Tyson Fury would be a ‘dream’ opponent for rising contender Raphael Akpejiori who has warned Britain’s heavyweights that he intends to ‘bring pain’.
The unbeaten Nigerian has knocked out all 11 of his opponents inside two rounds and Akpejiori can resume his explosive rise up the rankings with another blistering win in Miami on Saturday.
Making a UK debut could be part of Akpejiori’s plans as he works towards a world title shot and he would welcome a future fight against WBC champion Fury or top British contender Dillian Whyte.
“If I was going to name a dream fight for me in the next year, I would say Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte,” Akpejiori told Sky Sports. “Those are two guys I know I can step in the ring with and beat both of them.
“But my goal is to have the heavyweight belts in my hand. Once I’ve accomplished that, everything else will fall in place.
“He’s [Fury] developed his skills where he’s been moving around a lot, now he’s really trading punches, and using his weight behind things, which kind of brings him at a standstill, which is where I excel.
“That’s why I called [out] Dillian Whyte too, because Dillian Whyte is a guy who is going to stand there and trade punches, and bang, and is actually going to bring the war to the fight.
“I believe Tyson Fury is doing that too, because if you’ve seen a lot of the Deontay fight, he really sat down and used his weight behind the punches.
“I excel against guys like that, because that’s what I do very well. I bring pain and I believe that those guys are the kind of guys who believe they bring pain, and I believe I do that better than them.”
Akpejiori has refined his raw power with strength and conditioning coach Joey Scott, who has also helped Deontay Wilder prepare for world title fights.
The American’s third fight with Fury on July 24 has been thrown into doubt following reports of a Covid-19 outbreak, but Akpejiori is backing Wilder to display his destructive punching when the WBC title clash goes ahead.
“We’ll see revenge,” said Akpejiori. “I’ve been privy to some information from the Deontay Wilder camp. I know how hard he’s been working for the past year. I know what he will bring to the table.
“Based on what I know, I believe that Deontay Wilder will win this fight.
“I don’t know what Tyson Fury has been up to, but based on the corrections, the addition of [new trainer] Malik Scott, the strength and conditioning of Joey Scott, the mentality of Deontay Wilder, the things his eyes have been open to, I believe that Deontay Wilder will win this fight.
“I’m biased, because I’m on that side of the fence.”
But the truth is, we all know how my fight ends. I’m not going to act like I’m oblivious to that fact.
The 30-year-old, with an imposing 6ft 8in frame, admits that he cannot just rely on his natural attributes if he wants to challenge the world’s best.
But Akpejiori is yet to find an opponent who can withstand his destructive punches.
“I never predict or promise a knockout, I only promise an improvement in the quality of boxing,” he said.
“But the truth is, we all know how my fight ends. I’m not going to act like I’m oblivious to that fact.
“At the end of the day, I have to train and work hard to go the distance with these guys. It’s pretty evident that when I touch people they kind of go to sleep. I’m not oblivious to that fact, but I’m not focused on that.
“As Anthony Joshua says, ‘The right hand can take you around the block, but a jab can take you around the world.’ That is an absolute truth in boxing.
“You cannot be looking for a power punch every time, even though you pack a power punch.
“We’ll find out if he’ll [next opponent] go to sleep or not on Saturday night.”
Author: Richard Damerell
Read more here >>> SkySports | News