It may have been a few months in the making but Tyson Fury and Martin Rogan will finally lock horns on April 14.
Setting out the finer points in a jovial press conference last week, the pair are aiming to arrive at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast in peak physical condition and rumble away until one of them hits the deck.
“Martin has a lot to say about his destruction and devastation, but what can you say?” questioned the 23-year-old unbeaten prospect Fury. “All will be revealed on April 14 and I hope his fight is as good as his words, because I’ve been sitting here listening to him ramble on.”
A smiling Rogan later quipped that it was Tyson doing most of the rambling and if he didn’t manage to finish the job with his fists then maybe he could talk the Belfast veteran to the canvas.
“He’s not going to take anything away from me because I am in destruction mode,” responded Fury. “An army won’t stop me on the 14th of April, so Martin Rogan hasn’t got a chance. He’s getting on a bit too, to be honest.”
Referring to his adversary as “wee cuddly Rogie”, Tyson did offer some begrudging respect to the ex-Commonwealth champion, admitting that he would rush home early to witness Rogan’s rapid rise into one of the domestic heavyweight scene’s most unlikely heroes, just a couple of years ago.
“He’s the kind of fighter I like to watch when I’m watching boxing on TV. I always thought he’d do really well; I believe he should have got a world title shot at Ruslan Chagaev, but he was messed around and never got the opportunity. When I was a kid starting out, when I turned pro at 20, Martin Rogan was the man coming up; he’d won Prizefighter and then he beat Matt Skelton - which nobody expected him to do - and Audley Harrison. I’d only had one or two fights then, but I’d rush back to watch him because I knew it would always be a good fight.”
It seemed for a while that this fight would never materialise after previous attempts to bring the two together ended in a haze of accusations and counter-claims with no resolution in sight. Eventually Fury – who looked set for an enticing scrap with David Price before relinquishing his British and Commonwealth titles - and his promotional team managed to reach an agreement with Rogan and the end will be written in their Easter showdown.
“It’s not that I ever disagreed to this or any other fight,” he reasoned, “it’s just that these things are down to the promoter to put the fights on and this one has been a long time in the making. It’s one of those things, but we finally got together and sat down and agreed everything. The fight is on at last. He [Rogan] has got his chance now to fight a top ten rated fighter but, to be honest, I think it’ll be one of those times where the young man is going to prevail. The young warrior always overtakes the old one, and the old one has to move over and make room.
“Rogie’s one of those fighters who always gives it his all,” concluded Tyson. “There’s no nancy business with him, it was always get stuck in and shit or bust, really.”