Look back on Hughie Fury’s hotly controversial loss to Joseph Parker
Tyson Fury was at the center of an angry outburst when the cruelest night of his cousin Hughie’s career ruined plans for a settlement battle with Anthony Joshua.
Joshua had just announced himself as the new heavyweight ruler after overthrowing Wladimir Klitschko at Wembley to add the WBA belt to his IBF title.
What’s next? A recurring question for the new British star and belt keepers past and present has been questioned as likely rivals.
Tyson Fury had lost all of his titles and added alarming weight during a worrying exile from the ring, and he would be an avid spectator as Hughie tried to bring the WBO belt back into the family.
Anthony Joshua had unified the WBA and IBF belts at Wembley
Hughie Fury was aiming for a world title that Tyson had held
“We could have picked the right fights for him and the AJ fight could have happened in due course,” promoter Mick Hennessy told Sky Sports as he pondered a point verdict that provoked a raw post-fight reaction.
It was Hughie, not Tyson, who was being talked about as a future opponent for Joshua if the 23-year-old could defeat WBO champion Joseph Parker in September 2017.
Father and trainer Peter Fury believed it was Hughie’s turn to prove himself almost two years after leading Tyson to a world title triumph over Klitschko.
“He’s ready to face such fights and there’s no reason they can’t happen,” Peter Fury told Sky Sports News. “He would be the most tech-savvy fighter Joshua has ever met.”
Hennessy had a promotional plan for his undefeated young competitor that would have given him time to prepare for his new status as world champion before playing a lucrative three-belt showdown against Joshua.
Joseph Parker and Fury were involved in an argument over the umpire
“Where his confidence was going and what this fight would have done for him if he had made the right decision had he not been that far from an AJ fight.”
But the younger Fury has since stayed on the sidelines of the biggest heavyweight stage.
In a bad-tempered press conference, a dispute over a “neutral referee” had spread, although it was the judges who were scrutinized after the fight.
Parker’s fist was raised after 12 rounds, much to the horror of Hughie’s team. One supporter even tore the belt off the celebratory kiwi.
Parker gratefully received two total scores of 118-110, though the third tally of 114-114 was a more accurate indication of a fight that many at the Ring of Fury had dictated.
Tyson Fury let go of his anger after the scorecards were announced
Parker’s WBO belt was torn away during his celebrations
“I was a little nervous after the first card and then very relieved when the last card came through,” Parker’s promoter David Higgins told Sky Sports after the results were announced.
“I thought Joseph won a close fight because he was pushing and being more active, and we thought some of Fury’s punches might not have been allowed to be scored, or whatever.”
Hennessy was outraged and uttered incredulous words: “Can someone tell me what’s going on?”
“You saw my reaction. I couldn’t believe it. Sometimes you have to sit by the ring to see a fight.
“It was so clear to me. I just didn’t think this could be done to him in the night. I just didn’t think it was an option. Doing what they did, to me, it was brutal and that was wrong to do it to a young fighter. “
Parker instead faced Anthony Joshua in a 2018 unification battle
Parker kept his WBO belt despite an appeal from Hennessy to the governing body and would fight Joshua at the Millennium Stadium and suffer a unanimous loss of decision that ended his reign.
There was severe disappointment and bloody defeat for Hughie.
A world title fight with Joshua was within reach again, only Hughie was hampered by a gaping cut during a point loss to Kubrat Pulev in an IBF final eliminator in Bulgaria.
Another defeat, this time against Alexander Povetkin, forced Fury and father Peter to rebuild his faith and technique.
If he had become world champion, as he deserved, everything would have gone to another level very quickly.
“Life can be so cruel at times. He won this fight,” said Hennessy.
“For me it was crazy. If he had become world champion, as he deserved, everything would have gone to another level very quickly. His confidence, everything.
“Instead, he had to deal with what he had to deal with, and it really brings things to a halt and reality sets in and everything around them.”
Joshua and Tyson Fury will apparently share the ring this year in one of the most significant heavyweight bouts in the history of the sport. The winner becomes the undisputed world champion.
Joshua is the favorite in a Tyson Fury fight, says promoter Eddie Hearn
Going forward, the belts could be scattered under conflicting directions from the governing bodies, and competitors like Hughie Fury could get another title shot years after missing Joshua.
“I think you would have seen something special if that happened because Hughie’s confidence went through the roof,” Hennessy said.
“He would have relaxed that he had achieved the goal he wants so badly.
“He’s just waiting in the wings. The belts will be available at some point and Hughie will definitely be world champion.
“I’ve always said it and he’s going to be a world heavyweight champion.”