typical fight game hyperbole, but should Fury handily dispose of a man who went the distance with Vitali, he will surely have begun to create some space between himself and the rest of the pack in pursuit of the world champions from Ukraine.