EXTRA-TIME: Tyson Fury not far away from Klitschko fight

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In the first instalment of a new weekly blog, ADAM LORD takes a look at sports news in the district. This week he looks at the future plans of Morecambe’s heavyweight boxing sensation, Tyson Fury.

Tyson Fury did what he had to do on Saturday night.

Morecambe’s gypsy giant was widely expected to defeat home favourite Martin Rogan in Belfast and he did just that, notching his 18th straight win as a professional, with 13 coming inside the scheduled distance.

But perhaps more importantly, he stopped the granite-faced 40-year-old in convincing fashion, something which several fancied heavyweights have failed to do in the past.

Not only that, and perhaps most significantly of all, the 6ft9 bruiser cut a significantly different figure to the one seen in previous fights.

From the new army-style closely-cropped hair, to the simple fact that he came into the fight at his leanest weight yet, 17 stone 7lbs, this was a more professional Tyson Fury.

The undefeated giant, who also displayed some technical flair by coming out with, and sticking to, a southpaw style, admitted as much in the pre-fight press conference: “In the past I’ve been messing around. If half the people in this room knew what I did before fights they’d be thinking ‘how is he winning fights?’”

In that same appearance before the media Fury’s promoter Mick Hennessy had talked up his man’s chances of a battle with the ever-present rulers of the heavyweight division, Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko.

But Hennessy was quick to emphasise, as he always has, that these fights will come “when he’s (Fury) ready”. After all, Fury, at 23, is still very young for a top-level heavyweight.

Proof of the policy not to rush Fury came in the collapse of the proposed fight with David Price.

The reality is that whatever the reason was for the fight collapsing, with most observers seemingly suggesting Fury didn’t want to fight his mandatory challenger for the British and Commonwealth titles, the longer the wait for the fight goes on, the more both parties will gain from it, in terms of exposure and of course, money.

Boxing, especially in the heavyweight division, doesn’t follow the normal rules of succession and progression though, as proven by Dereck Chisora’s road to his impressive display against Vitali Klitschko, which has been all-but forgotten after the shameful scenes of his clash with David Haye in the post-fight press conference in Munich.

Let it not be forgotten, that Del Boy lost two of his previous three fights going into his shot on the global stage, including one against a certain Tyson Fury, who took the British and Commonwealth Titles from him in July last year.

That underlined the lack of viable opponents for the Ukrainians, meaning the prospect of Fury lining up against one of them is maybe not as far away as Hennessy would like.

The promoter may claim to be methodical but if Wladimir or Vitali did come calling, it would be very hard to resist, especially after Fury was seen as the bad guy when the fight with Olympic Bronze medallist Price fell through.

Stranger things have happened.