Hughie Fury on his cousin Tyson, Samuel Peter and working his way back into world title contention

Hughie Fury is a man of few words at the best of times but he just about shuts up shop entirely at any mention of his very famous cousin.

The 24-year-old heavyweight spent much of his early career operating from within the giant shadow of 6ft 9in Tyson Fury but the pair now train very separately and much less discuss each other in public.

“All I can say on that is that I wish Tyson all the best and that’s it,” Fury says when asked whether he thinks his elder cousin is currently the No.1 heavyweight on the planet.

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“It’s family issues so it’s not something I want to speak about.”

They used to be thick as thieves and you would rarely see one without the other. It was Tyson who once predicted Hughie would break Mike Tyson’s record and become the youngest heavyweight champion in history.


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Later it was Hughie who dressed as the Joker and tussled with Batman in front of a bemused Wladimir Klitschko at a west London press conference two months before the ‘Gypsy King’ relieved the Ukrainian of his IBF, WBO and WBA titles.

Hughie never fulfilled Tyson’s prophecy and he was defeated in his only world title shot, when Joseph Parker beat him on points in Manchester in September of 2017. Tyson was there that night, remonstrating with the officials who scored Parker a wide winner, but there is no sign of him here in Jeddah.

“Family is family at the end of the day,” he adds. “You always argue and make up one day.

“It’s one of them; listen, we have to go about our business no matter what. That’s life.”

Business now, for Fury and his father-trainer Peter, is climbing back towards the upper echelons of the heavyweight division following his defeat to Kubrat Pulev in October. He began the rebuild by stopping Chris Norrad in two one-sided rounds six weeks ago and he takes on 38-year-old former world champion Samuel Peter at the King Abdullah Sports City on Friday night.

“Opportunities come up and we take them,” Fury says of his decision to box here on the undercard of Amir Khan’s clash with Billy Dib in Saudi Arabia.

“It is different but this is a fight we’re talking about. Everywhere might seem very different but at the end of the day it’s all the same – it has got a ring with a man stood in it. We have acclimatised now, we just have to get a few more things out of the way and then we look forward to fight night.”

Fury was just 12 when Peter became WBC heavyweight champion and the ageing ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ has been questioned as a legitimate opponent for Fury.

“To be fair, he was the only one who would take the fight,” the Englishman explains. “We offered this to everyone and they all turned it down. It wasn’t just a case of ‘let’s get Samuel Peter’ – all different heavyweights said ‘no’ but he stepped up and took the fight.

“I remember him being a name when I was growing up watching the sport,

I’ve always heard of Samuel Peter, he’s been around for what seems like decades. It’s good to get him in the ring.

“He’s a big puncher too, all heavyweights are dangerous, you just have to be in there to have a chance of landing one. They say power is the last thing that goes. But we are well prepared for him and I’m looking forward to it.

“This will be my second fight this year and hopefully I can get out another two or three times again before Christmas. Being active and fighting regularly is the key now.”

That has often been a problem for Fury, who nearly retired from boxing due to a rare skin condition called acne conglobata. Worse followed when the medication prescribed to treat him sent him into a deep depression.

But those days are long gone now and, at only 24, Fury can look forward to another decade or more in the sport. Friday night will be his fourth fight in 14 months and he finally feels like momentum is behind him once again.

“My mind is good at the minute,” he says. “I’ve had a bit of bad luck with boxing, health issues and all that.

“It has been frustrating at times but that’s all behind me now and we’ve got a good team behind me. We’re ready now.

“I’m not afraid to fight anyone and I believe I’m right up there with the top five in the world. I know I have to take the hard route because people don’t want to fight me. I have to go to people’s back gardens and I have no problem doing that, I don’t mind the hard route and that’s the way I’m going. I’ve had to do it for my whole career so I’m used to it already, we just keep going.

“Nobody has got the experience I have at my age. I’ve fought all over the world and I haven’t been protected. I’ve had experience that nobody else has ever had, especially at my age.

“It’s a good time to be a heavyweight, the division is thriving at the minute. There are some very good fighters there and I can’t wait to be back in the mix right up there at the top.”

Fury v Peter is part of the Amir Khan vs Billy Dib show on Channel 5, with the undercard from 8pm on 5Spike, this Friday.

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