John Fury, father of WBC heavyweight champion, Tyson, has called on his son to retire if he can’t secure a fight against one of two opponents.
Tyson hasn’t been seen in the ring since he defeated old friend Derek Chisora for a third time back in December.
Unified champion, Oleksandr Usyk, climbed on the ring apron that night to face off with ‘The Gypsy King’. From that moment, it looked like an undisputed clash between the two was a formality – but this is boxing. Talks dragged on and negotiations became public over social media before the Ukrainian’s team eventually pulled the plug, believing they weren’t getting a fair deal.
Since then much has been made of who Fury might face next, with his UK promoter Frank Warren admitting finding an opponent has become problematic.
Speaking to The Metro, ‘Big John’ Fury believes there are only two suitable foes for Tyson, revisit a fight against Usyk, or take on Chinese heavyweight Zhilei Zhang.
“For me, there are only two fights there for him, one is Usyk, the other is Zhang.
For my money Zhang is the more difficult opponent. He proved that against Joe Joyce, he is a 6ft 6in southpaw who can punch.
Usyk is tricky but he doesn’t carry the firepower Zhang does. But if he can’t get those fights, hang the gloves up.”
Zhang is coming off a career best win, beating previously undefeated Brit Joe Joyce in April to become the WBO Interim heavyweight champion and, more importantly, mandatory for a shot at the full title held by Usyk.
Although Zhang immediately called out Fury after getting the win, Joyce has since activated his contractual rematch clause, meaning unless a step aside deal for ‘The Juggernaut’ can be reached the two will run it back next.
Usyk is currently in negotiations to face his WBA mandatory, Daniel Dubois, with purse bids having been ordered.
All recent attention in the heavyweight division has turned to a planned night in Saudi Arabia for December, which would see Fury vs Usyk as well as Anthony Joshua taking on Deontay Wilder on the same night. Whether Tyson is willing to face arguably his toughest opponent to date having not fought for 12 months remains to be seen.