Hughie Fury is evolving with every fight and showed glimpses of his undoubted talent and heart with a landslide victory over Mariusz Wach last Saturday.
Fury (25-3, 14 KOs) vowed to produce a different side to his game against fellow former world title challenger, Wach and the slick operator adopted a far more aggressive approach, as he showed his versatility over ten rounds on the undercard of Anthony Joshua’s successful unified Heavyweight world title defence against Kubrat Pulev at The SSE Arena.
After suffering a gruesome-looking cut in the fourth round, following an accidental head clash, Fury battled on and showed an impressive variety and repertoire to his game throughout, switching stances with regularity to break down the durable and teak-tough Pole.
Fury pressed the action, unleashing his right hand consistently, whilst displaying his skillset on the back foot, as he proved why he remains a key player in a stacked blue-riband division and a stark improvement.
The Manchester man secured a shutout on the scorecards, reflective of a resolute display against Wach, who has only only been stopped three times in seven defeats.
Having gone the distance with the likes of Joseph Parker, Kubrat Pulev and Alexander Povetkin so early on his career, Fury at just 26-years-old seemingly has the future at his feet, as he looks to launch another charge towards a world title and here are some potential opponents for his next move:
Fury is aiming to elevate himself back towards the upper echelon of the division and Derek Chisora not only carries a well-recognised profile, but also holds top 15 rankings in three of the four governing bodies.
Chisora fought to a unanimous decision loss to Oleksandr Usyk in October, but proved a stiff test for the Ukrainian, pound-for-pound star and mandatory challenger to Joshua’s WBO title.
At 36-years-old some might question the Finchley man’s hunger, however manager David Haye said earlier this week that his charge is aiming to fight four times next year, with Joe Joyce top of his list.
Joyce is likely to face Usyk, should Joshua vacate his crown to pursuit a showdown with Hughie’s cousin, WBC champion Tyson Fury and a fight with Hughie would be an exciting domestic affair and a further learning experience for him against a well-established and seasoned Heavyweight.
Carlos Takam is a tough night’s work for anyone and remains a valuable part of a thriving division.
The Frenchman stepped in at 10 days notice to face Joshua for the unified crown, after Pulev pulled out through injury in 2017 and put in an impressive and gutsy effort, troubling the Brit early on, before succumbing to a tenth round stoppage defeat, albeit controversially.
Takam is in the twilight years of his career at 40-years-old, but is in form having won his last four bouts, since a dramatic eighth round defeat to Chisora in 2018, in a fight he was in control of up until the stoppage.
Having also gone the distance with Parker, it would be a good barometer of Fury’s progress and another learning fight against a world level operator, before progressing to an eventual title tilt.
The Swede is fondly remembered for his colossal effort against Tyson Fury which almost saw him pull off a famous win.
Wallin had Fury in all sorts of problems after a punch in the third round opened up a gaping wound, with the Brit forced to manoeuvre through nine rounds with blood pouring down his face, securing a unanimous decision win in the end in Las Vegas.
Wallin, was expected to prove a routine proposition, yet the 30-year-old proved his worth and ability to mix it with the top operators and boosted his profile amongst the UK contingent.
A fifth round victory over Travis Kauffman in August, was impressive and in half the time that Luis Ortiz had managed in the American’s previous outing.
There is further value for Fury in the sense that Wallin holds a top 15 rating with the IBF, providing him with the chance to receive a world ranking, which he requires and duly deserves.
Kubrat Pulev provided yet another reminder of his resolve and resilience, climbing off the canvas twice in a brave ninth round loss to Joshua.
The Bulgarian looked to be spent in the third round, even turning his back after a series of blows. But, in the end he needed to be laid out and still attempted to get up, despite a final, devastating right hand, which he was unable to beat the count from.
Pulev rallied back from a disastrous third round, using all of his experience to remain in the fight in the middle stages and despite his advancing age, the 39-year-old remains a valuable part of the scene.
Pulev trumped Fury back in 2018 to claim the IBF mandatory position to Joshua and the Brit wants revenge, calling for a clash with his former rival in the immediate aftermath of his victory over Wach.
With the pair two years older and with Pulev coming off a stoppage loss, the timing might prove just right for Fury to avenge his loss and send out a real statement to his peers, against a still-dangerous, top-tier operator.
The 26-year-old will have to hope he avoids a similar cut to that he suffered in the second round against the Bulgarian, which seemed to hinder his performance in Sofia.
With Alexander Povetkin locked into a rematch with Dillian Whyte, expected now for March, Fury could target the only other blemish on his record in Joseph Parker.
A then WBO Heavyweight world champion, Parker defended his crown with a contentious majority decision win over Fury in Manchester in 2017, before being relieved of his title by Joshua in his next fight.
The New Zealander pushed Whyte all the way in 2018 and has just three victories since, with his comeback trail obstructed through injury.
Parker will face former amateur rival Junior Fa after their clash was rescheduled to February 27 and with the 28-year-old ranked three by the WBO, he is in a commanding position, but is likely to have to wait for another shot at world honours, with Usyk awaiting his chance at Joshua or otherwise likely to face number two contender, Joe Joyce.
Should Parker overcome his unbeaten compatriot, he has made no secret over his desire to fight for a third time in the UK and Fury could represent an enticing and arguably the most realistic option.
The fight has a fascinating sub-plot, following a close and controversial first fight and should generate enough public interest from the first fight alone.
For Fury, a victory would put him right in contention for another world title birth and a likely to be a lucrative showdown considering Parker’s UK profile and fanbase.
It will be intriguing to see what Fury decides to do next. Young enough to move forward at his own pace yet experienced enough to mix it with the top guys, but his victory over Wach was a timely reminder of his improvements under trainer and father, Peter Fury, ahead of what looks to be a bright future.