Fury must clear heavyweight division to cement legacy, says Briggs

By Sports Desk November 30, 2021

Tyson Fury needs to defeat more of the heavyweight division to "cement his greatness", so says Shannon Briggs.

WBC champion Fury is eager to return to the ring by early 2022 following victory over Deontay Wilder in the trilogy fight between the pair in October.

But his opponent remains unclear as uncertainty lingers whether he will face Dillian Whyte, who wants to be sanctioned as the mandatory challenger for the heavyweight title.

Fury also has his eyes on a bout against Oleksandr Usyk, who claimed the WBA, WBO and IBF titles from Anthony Joshua in September.

Usyk and Joshua are set to meet again in the early months of 2022, though the latter could drop out to allow the undisputed fight and Briggs believes Fury needs to face top contenders to cement his legacy.

"I think he'll make the decision to stick around and fight guys," Briggs, who was a two-time heavyweight champion, told Stats Perform. 

"He's not very old, although he's accomplished a lot. He's had gaps in his career between lay-offs due to whatever circumstances he was dealing with. It hasn't been consistent. 

"I think that for us to cement his greatness, we need to see consistency. I think we need to see at least three to six wins from the guys in the top 10. 

"Clear out the top 10, clear out the heavyweight division, and then maybe we can say he's the greatest heavyweight of all time, due to size, due to his ability to move, his rhythm. For a big man, it's just unreal. 

"His heart, his chin – he got off the ground against one of the hardest punchers that ever lived in [Deontay] Wilder."

The undefeated Fury has 31 wins to his name, with the only blotch on his record a contentious split-decision draw against Wilder in their first clash.

Briggs appreciates the talent of 'The Gypsy King', who he implored to become more consistent to further his standing within boxing's history.

"He's shown us flashes of greatness, but we need to see one last thing," he added. 

"What makes a champion is consistency, so we need six to 10 Larry Holmes style wins, Lennox Lewis style wins, staying busy. Lennox was a busy fighter. Lennox defended his title, he fought a lot.

"We need three, four fights a year consistently for the next two years if not more. I think he's a great guy and a great fighter, but I just think we need to see consistency and consecutive wins."

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    The Gypsy King has not fought since successfully defending his belts against Dillian Whyte at Wembley in April, where he immediately expressed his intention to retire.

    Speculation continued to persist that Fury would return to the ring, with the winner of Anthony Joshua's rematch against Oleksandr Usyk touted as the likely opponent.

    On Friday, his 34th birthday, Fury again reiterated his desire to retire and has now vacated one of his heavyweight titles.

    "The Ring Magazine championship has always been the holy grail of boxing. They've been fantastic with me and I've always carried that title with pride," he told The Ring Magazine.

    "The greatest moment of my career was winning the world championship (by outpointing Wladimir Klitschko) back in 2015.

    "There's the great comeback after that with the three [Deontay] Wilder fights. There's been a lot of great highlights in my career – even the Dillian Whyte fight in front of 94,000 at Wembley. It doesn't get much bigger than that. And I went out with a bang."

    While it is not the first time that Fury has stated he would retire, he has not previously vacated any heavyweight belts and has made it clear he will not disappear entirely – hinting at a Hollywood appearance.

    "It was fun while it lasted. I had a good 14-year career. I actually boxed for 20 years, from 14 to 34 years old," he said.

    "I've enjoyed it. I've enjoyed the ups and the downs. My career was an Indian summer that just kept giving.

    "I've done well out of boxing. The world is open to so many things now. I'm doing a Netflix documentary at the moment.  I'm going to be recording an album soon. Who knows, you might even see me on the silver screen."

    Fury still holds the WBC heavyweight title and it is not known whether he will vacate that belt following his announcement.

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    On Tuesday, Fury revealed he had appointed a new trainer and urged Derek Chisora to accept an offer for a trilogy fight during a series of Instagram posts.

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    "Massive thanks to everyone who had an input in my career over the years," he wrote on Instagram on Friday.

    "After long, hard conversations I've finally decided to walk away and on my 34th birthday I say bon voyage."

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    On Tuesday, Fury revealed he had appointed a new trainer and urged Derek Chisora to accept an offer for a trilogy fight during a series of Instagram posts.

    But on his 34th birthday, the WBC heavyweight champion announced plans to exit the sport.

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