Fury said the fight against the former world’s strongest man, Hafthor Bjornsson – who once weighed a mammoth 31st – would be ‘a bit of fun’
Tyson Fury is in talks over a return to the ring in an exhibition bout with the former world’s strongest man Hafthor Bjornsson, with the World Boxing Council heavyweight champion revealing talks are under way for a bout to be staged in November at a London football stadium.
Fury has not fought since defeating Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium in April, and has repeatedly spoken of his retirement from boxing as speculation continues to circle over his future in the ring.
But speaking to Telegraph Sport, Fury confirmed that, while retirement from professional boxing remains the most likely option, negotiations have started over a return to the ring before the end of the year.
“It would be a bit of fun,” Fury told Telegraph Sport. “It would be great to get in there in front of, say, 70,000 fans and show him what boxing is all about, make him miss, and knock him out. We are talking to his team at the moment and it is definitely something I’m interested in.”
It it hoped that Fury would consider a heavyweight unification showdown with either Anthony Joshua or Oleksandr Usyk, depending on who emerges victorious from their WBA, IBF and WBO title fight next month. But Fury remained dismissive of that prospect.
“I’m not overly concerned with Anthony Joshua and Usyk in Saudi Arabia next month, whoever wins, because I’ve achieved everything I wanted to as a professional boxer, undefeated and having won all the belts. There are so many other things I can go on and do,” he added.
Bjornsson, who was ringside at Fury’s victory over Whyte at Wembley Stadium in April, also confirmed that his team are in ‘talks’ with Fury‘s representatives in an interview with IFL TV on Monday.
“I know that there are some negotiations going on and some talks, but nothing is complete. “If it did happen, I would gladly step into the ring and I would gladly fight him,” said the Icelandic strongman, who weighed a mammoth 31st during his weightlifting career – 12 stones heavier than Fury – but who now tips the scales at a modest 23st.
‘The Mountain’, who made a name for himself on the Game Of Thrones television series and was crowned World’s Strongest Man in 2018, beat bitter rival Eddie Hall in his second professional fight at Dubai’s Duty Free Tennis Stadium in the United Arab Emirates on March 19.
“I’ve said since day one. When people have asked me, ‘Would you fight Tyson Fury?’, I’ve always said yes. It would be a huge honour for me to fight the best heavyweight boxer in the world and it would be an amazing experience for myself.
“Would I get beat? Probably, but I would not give a f—. I would do my best and who f—— knows? I’m f—— strong and my punches hurt so if it happens he can’t take it easy because I’m a warrior, I’m a Viking, and I’m going all in if it happens. Nothing is impossible if you have that mindset at least.”
Elsewhere, details of the supporting cast to the unified heavyweight world title sequel between Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua in Jeddah on August 20 will herald a huge moment for women’s boxing as Somali-British prospect Ramla Ali – undefeated in six contests – takes on Crystal Garcia Nova in the first female boxing match at an official international event in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The undefeated Croatian heavyweight Filip Hrgovic will also battle China’s undefeated Zhilei Zhang in a final eliminator for the IBF heavyweight crown, currently held by Usyk.
Liverpool’s Callum Smith also returns to the city where he stopped British rival George Groves in seven rounds at the King Abdullah Sports City Arena in September 2018 to be crowned the WBA super-middleweight world champion and the winner of the World Boxing Super Series Muhammad Ali Trophy. Now campaigning at light-heavyweight where he is ranked as the No 1 contender with the WBC, Smith faces France’s reigning European champion and No 2 ranked WBC 175lbs contender Mathieu Bauderlique in a final eliminator for the world title currently held by Artur Beterbiev on the Usyk-Joshua event, named as ‘Rage On The Red Sea’. Sky Box Office are expected to be announced imminently as the official UK broadcaster for the event.