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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 September 2018

Former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury wins in boxing comeback

The 29-year-old made short work of his Albanian opponent, finishing the fight in four rounds

Tyson Fury punches Sefer Seferi during their heavyweight contest at the Manchester Arena. Nathan Stirk/Getty Images
Tyson Fury punches Sefer Seferi during their heavyweight contest at the Manchester Arena. Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury declared himself completely happy with his four-round comeback win on Saturday night, despite a lack of action.

Fury, 29, only got going in the fourth round but his brief exhibition of power convinced Sefer Seferi’s corner to pull out the Switzerland-based Albanian before the start of the fifth.

The English boxer did not take his task totally seriously early on, and was told off by referee Phil Edwards for playing to the crowd, but Fury was pleased it was not a short fight after two years and seven months out of action.

“He didn’t come to fight, he came to run around the ring,” Fury told a press conference.

“The opponent was small and light. But he took me a few rounds, which I was happy with.

“I wouldn’t change a thing, and we move on to the next one. I will go back home and have pizza and then get back on it tomorrow.

“I could have knocked him out in the first round, but what good would that have done me? I got four rounds in and TV exposure.

“He took a couple of hard punches and didn’t want to know. I learnt two and a half years is a long time to be out. I’ll take my career very seriously this time and enjoy every moment.”

Seferi, who was nearly five stones lighter and seven inches shorter, did show ambition early on but Fury’s height and movement ensured there was never going to be an upset at Manchester Arena.

It was always comfortable for the Englishman in his first fight since winning the World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Organisation titles from Ukraine’s Wladimir Klitschko on points in November 2015.

But Fury’s reign was brief with rematches twice cancelled against Klitschko before he admitted to problems with depression, drink and drugs. He then piled on the pounds - Fury claimed to have lost eight stones in preparation for the Seferi fight - and served a backdated drugs ban for testing positive for a banned steroid in February 2015.

Fury’s titles are now in the hands of English rival Anthony Joshua, but promoter Frank Warren said fights against Joshua and Deontay Wilder, the World Boxing Council champion from American, were still a long way off.

Joshua and Wilder are in talks to face each other in early 2019, while Warren plans on keeping Fury active until a world title shot comes up, with his next bout scheduled to be at Belfast’s Windsor Park, Northern Ireland on August 18.

“Tyson will step up each time,” Warren said at a press conference.

“I’ve been realistic from the beginning that we’re not going to put him in with big names early on. He needs to get the ring rust off. We picked Seferi because he had gone 10 rounds with Manuel Charr.

“The objective is to get him ready to fight for the world title as soon as possible.

“I think Anthony Joshua is fighting Alexander Povetkin in September, so he will not fight until next year now and I think Wilder has got a mandatory. In the meantime we have to get Tyson more competitive fights.”

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