Peter Fury finds himself in a similar boat this spring as the trainer takes an unfancied heavyweight into a title fight against a favoured champion away from home.
Back in November 2015, Tyson Fury travelled to Dusseldorf Germany as a massive underdog to dethrone Wladimir Klitschko, but duly emerged with four versions of the world heavyweight title to his credit.
Fast forward to 2017, and Fury is planning a similar job as son Hughie prepares to lock horns with New Zealander Joseph Parker down under in Auckland. Both fighters are undefeated, although Hughie hasn’t fought since April 2016, which Peter is confident won’t be a hindrance in this fight.
“The inactivity doesn’t worry me because Hughie has always been in the gym and he’s always been sparring,” Fury exclusively told World Boxing News.
“There’s no ring rust with Hughie. There’ll be no excuses in this fight. Hughie is in good condition, he fit and he’s trained all over Christmas. He’s constantly been in the gym helping other fighters with sparring, Con Sheehan and others like that, so he’s been active in the gym all the way through.
“I’m looking to bring another two quality heavyweights into camp alongside Sheehan for Hughie. I’ve got around four or five sparring partners for him.”
Asked how he feels about Hughie already being dismissed as a threat to Parker, Fury – honest as always – replied: “I can understand people writing Hughie off as that’s what boxing is all about, but it’s up to me and my son, just like we did with Tyson, to prove those people wrong.
“This fight is two good talents and an interesting fight for everyone.
“Don’t forget, even in poor health Hughie has never dropped a round in his whole 20 fights, so he’s a special talent himself.
“This is the world stage and anything can happen. I look at life as a realist and this is a serious fight. There’s no way you could say Hughie has an advantage here. If he’s the underdog then so be it but he’s going in and will produce something special on the night.”
Parker has been dominant throughout his career, culminating in a victory over Andy Ruiz to claim his maiden world championship, something Fury himself predicted would happen some time ago.
“When I first saw Parker I told people, ‘this is a special young heavyweight coming up’ and I predicted he’d be a world class fighter. I also predicted he’d be a world champion and he is, so what can I say? – My opinion of him hasn’t changed just because Hughie is fighting him.
“He’s a very good and probably one of the best young heavyweights in the world right now.
“I think he’s the real deal. He’s a good fighter, a talented guy and a very nice guy as well. Which helps the job because Hughie is also a gentleman and it’s a nice fight for them to be having,” said Fury.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay