British heavyweight champion Hughie Fury has described his decision to take on Kubrat Pulev in front of the hard-hitting Bulgarian’s home crowd as a “no brainer”.
The 23-year-old will travel more than 2,000 miles to fight Pulev in an IBF final eliminator match in the country’s capital Sofia, on Saturday 27 October. The pair are competing for the right to face the winner of the September 22 showdown between champion Anthony Joshua and challenger Alexander Povetkin.
Having come face-to-face with his opponent for the first time at the launch press conference in Bulgaria, Hughie Fury said: “People might look at me and ask ‘what is he thinking fighting over there? It’s such a risk’, but that’s not how I see it. For me this is a massive opportunity and I plan to make the most of it.
“A couple of guys in the division have ducked Pulev and that tells you that he’s a dangerous opponent. Listen, I’m prepared to fight anyone, anywhere in the world and these are the fights that I want. I want big fights and I want to take over the heavyweight division. That’s what I believe I can do.”
He added: “Fighting outside of the UK doesn’t bother me. At the end of the day there are only two people in the ring, so it doesn’t matter where the fight is taking place. There’s no pressure on my side. If anything, there’s more pressure for him to perform in his own back yard.
“He is a good boxer and has lots of experience, but he has to bring it all when he faces me. I’m looking forward to the challenge.
“In my last fight against (Sam) Sexton I didn’t get out of second gear. This time fans will see a different Hughie Fury. To all my fans who have supported me from day one, on October 27th you are going to see a spectacular performance and it will be a brilliant night to remember.”
On a potential fight with the winner of Joshua vs. Povetkin, Fury said: “Joshua will come through Povetkin and that’s the fight that I’m destined for. That’s the fight that I want, and I will grab it with both hands. For now, I’m just concentrating on the fight with Pulev and the rest will take care of itself.”
Peter Fury, Hughie’s father and trainer, said: “We’ve been working on Hughie’s strengths in training rather than worrying to much about Pulev.
“We know what we are facing, Pulev is dangerous. He is an experienced fighter, but this is fight we all wanted. It’s been a good camp so far and the closer we get, Hughie will only improve and get better.
“Hughie has the tools to beat him and as soon as the bell goes, he will be ready!”