Former undefeated world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury believes that Francesco Pianeta will be in the mood to cause a huge heavyweight upset when they meet.
Fury (26-0) faces the Italian at Belfast’s Windsor Park on Saturday August 18, when they share top billing with Carl Frampton.
Pianeta (35-4-1), a 6ft 5in southpaw who weighs around 245lb knows a shock win could earn him a third world heavyweight title challenge and ruin Fury’s hopes of dominating the division once again.
Pianeta fell short against Wladimir Klitschko and Ruslan Chagaev, but Fury who recently returned after a two and a half year break said: “There is a target on my back.
“Pianeta is just one win away from being back right there among the best.
“Everybody brings their A game when they face me. They know it’s a lottery win if they can beat me.”
Fury doesn’t need to study Pianeta having sparred with him when his rival was an unbeaten world ranked prospect.
Fury, who beat Sefer Seferi on his comeback in June, recalled: “I sparred with him in Germany when he was 26 and 0.
“He was tough, strong and he is a good opponent - very good. It was before he went on to fight Klitschko and Chagaev for world titles, but I was impressed.
“People say this is a big step up from Seferi and they can say what they want, but Seferi went the full distance with a current world heavyweight champion, Manuel Charr.
“He looked terrible against me, but that has happened to so many people. Wladimir Klitschko didn’t look much better against me than Seferi to be honest.”
Tyson isn’t cutting corners setting up camp in Manchester and staying at a hotel on the outskirts of the city away from his family.
Fury said: “I’m training hard in the gym every day. I’ve had no time off since the last fight. I’m getting in great shape and really focused on my job.
“I can’t wait to get in there and put on a show in Belfast.
“Time is flying and it does when you’re having fun. I have a great team around me and we have got everything bang on. I’ve never, ever been this happy with my training and routine.
“I’ve got everything sorted. I’ve got the right promoter, the right lawyers, have good people around me and I’m in a good gym atmosphere.”
Local idol and two time world champion Carl Frampton defends his interim WBO featherweight crown against Australian Luke Jackson on the bill that is nearing a sell-out.
In only his sixth professional fight, Frampton’s great friend Paddy Barnes challenges WBC flyweight champion Cristofer Rosales.