Tyson Fury will make his long-awaited return to the ring against Argentinian journeyman Gonzalo Omar Basile on Feb. 15 in London, but during a conversation with RingTV.com, the charismatic British star confirmed that a rematch with countryman Dereck Chisora is all but finalized.
“I’ve got Basile first, then someone tougher in April and then Dereck Chisora,” said Fury, THE RING's No. 5 heavyweight, with habitual confidence. “I’ve also been told the Chisora fight will be a final eliminator for the WBO heavyweight title, so a win will position me as Wladimir Klitschko’s mandatory challenger.”
The Basile bout is an undercard attraction to a Dereck Chisora European title defense (opponent TBA) and promoter Frank Warren has made no secret of the fact that he is looking to match “Del Boy” against Fury for a second time.
For obvious reasons the Fury camp would be confident. The Manchester man defeated Chisora by comfortable unanimous decision in July 2011 but, like many within the trade, is quick to point out that his former foe has improved over the past three years.
“Both of us were inexperienced back then with fourteen fights a piece,” said Fury. “Chisora was out of shape and I wasn’t in the best of condition either. At that time it was a good matchup between two up and coming fighters, but there’s a lot more on the table now.
“This time Chisora will be in good shape, because he’s been in top condition for his last four fights, and he also has the experience of going twelve rounds with Vitali Klitschko," Fury added. "It’s a much better fight and a much bigger event.”
In terms of dates, Fury admitted that the rematch would have to take place prior to the World Cup, which gets under way during the second week of June in Brazil. For over a month the UK will be transfixed by soccer, and staging Fury-Chisora II before “football fever” grips the nation would definitely make sound business sense.
Fury has been out of action since April 2013 when he survived a heavy knockdown to halt former IBF cruiserweight titlist Steve Cunningham. A massive bout with David Haye was postponed then cancelled indefinitely following Haye’s injury-related retirement, and the 25-year-old’s career stalled as a result.
The bad blood between Fury and Haye was palpable, but one senses that a Chisora rematch will not be sold based on animosity between the participants.
“There are no feelings either way,” said an understated Fury. “I only met Chisora once or twice, before our fight, and I don’t really know him. It’s just business and a way of earning money and paying the bills.
“If I keep winning I’ll be heavyweight champion of the world.”
(Check out RingTV.com during fight week for a full interview with Fury ahead of his Feb. 15 show at the Copper Box Arena in London.)
British fight fans can see Fury versus Basile and Dereck Chisora’s European title defense on BoxNation.
Tom Gray is a member of the British Boxing Writers’ Association and has contributed to various publications. Follow him on Twitter: @Tom_Gray_Boxing