Tyson Fury vs Sefer Seferi: Stats and predictions

Tyson Fury vs Sefer Seferi

After a prolonged period of speculation, the next chapter of the Tyson Fury story has been announced with the news that the former unified world heavyweight champion will return to the ring at the Manchester Arena on June 9.

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The eagerly anticipated comeback of one of the world’s most talked-about fighters will be against Albanian Sefer Seferi, who has been beaten just once in his 24-fight career, although he has boxed at cruiserweight in all but one of those contests.

 

Fury’s comeback is set to be his first fight since replacing his uncle as trainer. Now working with Ben Davison, Fury has endured a series of controversies and setbacks since out-pointing Wladimir Klitschko in Germany at the end of 2015. He repeatedly pulled out of rematches against Klitschko, and has had a series of personal problems as well as a much-publicized doping case, which resulted in a two-year backdated ban.

 

But the undefeated Mancunian, who has won 18 of his 25 fights by knockout, has won back his license from the British Boxing Board of Control and according to his manager, Frank Warren, is in good shape ahead of his return next month.

 

Fans interested in placing a wager at Stakers.com will find Fury at short odds to make a winning return against Seferi, who has taken on mainly lower-ranked fighters since he lost the most significant fight of his career, against Manuel Charr in September 2016.

 

On paper, the 39-year-old would not appear to offer much of a challenge for the Englishman, either in terms of his record or his physical stature.

 

At 5’10”, Seferi is nearly a foot shorter than Fury, and at a massive disadvantage even if the two fighters were of comparable boxing ability. Many of Fury’s fans would have preferred their hero to take on a more obvious challenge in Shannon Briggs or Tony Bellew.

 

But comeback fights can be tricky to predict, particularly when a boxer has been through the ups and downs that Fury has endured in recent months. For a start, there is always the danger that his opponent could be underestimated. Seferi has plenty of experience and has been active throughout the period that Fury has been out of the game, fighting four times and winning his last two bouts. He is a durable fighter, with stamina and the ring-smarts to stay out of trouble and he has nothing to lose in what represents a career highlight.

 

There were signs of danger for Fury in the way that Seferi hung in for ten rounds against Charr. The Albanian is not a particularly powerful puncher, driving his punches through his arms rather than his body, and can be a touch hesitant, but he has a doggedness that will ensure Fury has to work hard to prevail. He also has the capacity to launch surprising flurries of punches that can catch an unsuspecting fighter off guard, and Fury will have to be wary of the danger of a lucky shot, or of being caught off balance.

 

Then there is Fury’s state of readiness. It is clear that he still has weight to shed and is also still easing into his relationship with a new trainer. His manager has suggested that Fury will fight twice more before the year is out, as he tries to shake off the accumulated rust and physical deterioration of his two years out of the ring, and the selection of this particular opponent suggests he is further from his fighting peak than many realize.

 

It is unlikely that Seferi will win, but the fight should tell us more about Fury’s readiness and whether he retains the ability that took him to the top of the heavyweight pile two years ago. Whatever the merits of this fight, we can be sure that the Manchester Arena will be packed on June 9 and the eyes of the boxing world will be on Fury’s comeback.

 

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Two onlookers who will be more interested than most are Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua, holders of the division’s four belts. They are set to fight later in 2018 in what will be one of boxing’s most eagerly anticipated bouts for years, but assuming he comes through this test unscathed, Fury and his management team will be plotting a course that may ultimately lead to bouts with either Joshua or Wilder in the next few months. That is a potential three-way rivalry that will capture the imagination of boxing fans everywhere.

 

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