King’s Hall, Belfast, 17th September
London – Tyson Fury says he will battle with North American champion Nicolai Firtha at Belfast’s King’s Hall on September 17 because he wants to give the Irish fans a night to remember.
The 12 round international contest will be shown live on Channel 5.
British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion Fury could have fought lesser men but instead he faces the 32-year-old from Ohio who two fights ago went the distance with the new WBA World heavyweight champion Alexander Povetkin who recently won his title with a points win over Ruslan Chagaev.
Firtha won the NABA title in 2010 after stopping Tony Grano in two rounds and since then he has been in the form of his life, his most recent victory coming on 13th August in Ohio and he has warned Fury’s promoter Mick Hennessy that he is ready to halt the Fury bandwagon.
Unbeaten Fury says he is taking “a bit of gamble” against 6ft 6′ Firtha but is ready to handle what he expects to be the biggest challenge of his career. Fury says, “There was a lot of talk about me fighting Martin Rogan and a few other names like Mike Perez and Leif Larsen were mentioned but I’ve accepted to fight Firtha who’s a lot younger than Rogan and has mixed in a lot higher company than any of those other guys.
“With two weeks to go I know this is a risk, a gamble but I’m a true fighting man and a man of honour and I’m prepared to fight any man on the planet and I want the Irish fight fans to come out and see a real fight not some knock over job.
“Anybody who knows anything about boxing can see that this is a risky fight because Firtha has gone the distance with the man who now holds the WBA belt which David Haye once held. It’s going to be a big test for me so soon after me beating Dereck Chisora but I know it’s a challenge that I can rise to.”
Promoter Mick Hennessy expects Firtha to bring out the best in Fury and says a win will help Fury’s stock rise even further on the world scene.
Hennessy commented: “Firtha is always in great shape, he’s coming off the back of a good win and a very good performance against Povetkin the WBA champion so it’s going to be real test for Tyson but I believe in Tyson and that’s why I’m prepared to put him in with such an opponent.
“Although the fight has been agreed with just over two weeks to go, the Firtha camp have known about the possibility of this fight for some time. We had been looking at the Rogan fight but when that fell through then we looked to make the Firtha fight. Tyson’s profile in America is on the rise and a win against Firtha will only help that.
“It’s going to be a great night’s boxing at the King’s Hall with former WBC Champion Junior Witter fighting current Irish welterweight champion Stephen Haughian and Ryan Greene and Willie Thompson who will be fighting it out for the vacant Northern Ireland Light Middleweight title”.
Also Joining these fighters at the King’s Hall will be a host of talented boxers including Kid Galahad, Phill Fury, Tommy Tolan, Phil Townley and former British title challenger Kevin O’Hara who is looking to get his career back on track.
Tickets priced from £28.00 are available to purchase from the Ticketmaster box office on 0844 277 4455 (24 hour). Tickets are also available in person from Ticketmaster outlets, and online from www.ticketmaster.ie.