Twenty-year-old Hughie Fury is in no rush to reach the top of the heavyweight pile, but knows an empathic victory over durable Brazilian George Arias this Saturday (July 25) will only add further momentum to his quick ascent.
Last time out in February, Fury stepped up in class and defeated hard-hitting Ukrainian Andriy Rudenko over ten rounds, and, this weekend at Derby Arena, he takes on Arias, a man who hasn’t been stopped in over a decade.
“Arias looks a tough, tough opponent who will be capable of giving me a few rounds,” said Fury, 15-0 (8 KOs). “He’s been around a very long time, he’s been in with a few good names over the years and he’s taken pretty much all of them the distance.
“Not only that, he gives them a bit of hassle as well. He doesn’t just cover up and take a beating. He can punch, he comes forward and he makes you work for it. It should be an excellent fight.
“I’ve got to be careful and switched on at all times. He’ll be there in front of me, with his head down, throwing shots at me. I’ll use my boxing skills and prove I’m in a different class.”
Forty-one-year-old Arias, a native of Sao Paulo, has won 56 of 68 pro fights and has been active since 1996. He famously knocked out Danish hope Steffen Nielsen inside three rounds in 2005 and is the current Brazilian heavyweight champion and former South American champion.
Known for his toughness and spirit, Arias has extended the likes of Johnny Nelson, Sinan Samil Sam, Audley Harrison, Taras Bidenko, Marcelo Dominguez and, most recently, Denis Boytsov. He enters this date with Fury having won 15 of his last 16 fights, 14 of which ended inside the distance, and, with 42 stoppages from 56 career wins, boasts a 75% knockout ratio.
“If the stoppage comes, it comes,” said Hughie. “If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. There’s no point going in there with the intention of stopping him because that’s what he wants.
“He’s an older guy, a veteran, who has been around the block. He will look at me as a younger fighter and hope I go out there and punch myself out trying to get the stoppage. That then gives him the chance to get into the fight, tire me out and stop me.
“But that’s not going to happen. I’m not stupid. I’m not going to go flat out and run out of steam. I will play it smart in there and if I can see an opportunity to stop him, I’ll take it.”
Fury admits Arias wasn’t his first choice opponent for July 25, but ended up with the Brazilian following a run of rejections.
“We tried to get other opponents but it’s been so hard finding them,” said Fury. “None of them want to take it. They hear my name and run the other way.
“I’m a fighting man and I’m here to fight. I don’t care who I’m fighting. When I get in that ring, I’m ready for the challenge.
“I have respect for everyone in this game, but once you’re in that ring with me, we’re there to fight. Too many heavyweights want to talk rather than fight. It’s hard to get them in the ring.
“These guys don’t want to fight a 20-year-old who is on the way up. They’d rather fight a 40-year-old on the way down.
“I’m not in there to lose. I take these fights and then I go in there and win them.”
*** 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 ***