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Sunday, 20 January, 2019

Gypsy King Tyson Fury wants his heavyweight crown back

Sefer Seferi faces a huge task

Tyson Fury holds opponent Sefer Seferi like a baby during the weigh-in
1 of 1

Heavyweight bout
BT Sport 1, 10pm approx Saturday

Undefeated former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury takes the first step towards winning back the titles he claims are rightfully his against 25-1 underdog Sefer Seferi in Manchester.

It has been more than two-and-a-half-years since the Gypsy King travelled to Germany and took the crown from long-time champion Wladimir Klitschko. That was the last time he stepped into a ring, and a lot had changed on the heavyweight scene in his absence. 

Anthony Joshua is now at the top of the food chain, having established himself as unified champ and one of the biggest draws in world sport, with his last three fights all selling out stadiums. 

Problems outside of the ring saw Fury's weight balloon and at one stage it looked as though he may never return, but he seems to have overcome his demons and looks more focused and determined than ever.

He has openly and honestly talked of his battles with depression, and this seems to have won him more respect with the public than he was given for beating Klitschko. So often lampooned by the media, the Gypsy King could be returning as the people's champion. 

That will count for nothing if he cannot back it up in the ring, but boxing ability is never something he has been short of and Coral go even-money that he becomes a world champ again during his career.

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He is 7-2 with the same firm to win a world title by the end of 2019, and Hills go 11-8 that he beats Joshua at some point in the future, with AJ the 4-5 favourite.

The first rung on the latter to the top comes in the shape of Seferi, and it's fair to say there will be bigger challenges to come. The Albanian is around a foot shorter than Fury, who had to duck to look Seferi in the eyes during the staredown, and held him like a baby at the weigh-in.

To his credit Seferi looks in good condition and he is undefeated as a cruiserweight, with his only loss coming on points to heavyweight Manuel Charr.

Fury has had trouble with cruisers before. Steve Cunningham knocked him down heavily in 2013, but Fury got up to win that by KO and there is no suggestion Seferi is in Cunningham's class. 

Fury was never a fast starter and it might take him a few rounds to blow off the cobwebs, but the sheer size and weight of the Gypsy King could be a huge shock to Seferi.

Seferi may be elusive for a few rounds, but expect Fury to nail him sooner rather than later.

T Fury in rounds four to six
1pt 7-4 Betfred, Hills

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Fury had to duck to look Seferi in the eyes during the staredown, and held him like a baby at the weigh-in
E.W. Terms
Sky bet