Tyson Fury aims to be a ‘heavyweight Sugar Ray Leonard’ on Saturday
Lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and former two-time heavyweight title challenger Francesco Pianeta faced off on Tuesday in Belfast during the final press conference for their 10-round heavyweight bout this Saturday from Windsor Park.
The second comeback fight of the former unified champion will stream live exclusively to U.S. audiences on the SHOWTIME Boxing Facebook page and SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel beginning at 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT (please note new start time). SHOWTIME will air an encore presentation later that evening on SHOWTIME EXTREME® (10 p.m. ET/PT).
Fury vs. Pianeta will serve as the chief support of Carl Frampton’s interim featherweight title defense against undefeated contender Luke Jackson on the pitch at Windsor Park, where an expected 30,000 fans will witness the first boxing event at the home of Northern Irish football.
Studio coverage of SHOWTIME BOXING INTERNATIONAL from New York begins at 3:30 p.m. ET/12:30 p.m. PT with host Brian Custer and Hall of Fame analyst Steve Farhood providing pre-and post-fight analysis. Live coverage from Belfast, which will be provided by BT Sport, will begin with the Pianeta ring walk shortly after 3:30. U.K. sportscaster John Rawling will call the action with Barry Jones providing analysis, and Ronald McIntosh conducting post-fight interviews for Fury-Pianeta.
The former IBF, WBA and WBO champion Fury (26-0, 19 KOs) returned to the ring in June and will fight for the second time in less than 75 days following a nearly three-year layoff. Prior to his extended hiatus, the 6-foot-9 Fury established himself as the premier heavyweight boxer in the world by becoming the first man to defeat Wladimir Klitschko in more than 11 years.
Pianeta (35-4-1, 21 KOs), a 6-foot-5 southpaw who fights out of Germany, has twice challenged for the heavyweight world title. Pianeta faced then-unified champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2013 and lost in a bid for a secondary title against Ruslan Chagaev in 2015.
Here’s what the fighters had to say at Europa Hotel in Belfast on Tuesday:
“The old Tyson Fury is gone. The Tyson Fury from three years ago and beyond is finished. Let’s face it, we all move forward in life with age and experiences and I’m not looking to dwell on the past,” said Fury.
“I’m looking to live for today and improve on who I am tomorrow. The new Tyson Fury is here now and my promise is to put on a good fight. Whether that’s better or worse than the old Tyson Fury, we’ll find out on Saturday night.
“What you’re likely to see from me on Saturday is a heavyweight Sugar Ray Leonard. Anything less is a failure.
Ben Davison, Fury’s Trainer
“Everything is good with Tyson. It’s good that he’s getting straight into the ring again. It’s been a good progression since the last fight and everything is perfect. We’re just ready for Saturday night. You can’t do anything more from now.
“He’s lost a good amount of weight since the last fight. To me, there’s only a certain level of fitness that you can get to and Tyson runs on two very good engines anyway. There’s never been any worry with that.”
“I’m going to give my best and I’m looking forward to the fight. It’s an honor for me to box in front of such an audience.
“I have a high opinion on Tyson. I was very impressed with his win over Klitschko, I rate him very highly. He says that he’s knocked out every southpaw he’s ever faced, but we’ll see if he is able to do that Saturday night.”
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