Heavyweight contender Hughie Fury is set to return July 8 at the Copper Box Arena in London, promoter Frank Warren said Thursday.
Fury (20-0, 10 KOs), 22, of England, was scheduled to travel to New Zealand for a mandatory shot at world titleholder Joseph Parker on May 6, but he pulled out two weeks before the fight claiming a lower back injury had prevented him from training properly.
The withdrawal cost Fury a career-high purse of $1,204,400.
“I can’t wait to get back under the lights and do what I do best,” said Fury, who is a first cousin of former heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury. “I was disappointed to miss out my shot against Parker but this is boxing and injuries happen all of the time. I will get my shot at the WBO heavyweight belt later this year and follow in the footsteps of Tyson.”
Hughie Fury, whose July 8 opponent has not been determined, remains the mandatory challenger for Parker. Trainer and uncle Peter Fury said Hughie Fury is back to full strength after the injury.
“Hughie has recovered from the back injury that kept him out of his world title fight with Parker and he is itching to get back in the ring next month,” Peter Fury said. “We are treating this fight as a warm-up to the big one later this year. The division is certainly opening up with plenty of opportunities and we are confident that Hughie is going to figure dominantly for years to come.”
Warren said with the Parker fight unlikely to happen until late this year, the team felt Hughie Fury needed a tune-up bout.
“Hughie is one of the best and most exciting young heavyweight prospects in the world and I’m delighted to add him to our stacked July 8 Copper Box Arena card,” Warren said. “He needs to get this warm-up fight out of the way before he faces Parker later in the year. I am confident that the WBO heavyweight belt will once again be in possession of the Fury family come the end of the year.”
Tyson Fury won that belt and others by decision against Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015, but a slew of personal problems caused him to vacate and he never defended the title.