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Tyson Fury-Christian Hammer on Feb. 28; Stiverne-Wilder selling well

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Undefeated British heavyweight Tyson Fury, the mandatory challenger to RING champion Wladimir Klitschko’s WBO belt, will headline a Feb. 28 card against hard-hitting Christian Hammer of Germany at the O2 Arena in London, promoter Frank Warren announced on Wednesday.

“Fury will have his hands full with Hammer, who could create a huge shock if he wins. It’s a risky fight for Fury, who is within touching distance of Klitschko and the world title,” said Warren.



“But Fury needs to keep active by fighting until Klitschko gets his fight in April out of the way and then comes to the table to negotiate the fight with Fury or the fight goes to purse bids. Fury needs to concentrate on Hammer and leave the talk of Klitschko after he’s dealt with Hammer.”

Fury (23-0, 17 knockouts) is coming off last month’s 10th-round stoppage in a rematch against countryman Dereck Chisora, whom Fury had vanquished by unanimous decision in July 2011 when the fighters entered the bout with identical 14-0 records.

“I’ve said all along I’m not like these other fighters in the division who pussyfoot around, take soft touches and call themselves fighters,” said the 6-foot-9 Fury, 26, who took Chisora’s European title and also won the vacant British title for a second time.

“I could have taken an easy job at the O2 Arena to keep my position safe for my world title fight against Klitschko but that’s not what Tyson Fury is about or what the public wants to see from someone who has promised from day one to win the world heavyweight title.”

Also the holder the IBF and WBA titles, Klitschko is considering an April 25 defense against Bryant Jennings potentially in New York, Jennings’ promoter, Gary Shaw informed RingTV.com.

A 6-foot-2 German-based Romanian, Hammer (17-3, 10 knockouts) has won 10 consecutive fights, six by knockout, since losing two straight fights by sixth round stoppage to title challenger Mariusz Wach in July 2010 and majority decision to Taras Bidenko in December of that same year.

Hammer’s winning streak includes victories over Mike Tyson conqueror and former title challenger Danny Williams as well as title challenger Kevin Johnson. Hammer stopped Williams in the fourth round in September 2012, and unanimously decisioned Johnson in December 2013.

“I’m grateful for this fantastic opportunity to fight Tyson Fury and I’ll be in the best shape of my life. This is a golden opportunity for me to get the No. 1 position to fight Klitschko for the world title if I can beat Fury,” said Hammer, 27.

“I love to fight bigger, taller men and Fury is perfect for me. It will be a hard fight but I’ve got every confidence that I’ll surprise everyone with a win in his backyard.”

In his last fight in October, Hammer unanimously decisioned Irineu Beato Costa Junior, who entered their fight with a record of 15-0 with 13 knockouts.

“On paper, it’s a dangerous job against Hammer. He’s highly ranked. He brings a big punch with him,” said Fury. “He’ll have ambitions of his own to beat me and grab himself a world title shot against Klitschko and I’m sure he’ll be full of confidence coming over here. Training for Hammer will start in early January and this year is a big one for me and the world title is in my sight,” said Fury.

“My focus will be on Hammer now. He’s my priority and the man in the way of my dream. There’s no messing about in the heavyweight division. One punch can turn everything upside down; that goes for him and for me but I’ve got two things that other fighters lack: a fighting heart and massive balls. I love to fight. If I go down I get up and win, that’s why people love me and want to see me fight. Tyson Fury will never lose. Simple.”

Also on the card will be hammer-fisted middleweight Chris Eubank Jr., the son of the former world champion whose run of 10 straight stoppages was ended with last month’s split decision loss to undefeated Billy Joe Saunders.

Also on the card will be heavyweight title challenger Eddie Chambers, featherweight Liam Walsh, welterweight Bradley Skeete, super middleweight Frank Buglioni and bantamweight Lewis Pettitt. In a welterweight fight, Ahmet Patterson will face Glenn Foot.

 

STEPHEN ESPINOZA CALLS BERMANE STIVERNE-DEONTAY WILDER ‘A BIG EVENT’

RING No. 2-rated WBC titleholder Bermane Stiverne (24-1-1, 21 KOs) and RING No. 6-rated Deontay Wilder (32-0, 32 KOs) will meet at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on Jan. 17 to be televised on Showtime, whose vice president of sports and event programming, Stephen Espinoza expects the fight to do well.

Stiverne, 36, is coming off a sixth-round technical knockout over Chris Arreola in May that earned the belt which had been vacated when Vitali Klitschko retired to pursue a political career in Ukraine. The victory also made Stiverne the first heavyweight champion of Haitian descent.

“There are lot of parties involve and it’s a big fight and it’s a big event,” said Espinoza. “I know that now that’s it’s been announced. You talk about the support from Haiti and we’ve heard from a number of other pro athletes, NFL and otherwise, who are of Haitian descent who have already asked for tickets.”

A 2008 U.S. Olympic bronze medalist and the last American man to medal in Olympic boxing, Wilder, 29, is coming off a fourth-round knockout of Jason Gavern, whom he dropped in the third and final rounds. Prior to Gavern, Wilder became Stiverne’s mandatory challenger with a 96-second knockout of Malik Scott in a WBC eliminator bout in March.

No U.S.-born fighter has held a heavyweight title since 2007, when Shannon Briggs lost a unanimous decision to Sultan Ibragimov and gave up the WBO strap he’d won from Sergei Liakhovich seven months earlier.

“It’s been quite a while to see the kind of media ticket demand that we’ve seen over the last few days other than a Floyd Mayweather fight,” said Espinoza. “That’s the only other time that I can really compare it to. So the heavyweights are definitely back and people are happy to hear it.”

 

UNDEFEATED KARL DARGAN TO FACE TONY LUIS ON JAN. 30

Philadelphia lightweight Karl Dargan (17-0, 9 KOs) will pursue his third straight stoppage against Canadian Tony Luis (18-2, 7 KOs) on Jan. 30 at Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, Conn., according to Kathy Duva of Main Events, who is “still waiting for contracts” to be signed.

Dargan, 29, was last in the ring for a fifth round technical knockout of Angino Perez in September. Luis, 26, last saw action via unanimous decision over Wanzell Ellison in July to rebound from a unanimous decision loss to undefeated Ivan Redkach in January.

 

TIM SMITH TO JOIN TEDDY ATLAS ON SIRIUSXM BOXING SHOW

RingTV.com boxing writer Tim Smith will join ESPN boxing analyst Teddy Atlas and co-host Nabate Isles for a boxing radio show on SiriusXM, the organization announced on Monday.

Called “Going the Distance,” the program will begin airing weekly on Jan. 6 from 6 p.m. ET to 8 p.m. ET on SiriusXM Sports Zone, channel 92.

 

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