My son Hughie Lewis Fury has his sixteenth professional fight this Saturday night (July 25) at Derby Arena and I’m looking for him to do a professional job on his opponent George Arias.
Hughie is still only 20 years of age – and is therefore a work in progress – but we, as a team, have very high standards and expectations. Last time out against Andriy Rudenko, Hughie got the win, went ten rounds for the first time in his career and answered a lot of questions in my mind.
However, there’s always plenty to work on. His right hand was sloppy, he was leaning in with it, and there were some other things that alarmed me. But you’ve got to look at what we achieved in that fight and appreciate what I was looking for. It wasn’t just a case of getting a win over a guy like Rudenko. Hughie is a talented fighter, he’s got a good chin, he’s got movement and he can box; nine times out of ten, someone as talented as Hughie will get the better of someone like Rudenko.
I looked at Rudenko and didn’t really see any danger signs there. But Hughie is a young kid who was fighting somebody who’d had 25 fights, 16 knockouts and one disputable loss to Lucas Browne, who is now highly-ranked with the IBF.
We were asking Hughie to get in there, step up to a whole new level and see how he deals with hitting someone and the punches having no impact on them – they’re just walking through the shots. And, secondly, we wanted to see how he paced himself over the ten rounds. There were a lot of unanswered questions going into that fight with Rudenko and anything can happen.
Hughie held back a lot because he was going into unknown territory. But now he has gone through the ten rounds at a decent pace, and he’s hit a tough man with everything he’s got, I’m expecting him to be much more relaxed in future. He knows he can do the ten rounds at a good pace and knows he can stay disciplined and stick to a gameplan for the duration of a fight. He has all this knowledge now and a confidence in this knowledge which should stand him in good stead going forward. I’m hoping to see Hughie look a lot more relaxed and polished against Arias on Saturday.
A lot of boxing is mental and Hughie is still young in the mind. He’s still a kid. When you speak to him and when you see the way he behaves, you get little reminders that he’s still a kid. He acts like a young teenager at times. When I’m explaining things to him and instructing him to do things in sparring, you can see that the maturity still isn’t quite there. He’s got to learn his trade properly.
Yes, the talent is there, and he’s a big lad, but he still needs to grow up mentally. Don’t worry, though, that will all come. You look at any other heavyweight who is in the mix and they’re 25, 26 or 27 and considered young. They’re looked upon as young prospects in the game – potential world champions. Well, Hughie is 20 years of age. He has half a decade on a lot of these supposed young prospects.
He’s also 15-0 and looking to fight people in the top fifteen. I’ve no interest in him fighting men who are on losing runs. He won’t learn anything from those kind of fights.
We’ll stick him in with good fighters. That’s what we want to do now. If I told him today that we’d received an offer for him to fight Deontay Wilder, he’d be jumping around the room and you’d have to get him down off the ceiling. He’s not afraid of any man.
Don’t get me wrong, if a world title shot landed on our lap tomorrow, I’d say you’ve got nothing to lose, get in there and take a hiding. You’ll learn from it. But that’s not going to happen. Before any of that, I’ve got to see him grow up mentally as well as physically.
Look at where Tyson, his cousin, was at 20 to where he is now. He looks like he’s got completely different DNA. He’s a different fighter, absolutely, completely. They have to mature. There’s no point rushing them. Hughie will probably be the same.
*** Tickets for Blackwell vs. Jones can be purchased from the Derby Arena Box Office on 01332 255800 or by visiting www.derbylive.co.uk ***
*** Blackwell vs. Jones will be televised live on Channel 5 on July 25 (10pm), while the supporting undercard will be televised live earlier in the evening (8pm) on Spike ***