The road to a championship is often filled with many twists and turns in boxing. Many fighters, if they are lucky enough to find themselves on such a road to begin with, have to plow through seemingly endless speed bumps before even getting a glimpse at the pinnacle of their division.
Tyson Fury knows all of this. He’s been down that road before. In fact, he’s even reached the pinnacle of the heavyweight division.
That was in 2015.
This Saturday, Tyson Fury continues his journey back to that same peak with a fight against Francesco Pianeta in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Pianeta is no pushover. He also isn’t a real challenge for a fighter with the credentials of Fury. That’s why this can’t be another sideshow circus stop like Sefer Seferi was in June.
This has to be a real fight.
Fury can’t spend four rounds joking around and pandering to the crowd. He can’t let his opponent simply quit in the corner. He needs to come out looking for that statement making knockout on Pianeta that signifies someone desperately looking for a title fight.
That’s because after this fight, Fury has made it clear he intends to take a shortcut straight to the top. No more 5 or 6 fight comeback tour for the outspoken former champion. After Pianeta, it’s straight to a WBC heavyweight championship fight with perhaps the most dangerous puncher in the entire division, Deontay Wilder.
That shouldn’t be a problem for Fury either. Fury should be more than ready to capture a world title if we see the fighter who should have destroyed Sefer Seferi in June. Fury needs to show he still has the full breadth of the boxing skills he insists are still there after three years out of the spotlight. We can’t see another comedy act. We need to see the boxer who somehow toppled one of the sport’s all-time greats in 2015.
If we get that Tyson Fury, the same Tyson Fury who beat Wladimir Klitschko, then everything should fall into place. The Wilder fight can go on without being hampered by whispers of cash-ins and money grabs. The heavyweight division will finally get the super fight it desperately needs in a year that previously seemed to promise so much. Perhaps most importantly, the winner of a potential Wilder vs Fury bout can go on to make the biggest fight this division has seen since the days of Holyfield and Lewis, by taking on Anthony Joshua in 2019.
All that can, and seemingly will, happen if a focused Tyson Fury shows up this weekend. Fury needs to put aside all the fun and games for this fight. In order to prove to the world he’s ready for a war against Deontay Wilder, he needs to live up to his namesake.
It won’t be enough for him to just be named Fury this weekend, he needs to actually show it against Francesco Pianeta.