By Tim Royner: Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn has signed former heavyweight world title challenger Hughie Fury to a multi-fight promotional deal. This is a signing that is highly confusing in the eyes of many boxing fans, because the 6’6″ Hughie (23-2, 13 KOs) has looked poor when stepping it up against world class fighters Joseph Parker and Kubrat Pulev.
Hughie is coming off of an unimpressive seventh round stoppage win over former WBO heavyweight champion Samuel Peter on July 12 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Fighting on the undercard of Amir Khan vs. Billy Dib, Hughie won the fight after Peter suffered a shoulder injury in the seventh round. After the contest, Hughie was heavily criticized by boxing fans for all the running that he did in the fight.
Fury had no confidence of standing in the pocket and fighting the past his best 38-year-old Peter (38-8, 31 KOs). After the fight ended, it was Peter that put in the more impressive performance than Hughie. Despite losing, Peter showed that he’s still a formidable puncher, because he appeared to shakeup Hughie on a couple of occasions.
Hughie will need to be matched carefully by Hearn
Hearn isn’t saying what his ultimate plans are for the 24-year-old Fury, but it’s possible that he might look to slowly work his way to another world title shot. Hughie already fought for a world title against former WBO champion Parker in September 2017, and lost badly by a one-sided 12 round majority decision in Manchester, England. One judge unbelievably scored the fight a draw 114-114. The other two judges overruled him by scoring it 118-110, 118-110. Boxing News 24 had Parker winning 11 rounds to 1.
If Hearn matches Fury against guys like Lucas ‘Big Daddy’ Browne, Dave Allen and Tom Little, he’ll do well. If Hearn puts Hughie in with someone like David Price, there’s a good chance he’s given a boxing lesson. Hughie isn’t that kind of a talent.
Fury was completely lost against Parker, losing almost every round. In Hughie’s fight against Pulev last October, he lost a one-sided 12 round unanimous decision in an IBF title eliminator. It’s unclear why Fury was picked out to fight in an IBF title eliminator, given that he’d recently been beaten by Parker. One would think with all the different contenders in the International Boxing Federation’s top 15, they could have selected someone else for Pulev to fight rather than the recently beaten Fury. Pulev won the fight by the scores 117-111, 118-110 and 115-113. The 118-110 score made the most sense of the three.
Hughie excited at signing with Matchroom
“I’m over the moon to be signing promotionally with Eddie and joining a stable as strong as Matchroom,” said Fury to Sky Sports. “I feel with Matchroom’s backing I can kick on now and really fulfil my potential. Watch this space because it’ll be exciting times over the next couple of years.”
It really doesn’t matter that Fury has signed with Matchroom. If he can’t beat the top guys when given the chance, his career isn’t going to flourish. At this point, it’s likely Hearn is going to use Hughie as a B-side opponent to stick in with some of his other Matchroom heavyweights like Michael Hunter, David Price, Filip Hrgovic, Oleksandr Usyk, Dereck Chisora and Zhilei Zhang. Hughie would likely lose to all of those guys.
If Hearn has Hughie walk the plank by putting him in with any of those guys, he’ll watch his career implode overnight. However, it’s doubtful the Fury’s will give the green light to any of those fights getting made, because it’s obviously Hughie will lose to all of those guys. The likely goal for Hearn in signing Hughie is to try and use his last name to position him for a world title shot. Hopefully if that happens, Hughie will at least earn the title shot rather than having it given to him like we saw when he fought Parker in 2017.
What Fury needs most of all is punching power, but that he’s not been able to develop any for some reason. Two years ago when some boxing fans thought Fury was capable of winning a world title, it was thought that he would develop into a big puncher when he reached his mid-20s. Now that he’s there, still not a big puncher.