As fight fans are probably aware, Peter Fury, trainer and uncle of heavyweight champ Tyson Fury, announced yesterday that the awaited return fight with Wladimir Klitschko will go ahead in Manchester on July 9th. Numerous web sites ran the exciting news story, but it seems not everyone is convinced the fight will actually happen in Manchester, perhaps not even on that date.
We have yet to hear or read any official announcement from Klitschko or any member of his team, and this has led to some doubts that the fight we have been waiting for is as cut and dry as Peter Fury says it is. Of course, all British fight fans and hoping the fight will go ahead in the UK, as this would be a huge event. And in terms of a second Fury win, home advantage would be a big plus for the 27-year-old.
But David Haye is one of the sceptics and he told Omnisport that he has doubts the fight will actually go ahead on July 9th in Manchester.
“I don’t see that happening,” Haye said of the July 9 date in Manchester. “Someone in Klitschko’s camp said it was happening in Germany literally a few days ago. Until it’s officially announced I wouldn’t start booking your tickets to Manchester just yet. Who knows [why Peter Fury made the announcement he made]? His comments have come on the same day as the press conference [for Anthony Joshua-Charles Martin], they had the weigh-in here. Maybe there’s a lot of noise about Anthony Joshua and not so much about the Klitschko rematch and to try and keep the Tyson brand out there they make an announcement of some sort. It’s an announcement of an announcement. You see it all the time.”
So has Fury said what he said in an attempt at grabbing some headlines? Or does Peter really think the return fight will go ahead when and where he said it would yesterday? We hope for the latter, but as Haye says, until Klitschko or a member of his team confirms it, we will not know for sure. It would perhaps be a strange move for Klitschko to agree to fight in the UK at this late stage in his career. Fighting almost exclusively in Germany since 2008 – save for a fight in Switzerland, one in Russia and one in the US – Wladimir has filled out huge arenas there and been paid accordingly.
The Manchester Arena, capacity 22,000, would seem an odd choice for the big rematch with Fury. Or perhaps I am doing “Dr. Steel Hammer” a disservice, and he does indeed plan to make a big statement by agreeing to fight Fury in his homeland. After all, Klitschko took on the dangerous Alexander Povetkin in Russia not all that long ago, and Wladimir boxed Bryant Jennings in New York more recently.
Maybe Klitschko, as he closes out his long and hugely successful career, is looking to prove he is a fighter willing to travel for a fight. If Klitschko does fight Fury in the UK, he will earn plenty of respect, whether he wins or loses.