LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Tyson Fury insisted that he is now capable of inflicting “maximum damage” as never before after training with SugarHill Steward.
The undefeated Fury will put his World Boxing Council heavyweight title on the line in an all-British clash against old rival Derek Chisora at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday.
Fight fans may be frustrated that a unification bout with Oleksandr Usyk has yet to take place, with a fight against former heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua having fallen through.
But a capacity crowd of 60,000 is still expected at the north London home of Premier League football club Tottenham to witness a trilogy contest between Fury and Chisora.
It would be one of the great upsets for Chisora, four years older at 38, to take the WBC belt off Fury.
But the champion, speaking before Friday’s weigh-in where he tipped the scales at 121.8 kilograms — heavier than for his win over Dillian Whyte in April — to Chisora’s 118.2 kgs insisted he had increased his skills.
This week marked the seven-year anniversary of Fury’s stunning success over Wladimir Klitschko that saw him first become world champion but also sparked a major mental health crisis before a triumphant return to the ring.
“When I got to 29 years old, I decided to take my career seriously,” Fury explained.
“Before that it was just a joke.”
“When I boxed Wladimir seven years ago, I came into camp at just under 25 stone and I got down to 18 stone within about eight weeks. Then I still went in there and beat him up. That is not a joke. I am not lying.”
Fury had previously vowed week to emulate Muhammad Ali by embarking upon a world tour after the bout.
And after referencing one of the great heavyweights, Fury compared himself to another Friday in George Foreman, who regained the world title by beating Michael Moorer in 1994 — 20 years after he lost it to Ali.
“I am not the same Tyson Fury as 2009 or 2010, I am much, much older,” he said.
“Like we saw with George Foreman in his second career, he changed his style. You’ve got to be smarter.”
“I have changed up my style now. I am a bit smarter, a bit cuter and I do more damage with my punches. That is mainly factoring what SugarHill has brought to the table.”
“Before SugarHill, I was erratic and all over the place. If you threw 100, I would want to miss 110 of them. Now I am not in a rush.”
Steward, the nephew of Lennox Lewis’ former trainer, the late Emanuel Steward, insisted Fury remained a work in progress.
“Tyson is still learning. There is a lot to learn and he likes to learn,” Steward said.
Chisora, defeated by Fury in 2010 and 2014, said he had no immediate plans to retire, whatever the result would be.
“We’re talking about entertainers and people who sell out stadiums. We’re here until we find somebody we can give the buck to and then me and Tyson will retire.”