The other Fury in the heavyweight division is in limbo. Hughie Fury (23-3), cousin of Tyson Fury (29-0-1), is coming off another loss, this time to former WBA heavyweight titleholder Alexander Povetkin (35-2). It was Fury’s third defeat in his last six fights. This latest setback begs the question: What’s next for Hughie Fury?
At the moment, the younger Fury has no other choice. He and his trainer, Peter Fury, need to go back to the drawing board. So far, all three of Fury’s losses have come against elite competition — Povetkin in August, Kubrat Pulev (27-1) in October 2018, and Joseph Parker (28-2) in September 2017. If these defeats are any indication, it seems as if Fury folds against top-level fighters. That’s not a good look for a heavyweight with title aspirations. If he can’t scrape by the Povetkins and Parkers of the world, how will he beat the likes of Deontay Wilder (41-0-1)?
What’s surprising is that Fury seemed to be turning a corner. In an interview with The Independent, he spoke about the need to fight as often as possible. “This will be my second fight this year, and hopefully I can get out another two or three times again before Christmas,” Fury said before his July fight versus veteran Samuel Peters (38-8). “Being active and fighting regularly is the key now.” That has proven difficult for the Englishman in recent years. He had been battling acne conglobata, a rare skin condition that weakens the immune system and causes fatigue.
Now, Fury is healthy. Wins over Chris Norrad (17-1) in May and Peters in July seemed to prove it. He was finally fighting regularly and looked to be building momentum. Going into the Povetkin bout, bwin Boxing’s Stuart Walker had Fury the favorite to win on points against the experienced Russian. Fury was expected to take that proverbial next step after dispatching Norrad and Peters convincingly. But Povetkin flipped the script. He outpointed Fury in what TalkSport’s Michael Benson described as an un-entertaining bout. Povetkin piled up the points in the later rounds and won 117-111 on all three judges’ scorecards. Fury actually frustrated Povetkin early on, but the 25-year-old suffered a bad cut and couldn’t dig deep to mount a comeback.
But Peter Fury remains optimistic. “I’m happy with the performance [against Povetkin]; he ticked a lot of boxes,” the trainer told Boxing Scene. “Hughie’s had three fights where he’s had three losses, but it’s not as if the guys have beat him up. Hughie’s only losing the fights because of what he’s not doing, not what the other guy is doing in front of him.” In particular, Fury hasn’t been able to let go of his left hand. “At British and domestic level, he can pull the trigger,” explained his trainer. “When he’s up on the world level, he can’t.”
At the moment, fighter and trainer want to work on the holes in Fury’s game. That’s why they are in no rush for another big fight just yet.
They are eyeing a November bout, but against lesser competition — likely against a domestic prospect or an aging veteran. After that, Peter Fury wants a Fury-Povetkin rematch. He figures Hughie will be a two-fisted heavyweight by then. If so, that could potentially be Hughie Fury’s defining moment. In the interim, however, there’s a lot for him to work on. The good news is he’s just about to enter his athletic prime, and we could well still see the Fury family dominate heavyweight boxing on a world stage.