EXCLUSIVE — Sugar Hill Steward believes there’s “too much bulls**t” surrounding potential megafights with Anthony Joshua or Oleksandr Usyk for his star student, Tyson Fury.
‘The Gypsy King’ defends his WBC crown on Saturday evening at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium — his second outdoor bout of the year in London, after dispatching Dillian Whyte with ease at Wembley Stadium in April. This time, he takes on a man who has lost to both Fury and Whyte twice apiece, in Derek Chisora.
A first title shot in a decade for Chisora would’ve been unthinkable at the time of Fury’s latest knockout triumph, but a bounceback win for ‘Del Boy’ over Kubrat Pulev in the summer came at a perfect time. Chisora — an old friend of the champion — is cashing in, capitalising on Fury’s failed negotiations with both Usyk and Joshua in recent months.
An undisputed fight with the Ukrainian genius had been mooted, but Usyk — who had found barely-believable energy reserves to defeat Joshua in the championship rounds of their Saudi Arabian showdown in August — was instead keen to spend time with his family back in his homeland, amid the ongoing Russian war.
MORE: Tyson Fury reveals his ‘Sweetest Victory’ in new Sporting News series
Following that, Fury made a series of public offers to Joshua — who shares a management team with Chisora — which the Watford native duly accepted. However, an arbitrary deadline imposed by Fury on completing the paperwork meant the contract wasn’t signed.
The 34-year-old Morecambe man kept the date in his diary, and instead filled the slot with Chisora. Steward, unlike the vast majority of boxing fans, doesn’t see a simple night ahead for Fury.
He told The Sporting News: “[Chisora’s strengths are] his power, his experience, and he knows this man. That’s a lot. It ain’t easy like everybody says it is. Chisora has ‘war’ on his hat all the time. He ain’t coming here to be bulls**tting around. That man knows how to fight.”
However, the American is not delving too deeply into analysing Fury’s latest opponent as part of the camp. In fact, he learned that approach from his legendary late uncle Emanuel, who trained the likes of Wladimir Klitschko and Lennox Lewis in his storied Kronk Gym in Detroit.
Steward continued: “I know what my fighter can do, so I’m working on him. I’ve seen Chisora fight before, so I don’t have to sit and watch him. I don’t believe in . I might watch two rounds of a fighter and that’s it, because that’s what I learned from Emanuel.
“I used to watch fights, and he said: ‘I watch two rounds’. I said: ‘f**k, if he can do it, that’s what I want to learn to do, I want to have an eye like that’. So I learned how to do that. I watch maybe two rounds, maybe, and that’s it. Boss.”
Following the Chisora clash, the expectation is that Fury will rekindle his hopes of a truer test against the aforementioned fellow superpowers of the heavyweight division. But Steward is instead hoping his man will stay active, as the drama around any negotiating period keeps Fury away from the only place he is satisfied: in the ring.
Steward concluded: “I want to see Tyson Fury fight, period. There’s too much bulls**t for him to fight somebody like an Usyk or Joshua. Just let the man fight like he’s doing now. That’s happiness.”