The Big Question: Who should Tyson Fury face first in his planned comeback?

Boxing Monthly
29/01/2018 9:48am

With Tyson Fury apparently on the comeback trail, we asked the BM online team who they would like to see the lineal heavyweight champion face in his first fight since deposing Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015...

Tyson Fury won’t face anyone dangerous in his comeback fight. British fighters will likely price themselves out of the contest. Someone like Gonzalo Omar Basile ticks all the boxes: cheap, reasonable record (on paper), loses every time he steps up, has signed to face Fury before, oh and he’s covered in tattoos. - John Angus MacDonald

I'd be happy with him boxing any fringe British title contender. He's been out the ring so long now it's hard to tell what fighter he still is physically. Can't help but think, however, that when he's deemed ready to fight again he'll just get thrown in with Joshua - James Oddy

I think everyone is sceptical of Fury ever fighting again until he’s actually in the ring. As for opponents, he needs to be realistic given how much weight he’s had to lose and his inactivity, so I’d say Sam Sexton or another domestic level guy. - Danny Winterbottom

I'm currently in the 'believe it when I see it' camp. Peter Fury is a huge loss from Tyson's corner so my excitement about this 'comeback' has been tempered somewhat. My choice would be a solid domestic level fighter with size like Gary Cornish; a Fury TKO win justifying a 'Cornish pasting' headline. - Mark Butcher

To be honest Fury's comeback is of little interest to me right now. Simply because it's nothing but talk. He does seem to be on the right path to fighting again but until there is a date, or until we even reach fight week it's in one ear out the other with me at the moment. - Shaun Brown

I have a feeling It may be a case of one fight (Joshua) and then out. If not, someone like the Whyte-Browne winner would fit the bill. - Andrew Harrison

I think he should go for Sexton's British strap. A firm win against Sam would prove that he's above domestic level after a long lay off and would generate the desired attention. A top ten ranked fighter after that and...let's see. - Paul Zanon

Like Mark I will be very surprised to see Tyson ring walk again, for me the desire isn’t there, even if the need for attention is. Should Fury surprise me and schedule a comeback fight, I think it’ll be important he look good and get his 'mojo' back so someone at domestic level makes sense, like British Champion Sam Sexton, failing that I think Tomasz Adamek has enough name value but not enough size to give Fury too much to worry about. - Callum Rudge

I like Callum's suggestion of Adamek. That would be the ideal opponent IMO. There's a few Americans who I would think fit the bill too: BJ Flores, Travis Kauffman, Amir Mansour or even Gerald Washington. Maybe even Charles Martin. Aussie Alex Leapai in on the comeback trail too, then there's the Japanese boxer Kyotaro Fujimoto. It really comes down to what Fury's team are trying to achieve out of this comeback and whether they're in it for the long haul or just a quick grab at glory. You could do worse than putting him in with the winner of the Whyte-Browne fight. - Anthony Cocks

I'm afraid I am of the opinion that 'I'll believe it when I see it' with a Fury return ... I think it's a shame he has split from his Uncle Peter as trainer, and that makes me feel the hill he has to climb is going to become even harder. I don't think we can expect Tyson to have a Jerry Quarry level type of opponent, as Ali did in his comeback, but I wish Fury would aim at that level, with a Dillian Whyte type. Instead, I wonder if we'll see a European import, with a bit of a name, slightly padded record, but a punchbag approach to the contest: maybe Johann Duhaupas, Alexander Dimitrenko, Erkan Teper or Mariusz Wach. I'll go with Duhaupas. Although part of me would like to see him accept the offer from Shannon Briggs. It'd be an amazing build-up, and by fight time we'd all be at fever pitch from the hyperbole! - Colin Harris

If I was guiding Tyson Fury’s comeback I’d reprise the Joe Louis 'bum of the month' style schedule and have him very active in order to steadily get fitter, sharper and keep his mind focussed on the sport. I don’t expect that uncle Peter’s absence is a permanent separation and think that once Fury has proved he’s serious that the two will team up again. First up in my fantasy schedule? Although far from a walkover, Alexander Ustinov is my suggestion. There’s history there with a previous pull out from Tyson when Ustinov was lined up as a substitute himself, the Russian is a a big lump, still semi-relevant and looks the part for TV. - Chris Williamson

I wonder whether there might be an announcement of a scheduled fight and opponent for Fury quite soon, as it otherwise it looks like he may lose the Ring magazine belt that remains a bargaining chip of sorts for him. Regardless of this, Joshua may be 'the man' at heavyweight now, but - like it or not - Fury is still the lineal champion, and the gap since his last fight remains shorter than the three years and nine days Jack Dempsey took off inbetween facing Firpo and Tunney. If the comeback happens, I'd like to see Fury stay busy, moving gradually from British level (the likes of Sexton) to top ten / fifteen level opposition (Pulev? Breazeale? The Bellew vs Haye winner, if it happens?) in the space of four fights this year, before facing Joshua in a winner takes it all clash in early 2019.
- Luke G. Williams