Corey Erdman

Fury not impressed by fellow heavyweight contenders

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While undefeated Tyson Fury hasn’t yet met his match inside the squared circle, he may have run into his equal in terms of trash talking.

The normally boisterous heavyweight contender has been relatively quiet in the media since defeating journeyman Vinny Maddalone last month, but that hasn’t stopped James Toney from taking verbal pot shots at Fury. The fading former champion has accused him of ducking the matchup, and offered to face him with the youngster’s father as the referee.

Much like the fans who have watched the 43-year old’s recent performances, Fury seems to feel sorry for Toney, and was almost reverential in his reply.

“James Toney is a Hall of Famer, he’s a living legend, and maybe six years ago, he could have given me a tough fight. But an aging James Toney is going to struggle. He’s got one of the greatest defenses of all-time, so he can still go 12 rounds, but it’s probably best that he retire,” Fury told RingTV.com.

Toney isn’t the only one who has called out Fury over the years. The 24-year-old is a constant target for heavyweights looking for a fight, in part due to the aura of vulnerability that surrounds him. In his victories, he has been knocked down and hurt badly numerous times, but remains a live-gate and domestic television draw nonetheless.

“They’re all (big names), and they all want to fight me. They know that if they beat me, they have a golden ticket to face the Klitschkos,” claims Fury, who is training twice a day despite having no bout officially scheduled.

According to Hennessy Sports, the leading candidate for the next crack at their charge is former WBA titlist Ruslan Chagaev. The matchup could possibly take place in November, with a site yet to be determined.

Fury (19-0, 14 knockouts) said he hasn’t been given any indication if it will indeed be Chagaev, but has been told that it will be a “world class opponent,” a significant step up from Maddalone, or the likes of Martin Rogan and Neven Pajkic.

After suffering a loss to Alexander Povetkin last August, Chagaev (29-2-1, 18 KOs) has stayed busy with two victories in eight-rounders already this year, with a third one tentatively scheduled.

Other names floating around for Fury include Jean-Marc Mormeck, who, like Chagaev, has a one-sided loss to a Klitschko on his resume.

A matchup with either one of them would give THE RING’s No. 10-rated heavyweight a chance to back up his rather low opinion of Vitali and Wladimir’s past challengers, and the ones on the horizon.

“Mariusz Wach, Tomasz Adamek, Eddie Chambers, name whoever you want, really. All these other guys, they couldn’t beat me, let alone a Klitschko,” said Fury. “I know for a fact that Manuel Charr can’t beat Vitali Klitschko because he couldn’t beat Zack Page. They robbed Zack Page in Germany when he was punching his face off to give him a win, and now he’s fighting for a world title.”

In an interview with THE RING last month, Fury noted that he is in no rush to face either one of the Ukrainian brothers, stating that he would prefer to do so next year when he is the mandatory challenger.

But as the Klitschkos scour the United States and Europe for potential threats, or at least ones who can be billed as such, he insists that the only challenges to the heavyweight throne exist in the United Kingdom.

“The only guys that stand a chance against Wladimir or Vitali are me and David Price. That’s it,” said Fury.

 

Photo / Christopher Lee-Getty Images

Follow Corey Erdman on Twitter @corey_erdman

 

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