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Fury is the king of boxing, inside and outside the ring, what’s next for the heavyweight champion?

After Tyson Fury’s one-sided TKO victory over Derek Chisora at London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Saturday, Mike Coppinger shares what should be next for Fury and reacts to Fury’s comments during his postfight interview about a right hand injury and possible right elbow surgery. Is he finally heading for the most-anticipated undisputed fight against Oleksandr Usyk next? Connor O’Halloran, who was on site for the event, reflects on what was a giant night for Fury in London and also offers his take on Daniel Dubois’ chances against the top of the division after being dropped three times before getting a stoppage win.

Fury appeared razor sharp in a routine heavyweight title defense against Chisora, a trilogy fight he won via 10th-round TKO, and now, «The Gypsy King» could move on to some truly compelling matchups.

Chief among them: a battle with Oleksandr Usyk for the undisputed heavyweight championship that’s in negotiations for springtime in Saudi Arabia.

When Fury (33-0-1, 24 KOs) will be ready to fight again is unclear, though. After he finished shouting obscenity-laced insults at Usyk during his postfight interview on Saturday, Fury revealed that he suffered a right hand injury during the bout, and more troublesome, would likely require surgery on his nagging right elbow.

The recovery timetable for that surgery is likely six to eight weeks, per Fury, who had surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow following his victory over Deontay Wilder last October. Fury, 34, required pain-numbing cortisone shots in both elbows before that 11th-round KO victory to retain his heavyweight championship.

«Let’s give the fans one champion, one name, one face,» Fury said. «Usyk is up for the challenge. He came over tonight, so fair play to him. He’s not an easy boxer to figure out. He’s a slick southpaw mover, with very good skills, Olympic gold medalist and on some good form, so I’m looking forward to the challenge.»

If a deal can’t be finalized to meet Usyk, Fury said he would turn to Joe Joyce, who was watching ringside, the strong-as-an-ox heavyweight contender coming off an impressive 11th-round KO of Joseph Parker in September.

«Sometimes the big fights don’t happen for whatever reason, but I have a good feeling this one is going to happen,» Fury said. «But if it doesn’t for XYZ reasons, then we’ll have Joe Joyce at Wembley next year as well. But providing the Usyk one does happen, I’ll do him, then I’ll have Joyce at Wembley, why not?»

Hopefully Fury ends up fighting both Usyk and Joyce. It’s exceedingly likely a matchup with Usyk will materialize first. The bout is sure to deliver a career-high payday for Fury and is on the short list of the best fights boxing can offer.

Usyk is a splendid boxer who won both an Olympic gold medal and the undisputed cruiserweight championship. He defeated Anthony Joshua to capture three heavyweight titles last year and defended them successfully in the August rematch. If anybody out there can end Fury’s title reign, it’s surely Usyk, the 35-year-old Ukrainian who is ESPN’s No. 4 pound-for-pound boxer (Fury is No. 6.)

Besides Usyk and Joyce, Fury could always revisit talks for a highly anticipated grudge match with Joshua in the future. And while it appeared Fury resolved his business with Wilder following one of the greatest heavyweight trilogies of all time, the American can guarantee himself another shot at Fury’s WBC title with a win over Andy Ruiz Jr., a fight that’s being planned for early next year.

«The Gypsy King» claimed he was retired following an April knockout victory over Dillian Whyte, but suddenly, he’s lining up multiple opponents for the future.

«Let me get through the Usyk fight and then back to Vegas for Wilder 4 …» Fury said. «I just think I can beat anybody. I’m on a roll. I’m back on top of the world ruling the division with an iron fist.» — Coppinger

The chanting started at Seven Sisters station, a half-hour walk from the Stadium and hours before the main event event started.

«There’s only ooonnneeee Tyson Fury! Onneeee Tyson Fury,» a group of men chanted.

A short walk further was a street salesman flogging Fury scarves, proudly displaying the heavyweight champ’s face. In the stadium shop, Fury merchandise littered the shelves, while customers crowded the tills. And, amid a cost-of-living crisis and tightening pockets in the U.K., and the FIFA World Cup hogging the limelight, Fury still managed to fill a Tottenham Hotspur Stadium where the temperature dropped to shivering 35 degrees Fahrenheit, fighting against a veteran he already dismantled twice years ago.

Simply put: Nobody in the heavyweight division sells like Tyson Fury.

The chanting continued in the stadium. Ahead of the battering of Chisora, the stadium was treated to Fury’s own rendition of Neil Diamond’s «Sweet Caroline» (Fury released the track as a single to raise money for men’s mental health awareness). Minutes later, Fury walked out to the 1996 England soccer track «It’s Coming Home,» followed by «Mr. Brightside» by The Killers. A beautiful rendition of «God Save the King» was sang inside the ring before the fight. You wonder whether Fury thought it was about him.

Is he good for boxing? What he says about his retirement status might not be worth the paper it’s written — not only did he retire after his last fight, he said last week he could fight until he’s 40. And yes, he didn’t step into the ring tonight with Anthony Joshua despite weeks of talk and pantomime, or for an undisputed championship bout against fellow champion Oleksandr Usyk. But at a time when boxing is constantly looking in the mirror and not always liking what it sees, Fury can sell a fight — even by most standards a mediocre one — be entertaining and most importantly, win. That, no matter how warranted the criticism, cannot be ignored.

The saddest thing for the division now would be a true Fury retirement. He has plenty of options and intriguing fights left, chief of which is a once-in-a-generation unification bout with Usyk. After the fight, he had a Tyson-esque stare-down with Usyk. Then heavyweight contender Joe Joyce got involved. «If this little rabbit [pointing to Usyk] doesn’t want it,» Fury said, turning to Joyce. «Then let me and you go and do Wembley.»

Daniel Dubois spent fight week making his case for a major title shot. He wanted to face Usyk, he said, for who he is WBA mandatory challenger. And if not Usyk, then maybe Fury or Anthony Joshua.

«I’m looking to go to the big leagues,» he told ESPN ahead of the fight. But what he really needs is to escape the shadow fellow heavyweight contender Joe Joyce bestowed upon him two years ago.

If Saturday’s fight was about Dubois proving he is still the future of the division, then his nightmare first round against South Africa’s Kevin Lerena showed the opposite. He was dropped three times in the first round by Lerena — the second he took a knee voluntarily. He rallied and regained his composure in the second round before delivering a highlight-reel knockout in the third.

But that performance won’t scare the biggest in the division.

The heavyweight division is being held hostage by the trio of Fury, Usyk and Joshua, who have plans to facing each other before looking somewhere else, so maybe it’s time Dubois angled to be the true challenger to the division. He could go after the power-punching 23-year-old Jared Anderson, or Filip Hrgovic — who is Usyk’s IBF mandatory challenger. Maybe a rematch with Joyce would be enough to do it, but not just yet.

Debe leer
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