Tyson Fury says he could beat reigning world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder with “a hand tied behind my back” as the British fighter nears his comeback after more than two years out of the ring.
Fury, the former WBA, IBF and WBO champion, is set for a return in Manchester on June 9, claiming the principal motivation to reignite his career came after remarks from current WBC belt holder Wilder.
“Deontay Wilder has given me the ambition to return, he said I couldn’t do it,” Fury told a press conference in Manchester. “He said Tyson Fury is done. I can have a hand tied behind my back and beat Wilder.”
The opponent for 29-year-old Fury’s comeback fight is still to be named but he hopes to be back in world title contention within two or three bouts.
By then American Wilder could have faced Britain’s Anthony Joshua, who now holds Fury’s former titles, in a unification clash.
Fury said: “I’m going to have a couple of warm-up fights then I’ll be ready for them. I believe my talent and confidence is enough to beat these guys.”
Wilder has told Joshua “the money’s in the bag” for a blockbuster world title unification bout between the unbeaten heavyweights.
In a Twitter video posted Wednesday, the American backed up reports that his camp had emailed Britain’s Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn an offer of a minimum of $50 million.
“I’ve got something special for you,” Wilder tells Joshua in the video. “By the way, all the money is in the bag. I expect you’ll be a man of your word.”
Joshua, who unified the WBA, IBF and WBO titles by out-pointing New Zealand’s Joseph Parker on March 31, had been recorded saying he’d “take $50 million up front” to fight Wilder.
The winner of a Joshua-Wilder bout would be the first man to hold all four major heavyweight titles simultaneously, and Joshua told the BBC this month that he woud rather face Wilder than Russian Alexander Povetkin, the WBA mandatory challenger.