Heavyweight titlist Wladimir Klitschko has confirmed that his next fight will be against Tyson Fury, and the Ukrainian who holds three of the four titles in his division, is open to fighting the Manchester fighter in the United Kingdom.
According to information obtained from Sky Sports, Klitschko revealed that negotiations with Fury are near completion, with a venue yet to be determined.
Klitschko, 39, had fought in Britain once before in 2000, where he stopped former heavyweight contender Monte Barrett in the seventh round of a non-title bout.
Fighting in Fury’s home country won’t intimidate Klitschko, who has fought in over eight countries in his professional career.
Surprisingly enough, Klitschko has only fought once in his home country. Unfortunately, it was an 11th round TKO defeat to Ross Puritty in a defense of the WBC International heavyweight title in 1998.
Klitschko told Ringside via Sky Sports, “I think we are pretty much done with that [the negotiations], and I hope so too.
“You never say until the contracts are signed, and I’m really open-minded.
“I haven’t fought in England for a long time. It was a great event and a great audience. British fight fans are really exciting and loud. I really got to hear them also in my fight against David Haye in Hamburg.
“I look forward to fighting back in England or another place. It’s definitely going to be somewhere in Europe. It’s not a fight for the United States.
Tyson Fury is unbeaten in 24 fights, with 18 knockouts. His most recent fight was a one-sided one, as he turned the tables and put the hammer on Hammer, Christian Hammer, who retired on his stool at the end of the eighth round. In fact, he has knocked out or stopped four of his last five, and eight of his last 10.
Although Fury brings the Fury, he is capable of being extinguished.
Fury has been knocked down twice in his career, both from massive overhand rights from the likes of Neven Pajkik in November 2011, and Steve Cunningham in April 2013. Although Fury recovered to knock both of them out, they aren’t known for their punching power. Pajkik only has five knockouts in his career altogether.
His height will be imposing to begin, but Cunningham, who is six inches shorter than Fury, put him on his back. It’s going to be a tall task and Klitschko admits that Fury is more known for his talking than fighting.
Klitschko has already beaten one man from the UK, who fits that description in former WBA heavyweight titlist David Haye, whom Klitschko beat in one-sided fashion in July 2011.
“I haven’t watched too many fights of Tyson Fury,” Klitschko said. “I’ve heard a couple of things in the background and his involvement in fights, especially verbal fights.
“I think he is more famous for his verbal fighting than actual boxing. Obviously, he’s had 20 something fights – I haven’t watched his fights in particular.
“I’ve heard about him and I’ve seen him as well while he was training in my camp, during the time when Emanuel Steward brought him in. I’ve seen him sparring a couple of rounds, but I can’t say much about him right now.
“I think we’re going to get together at the first press conference before the fight and after I’m going to watch how he fights and what he does in the ring so I can give a better assessment of Tyson Fury.”
Before he retires from boxing, Klitschko would like to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis held the honor from November 1999 to April 2000.
Lewis lost the honor when he was stripped of his WBA title due to a contract dispute regarding his second fight against Evander Holyfield.
Deontay Wilder, who holds the WBC belt, fights Eric Molina on Saturday, and is on Klitschko’s radar.
“Obviously, he is one of my target opponents since he’s holding the title that I’ve never had before.
“I definitely want to unify all the belts, but it’s not a must If that’s not going to work; I’ll still be the heavyweight champion of the world. It’s not a must, but it would be nice to unify the belt that Deontay Wilder holds.”
His older brother Vitali Klitschko held the WBC title in 2004 but retired for three years after suffering a serious knee injury while training for a title defense against Hasim Rahman. After a four-year reign from 2008-2012, Klitschko retired to focus on politics in Ukraine, where he now serves as the mayor of Kiev, the nation’s capital.