Tyson Fury’s younger cousin Hughie travelled to Bulgaria last night to take on home-town fighter Kubrat Pulev with a view to setting up a world title fight against Anthony Joshua.
However, despite a bright start, things did not go to plan as the Bulgarian cruised to a points victory.
Fury was left with a badly cut eye to match his battered dreams as he went down 117-111, 118-110, 115-113 on the judges' scorecards.
The 37-year-old Bulgarian, who now has 26 wins from 27 fights, has never contested a world title before, but will get his chance against undefeated Joshua and IBO holder next year.
Joshua, who also holds the WBA and WBO titles, successfully defended against Russian Alexander Povetkin in September in his 22nd straight victory, and will have been watching to see who his next defence will be against.
However, according to the views of many boxing fans on Twitter, he will have been rubbing his huge hands with glee at the prospect of an easy contest against the winner of last night’s eliminator.
Some Twitter comments from fans are featured below.
"Joshua must be quaking watching that. #PulevFury."
"One worst (sic) heavyweight fights ever. Shocking! #PulevFury. Joshua at home right now (video of Mike Tyson laughing and clapping)."
"Pulev wins comfortably & sets up a fight with Anthony Joshua. A fight no one wants to see. #PulevFury."
One fan predicted a very easy night for AJ in the mandatory bout, when he tweeted: "Hughie Fury showed his level again tonight. Awful. Joshua walks through Pulev inside 3."
This lack of interest in his next fight, combined with the fact that some critics believe that many of Joshua’s opponents have been carefully selected by his management, will do nothing for the champion’s profile, especially as the fight that is on everyone’s minds is December’s contest between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder, both also undefeated.
Fury, recognised as the lineal heavyweight champ, has had two comeback fights since his three-year lay-off, and will be looking to climb back to the top of the pile against the American.
Whoever wins in that contest and whatever the level of interest in AJ’s next contest, it is surely only a matter of time before Joshua is truly tested in a contest that no-one can dispute the legitimacy of.