Tyson Fury has dismissed any fitness concerns ahead of his fight this Saturday, where he takes on Francesco Pianeta in a ten round bout at Windsor Park in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The former WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion must beat Pianeta if he is to be given another title shot later this year.
The 30-year-old Fury (26-0, with 19 KOs) has been negotiating with fellow undefeated heavyweight Deontay Wilder (40-0 with 39 KOs), with a match-up being rumoured for November later this year in Las Vegas, but only if Fury is victorious this weekend.
Fury has claimed he is in the shape of his life, losing another stone while training at former champion Ricky Hatton’s gym in Manchester, a place he also used to prepare for his four-round win over Sefer Seferi in June.
That bout marked his first fight in over two-and-a-half years, where he last surprisingly defeated Wladimir Klitschko on points to become champion, due to issues surrounding drinking and drugs, as well as falling in to depression.
Fury has stated that he is not underestimating his upcoming opponent, as he has his sights set firmly on a second world championship.
“I’m feeling healthy as a trout, fit as a flea,” said Fury, per ESPN. “I’m very happy, everything is going smoothly, injury-free, training is going well. Just the same routine day in, day out for the last ten weeks. I’ve had two or three days off since my last fight. I got straight back in the gym.
“I can’t be any fitter than I was when I fought Sefer. There’s only a certain amount of fitness you can do in boxing, it’s not about fitness, to be honest.
“If you’re going to be in a fight you have to be fit anyway. You shouldn’t be taking fights if you’re not fit.
“I’ve lost another stone if that makes a difference – not really.
“Was I not fit against Sefer? Of course I was, I trained my guts out for seven months. I was fit to do 30 rounds but he only lasted four rounds so that was his problem, not mine.
“I’ve eaten, slept and drunk boxing — I’ve done nothing else but box since November. So if I can’t beat Pianeta I might as well get on my knees and kiss his two feet because I’m clearly shot to pieces.
“But if I’m half the man I was a few years ago, I will write Pianeta off like a good’un, put a face on him like the Elephant Man.”
Despite his lengthy hiatus, Fury has remained extremely popular in the UK, where WBA, IBF and WBO champion Anthony Joshua is also one of the country’s biggest sporting stars.
And he believes the relationship with his fan base is one of his biggest sources of motivation to do well in the ring.
“I’ve got a full country behind me, I have many fans all over the world supporting me and pushing me on,” he added.
“It’s been marvellous, the return has been epic. I think it’s because the fans think I’m one of them, I’m definitely a man of the people, for sure, 100 percent.”