Ahead of son Hughie’s eagerly awaited ring return in a heavyweight demolition derby with undefeated Canadian tree-toppler Chris Norrad at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse this Saturday night exclusively live on Channel 5, Papa Peter reveals how he has been converting his artful and evasive son from a dancer to a destroyer.
“It’s a MUST that Hughie shines now and he’s certainly got the ability to do so. Expect a performance from him next weekend that you’ve not seen before.
Coming off a defeat (a 12 round decision to Bulgarian beast Kubrat Pulev in an IBF final eliminator in Sofia last October), it’s imperative that Hughie reminds everybody he’s a real threat within the heavyweight division.
We’re working on being more attractive to the public, as well as winning fights to become a world class fighter.
On May 25th, I expect to see Hughie totally in control, enjoying himself, oozing confidence. Using his boxing to set Chris Norrad up, then getting him out of there, in style. And I know he can do it.
Training world class fighters, sometimes you have to unlock their minds as well as develop them physically. I’ve always maintained that boxing is 90% mental. It takes time to develop genuine confidence. Now Hughie’s a little older and more experienced, hopefully, he’s finally turned that corner. He’s been pro over six years now.
A lot of young heavyweights coming through only have hand-picked opponents before they challenge for titles but that certainly wasn’t the case with Hughie. He never had an easy ride.
His losses have actually been a blessing. He’s benefitted so much; one controversial points loss in a world title fight and another fighting abroad with just one good eye against a monster no one else was prepared to fight.
Even in defeat, we took a lot out of the Pulev fight. Hughie was executing our game plan perfectly until he got a massive, deep, cut late in round two. The skin was flapping so, when the doctor insisted we were on borrowed time, Hughie went ‘all out’. The adrenalin we placed into the cut burnt his fuel taking his body into overdrive but he only had the vision of one eye. After five or six rounds he went totally flat.
Hughie’s the ultimate professional in and out of the ring. In the seven months since Pulev, we’ve been correcting a lot of stuff and now he’s really coming into his own. He’s in fine health, no issues, no excuses. We’re more than ready. I’m happy with everything.
With the heavyweights, we all know you’re just one punch away from disaster. But Hughie possesses all of the tools, is naturally awkward and he’s very, very durable. No heavyweight alive is going to get rid of Hughie Fury quickly. He’s now a very serious player who can give anybody in the division a very hard night.
After this, we’ll be straight back in training, looking to keep busy. Mick (Hennessy, Hughie’s promoter) says Hughie will be out again in September, then put into a serious fight against a big name before the end of the year. He’s gone beyond British level. We’re only interested in European and World titles.
Norrad’s a big heavyweight, who’s always in shape and brings an undefeated record. He’s spars a lot with (Quebec’s 16-1, 15 kayos) Simon Kean so is obviously a very durable guy. He’s not one who’ll be blown away in one or two rounds, that’s for sure. He’s someone who’ll fight back, exactly what we need.
But I see Hughie on another level and once we get this one out the way and he’s off again.”