By Scott Gilfoid: Hughie Fury (20-0, 10 KOs) is targeting Wladimir Klitschko (64-4, 53 KOs) as fighter that he wants to face in 2017 if he can get past IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua (18-0, 18 KOs) in their fight on April 29. Hughie, the cousin of former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, is clearly convinced in his mind that the 41-year-old Wladimir will beat Joshua, who he sees a fighter that is too green to be taking on a guy as experienced as the Ukrainian.
Hughie Fury, 22, is getting ahead of himself by saying he wants to fight Klitschko. #1 WBO Hughie will be challenging WBO heavyweight champion Joseph Parker (22-0, 18 KOs) next month on May 6 at the Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand. The fight will be taking place in the home country of the 25-year-old Parker. The light hitting Hughie is expected to lose to Parker, and perhaps lose BIG with him getting blasted to smithereens.
I can’t see Hughie lasting long against a puncher like Parker. Everything is working against Hughie in winning this fight. He’s facing a young guy not much older than himself in Parker, and he’s fighting him on his own home turf. It just does not look good at all for Hughie. If he does pull off an upset, it would be a major victory for him and for his boxing fans.
“I want to win this fight and then fight Klitschko or Joshua because I want all the belts, I don’t want to fight nobodies,” said Hughie to ESPN.com. “Joshua is too soon for this fight and I think Klitschko is hungrier for it,” Fury told ESPN. “I think Klitschko will win as it’s way too soon for Joshua.”
So there it is. Hughie thinks Wladimir will triumph over Joshua because of his advantage in experience. Hughie sees Wladimir as the hungrier of the two. I don’t think there are too many boxing fans that would agree with Hughie. All you need to do is look at Wladimir’s last 2 fights against Tyson Fury and Bryant Jennings to know that he’s not the same fighter he once was. I don’t know what happened to Wladimir, but he’s not the same guy that obliterated Kubrat Pulev in 2014, and easily beat Alexander Povetkin in 2013. He’s aged and looks like a shell of his former self.
It would be a big deal if Hughie can capture the IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles, because those are belts that were recently in the possession of Tyson Fury before he needed to take time off from boxing to deal with personal problems. Hughie winning the titles would bring them belts back home to the Fury family. It would be a real shocker if Hughie defeats not only Parker but the winner of the Joshua-Klitschko fight. Frankly, I can’t see it happening, but Hughie could pull off a miracle. I think it would take a miracle for Hughie just to beat Parker.
Hughie hasn’t fought since April of 2016, and he looked absolutely out of this world terrible in beating 37-year-old journeyman Fred Kassi by a 7th round technical decision. Kassi started off slowly in that fight, but by the 6th round, he was taking over with his hard pot shots to the head of Hughie. It looked to me like Hughie was exhausted and had nothing left. The fight was stopped in the 7th round due to an accidental clash of heads in the round. It looked to a lot of boxing fans that Hughie was fighting on fumes only by the 7th and was ready to be taken out if the contest had gone much further. As such, you can call the injury a fortunate thing for Hughie.
The bad news is for Hughie is that he’s fighting a guy with big punching power, size and youth in Joseph Parker. Further, Hughie is fighting Parker from his own home country. We just saw Andy Ruiz Jr. lose a controversial 12 round decision to Parker last December in New Zealand. Boxing News 24 scored the Parker-Ruiz fight in Ruiz’s favor 8 rounds to 4. Parker appeared to lose the first 7 rounds easily. He was able to come back a little and win some rounds in the second half of the contest, but not nearly enough for him to get the victory in my eyes. What this means for Hughie is that he might need a knockout of Parker for him to get a victory, and I don’t see that happening.
Luis Ortiz vs. Derric Rossy fight off due to Ortiz suffering hand injury
Undefeated #1 WBA heavyweight contender Luis “Real King Kong” Ortiz (27-0, 23 KOs) suffered a right hand injury in getting ready for his April 22 fight with journeyman Derric Rossy (31-12, 15 KOs) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The injury is bad enough that the 38-year-old Ortiz needed to pull out of the Rossy fight. Ortiz-Rossy was supposed to have been a 10 round fight taking place on the undercard of the WBC welterweight eliminator fight between Andre Berto and Shawn Porter on Showtime Championship Boxing.
It would have been interesting to see Ortiz fight a halfway decent opponent in Rossy rather than the last guy that he fought in Dave Allen. It would have been a good fight between Ortiz and Rossy. Heck, it might have been even better than the main event match between Andre Berto and Shawn Porter, because that fight cold turn out to be a mismatch. Porter has a lot of boxing ability, power and youth for an aging lion like Berto to beat him.
“We were told he hurt his hand, that he banged it up pretty good and is out of the fight,” said promoter Lou DiBella to espn.com.“It would have been nice to see him on the show. He’s one of the best heavyweights out there. Obviously people would have liked to see him fight, but he got hurt. What can you do?”
Well, you’ve got an aging heavyweight in 38-year-old Ortiz, so it’s not too surprising that he’s come down with a physical ailment while training. The Cuban Ortiz isn’t a spring chicken. He’s getting up there in age. There are some boxing fans who think Ortiz is closer to 45 than 38. Either way, he’s starting to age, and he’s going to need to make his move sooner or later for a title shot before he ages out.
The Porter vs. Berto fight is a good enough one to still draw in the boxing fans even without the Ortiz-Rossy card taking place on the undercard. It would have been nice to have that fight on the undercard, but it’s not necessary for the fight to do well. Berto is well known in the U.S following his one-sided 12 round unanimous decision loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015. Porter is known for his fights against Kell Brook and Keith Thurman. He’s reloading for a title shot following his loss in his last fight against Thurman last June.
The southpaw Ortiz is left-handed, so it’s interesting that he hurt his right hand in training. There’s a chance that Ortiz could face the winner of the April 29 fight between IBF heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko. Those two heavyweights are fighting for the IBF and WBA heavyweight titles. That would be good for the 6’4”, 238 lb. Ortiz if he can still get a title shot against the winner of the Joshua-Klitschko fight without having to fight anyone before that.
Ortiz is one of Al Haymon’s fighters. Rossy would have been a tough fight for Ortiz, who hasn’t looked very good lately in his last 2 fights against Malik Scott and Dave Allen. I’m not sure if Ortiz is starting to decline as a fighter since his impressive back to back wins over Bryant Jennings and Tony Thompson, but it sure looks that way. Ortiz couldn’t knockout Malik Scott, a fighter that Deontay Wilder destroyed in one round. Ortiz was dragged the full 12 round distance. In Ortiz’s fight with David Allen, he stopped him in 7 rounds last December, but he didn’t look at all good.