Hughie Fury v Christian Hammer
Live on Sky Sports
Manchester's progressive heavyweight Hughie Fury returns to the ring when taking on experienced Christian Hammer at the Newcastle Arena. This England v Germany battle headlines a show promoted by Ultimate Boxxer, who recently took over the Sky Sports reigns from Eddie Hearn following Matchroom's switch to DAZN.
Having seen Tyson Fury complete the trilogy with Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas less than a week ago, all eyes are on Hughie, who aims to follow his cousin's winning ways and claim a respected scalp. Beating Hammer won't win Fury a major title, but it will push him further up the rankings as he continues his quest to the summit of the division.
Fury learning the hard way
Hughie enters bout twenty-nine of his career with a professional record containing 25 wins against three defeats. That may not seem overly impressive for an upcoming prospect and man that wants to rule the division one day soon, but there's more to the story.
Unlike many other heavyweights on the scene, Fury has always been keen to test himself. The 6ft 6inch orthodox has no issues stepping up and facing major players in the division. Sometimes it pays off, and he wins. Sometimes it doesn't, and he loses. But he always learns and improves.
Fury has claimed 14 of his 25 wins by knockout, with each of his three losses coming on points. We was beaten on the scorecards by former world champion Joe Parker by a majority decision in 2017 and world title challengers Kubrat Pulev and Alexander Povetkin.
The latter famously knocked out Dillian Whyte but couldn't tag Hughie, the Russian eventually winning by six rounds on all three cards. A setback, but it didn't derail his plans.
The 27-year-old has fought twice since losing to Povetkin, taking out Pavel Sour inside three rounds in his comeback bout in Manchester. He then scored a wide points victory over the rugged and well-travelled Mariusz Wach at the Wembley Arena last time on the undercard of Anthony Joshua's title defence against Pulev in December.
The pre-fight betting available on the Betfair Sportsbook has Fury as a firm favourite with odds of 1.031/33 trading in the fight winner market. A 15th career KO/TKO win will net backers 3.185/40, or you can try a second points win on the bounce at 1.364/11.
Christian can cause an upset
Hammer is no stranger to fighting on the big stage, and this won't be the first time in his career he has had the crowd against him. The 34-year-old based in Hamburg has never been a fans' favourite, but he has always held the respect of knowledgeable fight game followers who appreciate his style, work ethic and the fact he always comes to win.
This trip to England will be no different with the 6ft 2inch orthodox out to spoil the party. He's an underdog but wears the tag with pride and knows only too well the predictions of pundits and traders means very little.
Christian arrives with a pro CV made up of 26 wins against seven defeats with 16 KO wins and three stoppage defeats. He is currently ranked number two in Germany behind Agit Kabayel and 20th in the world, a list topped by Oleksandr Usyk.
A win here won't do too much for his world ranking, but it will show he still has the skills and desire to beat upcoming fighters, which could shunt him in the direction of a big-money booking for a respected title. A win over Fury would catch the attention of promoters on both sides of the Atlantic, and they'd consider using him to test their crop of talent.
Despite his experience and solid 48% KO average, Hammer's recent form is patchy. He was beaten on points by Povetkin in 2017, and that began a run of four wins and three defeats in seven. He has lost half of his last four, beaten on points over ten rounds by Luis Ortiz and Tony Yoka. Christian was last seen taking out Patryk Kowoll inside three rounds in Germany.
Hammer's recent form is uninspiring, with his last win coming over an opponent with a 7-24-0 record. He's not fancied in the betting with victory for Hammer trading at 11/1 on the sportsbook. A points verdict over Fury in England is 22/1 with a KO/TKO 18/1.
Fury to showcase his talents
Hammer is a dangerous opponent and a gladiator that will feel like he has nothing to lose, but he is ageing and fading fast, as his form shows. He's 34, which isn't ancient for a heavyweight, but he has been in more than a few tough fights. Does he still have the passion and drive to beat the younger fighters making their way through, or is he fighting for money? We'll find out.
Fury is younger, faster, bigger and is far the better boxer of the two, even if Hammer was at the peak of his powers. The German is rarely stopped, his last TKO inflicted by Tyson Fury in 2015. Hughie is expected to showcase his talents, keep it long and rack up the rounds using his long jab then look for a late win.