Fury faces Kassi in latest heavyweight test, Berto and Ortiz collide for rematch
Lee Gormley | April 28, 2016
Hughie Fury v Fred Kassi
- Vacant WBO international heavyweight title fight
- Saturday, April 30th
- Scheduled for: 22:00 BST
- Copper Box, London
- Live on BoxNation
Fury faces Kassi in main event
With WBO middleweight champion Billy Joe Saunders having to withdraw from his defence against Max Bursak, Hughie Fury takes his place as the headline act as he bids to continue his climb up the heavyweight ladder by clinching the vacant WBO international title against Fred Kassi.
The cousin of reigning world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury is just 21 years of age but has been thrust into the main event at the Copper Box in London this Saturday night, where he will seek to overcome veteran Cameroon-born challenger Kassi (18-4-1, 10 KOs).
Fury (19-0, 10 KOs), also trained by his father Peter, dispatched American Dominick Guinn at the Wembley Arena in March and the former Youth World Amateur Championships Gold medalist is 7/4 with Coral to triumph once again by knockout in his latest outing.
Hughie holds hope of being new Klitschkos
With his older cousin Tyson preparing for an awaited rematch against previously long-standing heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko, the younger Fury has outlined his hopes of ruling the division like the latter Ukrainian and his brother did for so long.
“One hundred per cent I see me and Tyson ruling the division like the Klitschko brothers but with more flair,” declared Fury, who is odds-on 8/13 to gain the decision.
“Tyson is already up there and I’ll be right behind him. When I do fight for a world title it won’t just be one or two fights, I will be ruling for a long time.
“This is my time now to step up…”
“So the answer is yes – we’ll rule a long time like the Klitschkos. They are remarkable men, true champions, and it’s a pleasure to be in their footsteps.
“But we’ll get there one day – this is my time now to step up and fight for titles. If the world isn’t ready for Fury domination it better get ready.”
In order to achieve that feat in the near future, Fury will have to deal with the guys currently being put in front of him and he is 8/1 to suffer a shock upset in his latest heavyweight test at this famous venue.
There are several exciting undercard bouts too, as Belfast’s James Tennyson (16-1) vies with Ryan Walsh (20-1-1) for the British featherweight strap, and the 22-year-old is evens to reign supreme on his travels to London.
Meanwhile, another Belfast fighter Jamie Conlan (15-0, 9 KOs), brother of Ireland’s 2016 Olympic Gold medal hopeful Michael, is 1/16 to overcome Anthony Nelson (10-0, 2 KOs) for the commonwealth super-flyweight title, though the latter is 8/1 to succeed.
Andre Berto v Victor Ortiz
- Welterweight fight
- Saturday, April 30th
- Scheduled for: 02:00 BST
- StubHub Center, Carson, California
Berto and Ortiz meet for rematch
Five years ago Andre Berto entered his initial bout against Victor Ortiz as the undefeated WBC welterweight champion but, after what was one of the fights of 2011, he suffered a maiden setback, something he will look to avenge this weekend.
A lot has changed for the two fighters since that gruelling 12-round battle in Connecticut, when both men were floored twice before an eventual unanimous decision victory for Ortiz, with the pair enduring three defeats apiece following on from their first encounter.
Berto’s last ring outing was the highest profile of his career, as he was dominantly dispatched by Floyd Mayweather Jr before retiring, but the returning two-time world champion is aiming to get back on track and enters as odds-on 8/11 favourite this weekend.
Nothing personal for Berto
The 32-year-old had also taken to the ring in his first Ortiz meeting as the massive front runner but he suffered a setback, before going on to lose out to Robert Guerrero and Jesus Soto Karass, then being humbled by Mayweather last September.
Despite his previous loss, Berto isn’t taking it personally, but the former welterweight champion is fully focused on gaining revenge on Ortiz in the earl hours of Sunday morning.
“I don’t really take any fight personally. It’s just a business with me, that’s how it’s always been. But at the same time, this is a fight that, of course, I’ve always thought to myself — no matter what — we have to make this happen again,” stated Berto.
“It doesn’t matter, me coming back and beating this guy, beating that guy, getting that mega fight with Floyd. I felt this is still a monkey on my back that I have to go in there and handle. I wouldn’t say it’s more personal, but I’m taking it more serious, and I’m extremely focused.”
The winner of this rematch is likely to edge closer towards a world title shot against the 147 pounds champions such as Kell Brook, Danny Garcia and Jessie Vargas, with all these big names searching for opponent in the coming months.
Ortiz out to prove himself
Former WBC welterweight champion Ortiz is aiming to prove a point this weekend by overcoming Berto for a second time, and the Kansas-born southpaw is 11/10 to succeed once again, as he claims he has the tools to secure victory in California.
“I’m ready, once again, like I was the first time,” Ortiz said. “We’re there to put it all on the line on Saturday night. Berto is coming to kill me, and I’m coming to kill Berto. That’s that. I’ll be holding my hands in the glory at the end, once again.
“I’m super-excited to prove I can beat this guy again. Styles makes fights, and mine overcomes Berto’s any day.”
The 29-year-old endured three straight stoppage defeats to Mayweather, Josesito Lopez and Luis Collazo after his initial win over Berto, but bounced back with victories over Manuel Perez and Gilberto Sanchez Leon in 2014 and 2015 respectively, as he looks to make a statement this weekend in what could be another thrilling match-up.