Boxing - Fury wary of Ustinov's power ahead of Manchester clash

It was confirmed earlier today that Tyson Fury will now face Belarusian Alexander Ustinov (29-1) at the Phones 4U Arena in Manchester on Saturday, and the fight will be top of the bill over 12 rounds.

Boxing - Fury wary of Ustinov's power ahead of Manchester clash

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Tyson Fury Eurosport

Speculation was rife yesterday when Tony ‘Tiger’ Thompson and Audley ‘A Force’ Harrison threw their hats into the ring to face Fury, albeit through social media site Twitter. Both were quickly ruled out.

On paper, Ustinov represents a fair challenge for Fury. The Belarusian is of a similar height (6ft 7in to Fury’s 6ft 9in) and should be considerably heavier. His only career loss has come at the hands of Kubrat Pulev, the unbeaten Bulgarian who faces Wladimir Klitschko in September.

Ustinov is understood to have been sparring Fury’s original opponent, Dereck Chisora, just before the Finchley heavyweight injured his hand, and will come into the fight in good shape. In his last fight back in December, Ustinov recorded a 12 round virtual points shutout over former heavyweight champion David Tua.

“I’m happy to still be fighting this Saturday and happy that the fans will get to see a good fight like they paid for,” said Fury.

“We’ve had a hard training camp and I am in the shape of my life.

“I was expecting to knock Chisora out but now I’m going to have take it out on Ustinov and make sure he takes the full force of my anger.

“Chisora will now see what he was going to get on the night, and that is knocked out. Strangely, I’m going to break the man who broke Chisora’s hand.

“Full credit to Ustinov for taking the fight. He’s a big lad, and more importantly he’s a credible world ranked opponent and he must fancy his chances.”

On the undercard, Saturday’s show features British super middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders facing the toughest test of his career against undefeated Italian Emanuele Blandamura (22-0) for the vacant European title, while Liverpudlian Liam ‘Beefy’ Smith defends his British light middleweight strap against Tividale’s Jason Welborn.

Wallsall’s Martin Gethin fights for the vacant British lightweight title against Ancoats’ Terry Flanagan, and the vacant Central Area light welterweight title will be contested by Chorley’s Jack Catterall and Liverpool’s Nathan Brough.

Oldham’s Ronnie Heffron takes on Welshman Liam Williams in a British light-middleweight title eliminator. Chris Eubank Junior, Eddie Chambers, Liam Walsh, Tom Stalker and debutant Michael Gomez Junior/ are among the other names also on the bill.

The card will be televised live by subscription channel BoxNation.

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