Tyson Fury has promised not to let new opponent Joey Abell derail him from his summer showdown with Dereck Chisora.
The unbeaten Morecambe giant was due to face Gonzalo Omar Basile at the Copper Box Arena on Saturday, February 15, but the Argentine has withdrawn because of a lung infection.
Instead he will face dynamite-fisted America Abell on the card headlined by Chisora’s WBO and WBA International title defence against former Fury foe Kevin Johnson live on BoxNation.
If Chisora and Fury come through their respective fights then it will set up the blockbuster rematch between the two rival heavyweights which could also be a final eliminator for the WBO World title for the right to fight long-reining ruler Wladimir Klitschko.
Hard-hitting Abell, from Minnesota, has halted 28 opponents out of the 29 wins on his 35-fight career record.
The 6ft 4in southpaw gave IBF number one ranked challenger Kubrat Pulev some early problems in their IBF International title fight in December before being stopped in the fifth round.
Fury, who’s stopped 15 out of 21 opponents early, is looking forward to getting back in the ring after almost a year since his thrilling shoot-out against Steve Cunningham in his American debut.
The 25-year-old said: “Abell is big and he can punch. Just what I want on my comeback.
“One thing I do respect about him is his power. He’s got a great knockout record and in the heavyweights it only takes one shot to turn things around.
“He’ll have confidence in seeing that I was floored by Cunningham and he’ll want to have a good go, he likes to get things done early with a lot of knockouts coming in the first few rounds.
“Who knows? He could land one on me. This is his big chance to make a name and upset the future of the heavyweight division.
“I’m in perfect shape though and even though Abell is a late substitute there’s no way he’ll knock me off course for my summer rendezvous with Mr. Chisora who’s got his own Yank to deal with in Johnson.
“I’ll do my job and if he’s does his then we’re all set for a summer settler.”