Tyson Fury believes that Francesco Pianeta will be in the mood to cause a huge heavyweight upset when they meet.
Morecambe’s former world heavyweight champion faces Pianeta at Belfast’s Windsor Park on Saturday August 18, when they share top billing with home favourite Carl Frampton.s
The Italian, a 6ft 5in southpaw who is 35-4-1, knows a shock win could earn him a third world heavyweight title challenge and ruin Fury’s hopes of dominating the division once again.
Pianeta fell short against Wladimir Klitschko and Ruslan Chagaev and Fury believes he will head to Northern Ireland with plenty of ambition.
“There is a target on my back,” said Fury, who will be in the second fight of his comeback after two-and-a-half years out of the ring.
“Pianeta is just one win away from being back right there among the best.
“Everybody brings their A game when they face me. They know it’s a lottery win if they can beat me.”
Fury, 26-0, doesn’t need to study Pianeta having sparred with him when his rival was an unbeaten world-ranked prospect.
“I sparred with him in Germany when he was 26-0,” said the 29-year-old, who beat Sefer Seferi on his comeback in June.
“He was tough, strong and he is a good opponent - very good.
“It was before he went on to fight Klitschko and Chagaev for world titles, but I was impressed.
“People say this is a big step up from Seferi and they can say what they want, but Seferi went the full distance with a current world heavyweight champion, Manuel Charr.
“He looked terrible against me, but that has happened to so many people.
“Wladimir Klitschko didn’t look much better against me than Seferi to be honest.”
Fury is now based at Ricky Hatton’s gym in Hyde, Greater Manchester where he is working with new trainer Ben Davison and Morecambe’s former English and Commonwealth featherweight champion Isaac Lowe who is also on the Windsor Park bill.
Fury insists he isn’t cutting any corners having set up camp at a hotel on the outskirts of the city away from his family.
“I’m training hard in the gym every day,” he said.
“I’ve had no time off since the last fight. I’m getting in great shape and really focused on my job.
“I can’t wait to get in there and put on a show in Belfast.
“Time is flying and it does when you’re having fun. I have a great team around me and we have got everything bang on.
“I’ve never, ever been this happy with my training and routine.
“I’ve got everything sorted. have good people around me and I’m in a good gym atmosphere.”