Niall Kennedy dismisses Tyson Fury speculation


Unbeaten Irish heavyweight Niall Kennedy [11(7)-0] has laughed off suggestions that he could face Tyson Fury this Summer.

The former unified heavyweight champion fights in Belfast at Windsor Park on August 18th in what will be the second fight of his comeback after two-and-a-half years out.

Former Irish champ Fury [26(19)-0] returned at the weekend with a farcical win over Sefer Seferi in Manchester and will make a quick turnaround to provide chief support to Carl Frampton as he continues his quest back towards peak condition.

Promoter Frank Warren has promised a step-up from Albanian cruiserweight Seferi, who retired on his stool following four bizarre rounds, and Kennedy’s name has been circulating on social media.

The Wexford big man ticks plenty of boxes – fit, skilled, unbeaten, sure to be prepared, and Irish – but is not going to even entertain the idea should the call comes.

“I don’t know why my name is being mentioned,” Kennedy told Irish-Boxing.com. “I’m not a gobshite.”

“There’s a process, I’m not going to be like your man Sefer Seferi.”

“I don’t ever want to be an ‘opponent’, I don’t want to be brought in as some comeback fight.”

“If I earn the merit to fight Tyson Fury it will because of what I have done.”

“It’s shite, people mentioning my name – because I’m Irish, basically, and that I’d come to fight and come to win.”

34-year-old Kennedy, who returns to the ring next Saturday [June 23rd] versus Joel Caudle on a Murphys Boxing bill in New Hampshire, has genuine ambitions in the sport and doesn’t want to sell himself short for a quick buck.

“When I take a Tyson Fury fight I want to know that I’m ready to beat Tyson Fury,” he continued.

“I’m not going to take a fight and say ‘it’s a big payday’. We’ve been offered paydays before, that’s not why I’m in this.”

“I’d rather leave the sport broke and have my son tell me ‘every fight you were in, you were in with a shout’.”

“I’m not saying I won’t ever fight Tyson Fury, just that I won’t fight him because he needs an opponent.”

Kennedy, the reigning New England heavyweight champion following his sensational win over DiBella fighter Alexis Santos last year, is a student of the game.

Joshua hopes to fight in Dublin one day

Following the Santos win he was given the opportunity of a lifetime when he was brought in to spar Anthony Joshua, the current unified heavyweight champion.

The Gorey Garda believes that Joshua is the top dog in the division.

Surveying the scene, Kennedy muses how “I think Tyson has so many plusses. He is an animal of a man, he has such a unique skillset, you don’t know what to prepare for, how do you prepare for Tyson Fury when he’s not even sure what he’s going to do?”

“But then you look at Anthony’s process, it’s methodical and professional. I saw Mike Tyson say how he was a killer but modern heavyweights are like businessmen and I think they are to an extent. They train smart, it’s all professional.”

“I’m not saying he [Joshua] hasn’t made mistakes in the past but he is a great role model. In the gym, I couldn’t believe it, I turned up an hour early to spar the second day and I thought I’d be sitting in the gym on my own so I brought a book – and there he was, in there, stretching.”

“Only time will tell if Tyson can get back [to his best]. I know he needs time and to get those ‘warm-up’ fights but they need to be closer to his level, that fight [v Seferi] probably did him more harm than good.”

“I wish him the very best, obviously he’s suffered from mental health issues and he’s a great role model to show that you can overcome those problems.”

“But, as it stands right now, I don’t think anyone can say that Anthony Joshua is not the best heavyweight in the world.”

Photo Credit: Laszlo Geczo Photography

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Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: [email protected]