Tyson Fury has no regrets over his aborted battle of Britain with David Haye as he returns to the ring for the first time in 10 months this Saturday.
The unbeaten Morecambe giant takes on American banger Joey Abell over 10 rounds at the Copper Box Arena in London on February 15 as he builds up to a summer rematch with Dereck Chisora.
The 25-year-old’s last fight at New York’s Madison Square Garden in April saw him stop Steve Cunningham in an IBF eliminator to pave the way for match with Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev - with the winner facing heavyweight ruler Wladimir Klitschko.
But Fury instead took up the offer to face Haye, seeing the fight first postponed until February 8 due to the Londoner suffering a cut in sparring before it was called off for good when the two-weight world champion went under the knife for shoulder surgery.
The Morecambe man regrets nothing however - despite seemingly blowing a more direct route to a coveted world title shot.
He said: “I was going to get paid £5 million to fight in a huge packed arena on pay-per-view in my home country as opposed to collecting a measly one hundred grand to fight Pulev over in Germany.
“It was a no brainer. I’m a prizefighter and money is the prize that drives me. Rankings and titles don’t put food in my cupboards and I’ve a wife and two children to support.
“If you don’t risk, then you don’t achieve. Unfortunately, due to David Haye, the gamble didn’t pay off this time.”
The gamble has seen him take nearly a year out of the ring, but with a three-fight deal in place with Frank Warren and BoxNation likely to culminate in a second dust up with Chisora, the future looks bright for one of boxing’s biggest talkers.
Fury said: “For a while I’ve been ready and waiting for big fights.
“Frank Warren pulled his finger out and produced the goods, put money on the table. That’s what this is all about.
“I’ve already beaten Dereck Chisora but I’ll happily beat him again for another fat, juicy pay cheque.”
The road to a rematch starts with the clash against 32-year-old Abell (29-7).
The 21-0 former British and Commonwealth champion said: “I’m just looking forward to getting back inside the ring, moving around and dusting off a few cobwebs.
“It’ll also be nice to gain a few quid again because I’ve been away a long time and I’ve mouths to feed.
“It’s a brilliant idea of Frank Warren’s to put me and Dereck side-by-side on two consecutive bills to drum up interest in this potential WBO final eliminator in the summer.
“But I’ve no concern whatsoever in outshining Chisora. I’m simply interested in having a couple of warm-ups and a couple of pay cheques to secure the fight with Chisora, a fight where victory will guarantee me moving on to bigger and better things.”
He may have passed up the opportunity of a final eliminator once already but Fury is confident 2014 is the year where he will get the chance to back up his talk.