The legitimization of Tyson Fury (21-0, 15 KO) continues, and promoter Frank Warren is the man spearheading the campaign now. As part of a new deal with Warren's Box Nation television channel, Fury is set to get major exposure.
Per BoxNation.com, the plan is to ultimately match Fury in a rematch with another Box Nation mainstay, Dereck Chisora. In July 2011, Fury beat a disinterested Chisora who hadn't really dedicated himself to his craft. The rematch is probably the biggest heavyweight fight available in England.
Before that can happen, Fury will take on Joey "Minnesota Ice" Abell (29-7, 28 KO) on Saturday from Copper Box Arena in London. Abell was a late replacement for the injured Gonzalo Omar Basile, per Jake Donovan of Boxing Scene. He's a journeyman who is used to these types of late calls.
Chisora is taking on American heavyweight Kevin Johnson in the main event. If both Fury and Chisora take care of business, the rematch should be next.
Here's how you can catch the action on Saturday.
When: Saturday, Feb. 15 at Noon EST
Where: Copper Box Arena in London
TV: Sky Sports
Live Stream: LiveSport.TV
The Book on Fury
Despite standing 6'9" and having one of the coolest boxing names in the history of the sport, Fury is rarely impressive in the ring. He doesn't move well or punch as hard as you would expect, and his stamina leaves a lot to be desired.
That said, he is so tall that it's difficult for almost anyone to get a bead on him consistently. In his last fight, he was dropped in the second round by Steve Cunningham before he stopped the former cruiserweight champion in the seventh.
While Cunningham was once a great champion, he was 36 when the fight took place. On top of that, he's really just a cruiserweight who didn't even have big power at the lower weight class.
That's evidenced by the meager 12-KO total in his career.
With no major buzz about his in-ring ability, one might wonder how Fury has garnered popularity. Part of it is due to his name and size, but where that appeal ends, Fury's mouth has picked up. He's been known to make controversial and insulting comments via Twitter.
Because of this, he's drawn the ire of rivals.
Fury apparently isn't concerned with who he offends. He told Ben Dirs of BBC Sport, he doesn't concern himself with setting an example. Fury said:
"I'm not interested in being a role model for anybody else. Every man has his own life to live and every man should take his own path."
On Saturday, he'll need to model a win if nothing else.
Fury has well-documented personal problems beyond the occasional Twitter rant. As ESPN UK's Steve Bunce mentions, Fury's father is in jail, and he has issues in and around his community.
I think Tyson's been very brave talking about the things that are bothering him. His dad's in prison and they were very close. He has to deal with a lot of pressure inside the gypsy community. He told me everywhere he goes where there's a a traveller or gypsy event, people want to fight him; it's part of their culture.
Sadly, someone who may or may not have issue with Fury personally targeted his home and car with an arson attack on Feb. 11, per The Pugilist of Yahoo! Eurosport.
Thankfully, no one was home or hurt. Fury is unfortunately battling impediments in and out of the ring.
The Book on Abell
Minnesota Ice has been in the ring with a few names you may have heard of—Chris Arreola, Fres Oquendo and Al Cole—but he's lost to all of them.
His KO numbers would suggest he has big power, but it's likely that strength has only been proved by punching tomato cans.
In his last fight, Abell was stopped in the fifth round against Kubrat Pulev. He was a late replacement in that fight, the same as he will be against Fury.
Will we see a different result?
Abell will come out throwing punches, but he'll spend himself quickly. Fury has a five-inch height, nine-inch reach and even bigger skill advantage over Abell.
He'll get rid of Minnesota Ice inside of four rounds.
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