This Saturday night at the Victoria Warehouse, Manchester,  heavyweight hopeful and former WBO title challenger Hughie Fury faces the unheralded – albeit undefeated – Canadian Chris Norrad in a ten-round bout.

Fury last year captured the British heavyweight title in spectacular fashion, showcasing underrated punching power to halt Sam Sexton in five rounds; enthralling his local fans at Bolton Wanderers Football Club, as well as a national audience live on Channel 5.

The Sexton fight marked a successful return to action following a devastating setback to then-WBO champion Joseph Parker in September 2017 at the Manchester Arena, after the Stockport-born challenger was controversially outpointed by the New Zealander. Many felt that Fury was somewhat unfortunate not be declared the victor following twelve scrappy rounds. 

Following the Sexton fight, Fury embraced a daunting challenge in October when he travelled to Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria, to face seasoned contender and local favourite Kubrat Pulev in an eliminator for the IBF heavyweight title.

Although Fury started the bout in lively fashion, he sustained an unsightly cut in the second round and struggled from that point onwards to make effective adjustments in the face of Pulev’s forward momentum, as the confident Bulgarian – buoyed by vociferous home support – largely cruised to win unanimously on points.

Not much is known of Fury’s opponent apart from the fact that he is unbeaten in seventeen fights with eight knockouts. Ultimately, however, Norrad is not expected to extend his perfect record to 18-0 and observers will be keenly analysing the manner in which Fury dispatches of his latest opponent. Indeed, his trainer and father, the respected Peter Fury, has insisted that his charge is equally eager to make a statement with his latest performance. 

Highly-touted prospect Michael Hennessy also makes his debut on the undercard, while Hughie Fury’s stablemate Hartlepool native Savannah Marshall – the only person to defeat current unified middleweight champion Claressa Shields – also returns to the ring en route to a potential future high-stakes showdown with her old nemesis.

Article by: Navi Singh

Follow Navi on Twitter at: @DarkMan________