“Listen, do you know what stood out to me? He looks like the world No 1. He’s the best heavyweight I’ve ever seen,” says boxing trainer Billy Nelson, as he takes a short break from watching his fighter Thor Bjornsson’s recent exhibition victory over Eddie Hall. The proud Scotsman has just spent over four weeks in camp with Tyson Fury and his own fighter Martin Bakole, who was invited down to Morecambe to be part of the Gypsy King’s preparations for his WBC and Ring Magazine heavyweight world title clash against Dillian Whyte at Wembley, due to his stylistic similarities to the Body Snatcher.
The game Congolese heavyweight, who holds a BBBofC licence, was drafted in for sparring alongside Fury’s close friend Joseph Parker, David Adeleye and Jarrell Miller after American prospect Jared Anderson picked up an injury that would later deny him of an appearance on the undercard.
“We were asked to go down by Tyson, he knows Martin is a big strong man that will come forward relentlessly,” Nelson says in an exclusive interview with Express Sport.
“He thought – along with the selected others – that he would be a great addition to his camp and he was bang on because Martin and him had some brilliant sparring.”
Bakole, 17-1, is no stranger to competitive work in the gym having previously been summoned into camp by former 258 Management stablemate Anthony Joshua.
Yet not only was this an excellent educational for Bakole but in the view of his trainer, the experience offered a unique, eye-opening insight into the elite conditioning of Fury – something he believes will prove key to his success against Whyte.
“He done 10 rounds one of the days and wasn’t even breathing or breaking sweat,” Nelson adds.
“He is really, really sharp. When you’re training two or three times a day, you simply have to be motivated.
“Fury’s in prime condition. He probably looks better now physically than he has done for a long, long time.
“He’s always going to have a bit of extra flesh because of the previous weight he put on but trust me, this guy is special.”
And if underdog and challenger Whyte is to defy the odds and produce a monumental upset for the ages on Saturday night, you get the sense he will have to produce a near-perfect, career-best performance.
Not only is Fury at the top of his game but he is part of a tight-knit circle that represents an exemplary commitment and dedication to the sport of boxing. They have left no stone unturned.
“For all my years in boxing, the knowledge in that gym was frightening,” Nelson said.
“I personally had the chance to work with Joseph Parker, Adeleye and Jarrell Miller and in most cases, most gym’s coaches wouldn’t ask you to help because they think they know better.
“But they [SugarHill Steward and Andy Lee] asked me to help them out and I found that a great compliment for them to ask me, it’s a very open-minded camp. I learned a lot from that camp.”
For the record, Nelson is also expecting Fury to totally outbox and outfox his opposite number, declaring the Gypsy King will refrain from chasing the Kronk-style knockout many are anticipating.
“I think Tyson is a far superior fighter all-round to Dillian,” he adds. “You don’t go into the fight looking for the knockout because it generally doesn’t happen.
“Most sportspeople would tell you that. I do honestly think he will completely outbox him then potentially stop him because I don’t think Dillian’s chin is the best.”
On Saturday night in front of a record-breaking 94,000 spectators, two old friends will finally get the chance to settle old scores when they meet in the middle of the ring. Expect bombs. Expect fireworks. Expect the unexpected.
Published at Fri, 22 Apr 2022 06:58:00 +0000