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Sam Sexton to face Hughie Fury in British heavyweight title defence

PUBLISHED: 07:57 14 February 2018 | UPDATED: 07:57 14 February 2018

Just champion! Sam Sexton poses with the British heavyweight belt after beating Gary Cornish. 
Picture: John Rainford/Focus Images Ltd

Just champion! Sam Sexton poses with the British heavyweight belt after beating Gary Cornish. Picture: John Rainford/Focus Images Ltd

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Norwich's Sam Sexton will fight Hughie Fury in the first defence of his British heavyweight title.

Gary Cornish and Sam Sexton embrace after the final bell in their British heavyweight title fight in Edinburgh. Picture: John Rainford/Focus Images LtdGary Cornish and Sam Sexton embrace after the final bell in their British heavyweight title fight in Edinburgh. Picture: John Rainford/Focus Images Ltd

The pair will meet on May 12 at Bolton’s Macron Stadium on a bill that will be televised live and free-to-air Channel 5 after Sexton’s trainer and manager Graham Everett rebuffed a clutch of other promoters to work again with Mick Hennessy.

Sexton had told Everett he wanted the “biggest fight out there” and he has got that in the 23-year-old Fury, cousin of former world champion Tyson.

“It’s a great fight against a young world class opponent, but I believe I have the experience and ability to win and I won’t be at all fazed going into Hughie’s homeland as I’ve proved in the past with Championship victories in Belfast, twice, and in Edinburgh,” said Sexton.

Fury has suffered just one defeat in his 21-fight career – last time out he was controversially beaten by Joseph Parker when he challenged the New Zealander for his WBO world heavyweight title.

Hughie Fury is to challenge Norwich's Sam Sexton for the British heavyweight title. Picture: PAHughie Fury is to challenge Norwich's Sam Sexton for the British heavyweight title. Picture: PA

“This is a voluntary defence - it is not what you would consider a voluntary, someone in the top 10, but this is the fight Sam wants,” said Everett. “That is what he wants and that is what he gets. At Sam’s time in his career it is the perfect fight. I’ve had to keep all the foxes away from me – one promoter said we were ‘messing’ about, but the reason I have been ‘messing’ about is because I have been sorting this.

“Sam gets far more credibility fighting Hughie Fury than some of the others. Certain other promoters have suggested Dave Allen is the fight. To me, Dave Allen has just lost a fight for the Commonwealth title so that is a backward step for Sam Sexton. Sam has told me he only wants good fights, big fights, and as far as I am concerned, statistics-wise and everything else, they don’t come much bigger than Hughie Fury.

“It is a fight we believe we can win. We are in with a world class fighter and this is a massive opportunity for Sams to gatecrash the world rankings. It is something we are all really happy with – myself, Jon (Thaxton), (Sexton’s promoter) Mervyn Turner and Mark Bone (condition) – we have worked hard to get here and it is the only way forward.”

Fury said: “I’m going to do what I always do and that’s perform to my best. I’m very excited to be back and facing Sexton for the British title and believe me I’m on a mission to claim back what should have been rightfully mine, the world title. I am the uncrowned world champion and come May 12 you will see why that is.”

Peter Fury, Hughie’s father and trainer, added: “We are delighted to be back in action on terrestrial TV in the UK on Channel 5 where Hughie has fought many times, challenging for the British title and delighted that it’s in Bolton. Hughie has proven he belongs on the world scene and what better way to have his comeback fight for the British title. Hughie has learned a lot from his controversial WBO World title fight and aims to be right back up there in good fights.”

Sexton won the British title when he beat Scot Gary Cornish in his own backyard in October and has earned himself a new lease of life.

“Basically a year ago Sam Sexton was retired because there was nowhere to go,” added Everett. “But we kept him motivated, got him the Cornish fight and now this. Sam has his mojo back, he’s in a great place.”

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