Tyson Fury will end a 924-day absence out of the boxing ring when he faces Albanian Sefer Seferi at Manchester Arena on Saturday night and the bookmakers can only see this going one way.
Fury, a 1/100 shot at the time of writing, has claimed that his opponent is tough and dangerous but the former world heavyweight champion should enjoy a comfortable return to the ring.
Cast your minds back to November 2015. Fury had defeated Wladimir Klitschko in his own back yard and British boxing fans were rejoicing in his success.
So much has changed since then but the hunger, determination and desire to get back to the top has returned – Fury has the skills to rival Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder at the summit of the heavyweight division.
In some ways, Seferi is the ideal opponent for a straightforward comeback fight. Whilst the Albanian has just one loss on his professional record, he has spent the majority of his career fighting at cruiserweight level.
At 5 foot 11 inches tall, he is very short for the heavyweight division and Fury will tower over the 39-year-old in the ring. This one won’t last long if the Englishman goes for the jugular in the early rounds.
Fury is an egotist and he will be determined to send out a statement on his return. This is his moment and the 29-year-old still has time on his side as he looks to rebuild his career.
7/10 for Fury to win in rounds 1-5 is almost too good to be true; this is a complete mismatch on paper and he should extend his professional record to 26 wins without defeat.
Whispers of an all-British affair between Fury and Joshua are rife but that bout is some way off. Joshua is the unified heavyweight champion and the 2012 Olympic gold medallist holds three of the four major belts in the sport: winning the WBO belt from Joseph Parker back in March 2018.
Fury may need to wait for Joshua to take Wilder on before he gets a shot at his compatriot. That will be some fight if promoters Eddie Hearn and Frank Warren can figure something out.
Looking past Saturday’s fight could prove catastrophic for Fury though. Most boxing fans will expect a dominant performance from the British star but he must remain firmly focused on the task at hand.
Preparation is key and Fury is in great shape – he has worked hard in the gym to lose weight and over 300 rounds of sparring will have helped. Nothing is quite the same as getting in the ring though…
Seferi has an excellent power-punching record at cruiserweight level with 21 stoppage wins in 24 fights but he did lose on his only heavyweight fight to date.
Fury has found that spring in his step once again and that can only mean positive things for British boxing. There isn’t much value in backing a Fury win by KO/TKO at 1/10 but the 8/13 for under 5.5 rounds is a price worth considering.
Fury exudes confidence – and with good reason. He has the physical advantage over his rival and his top tier experience should give him the edge come Saturday night.
Seferi may land a punch or two but Fury should walk out of that ring relatively untouched and a confidence-boosting win may spur him on to push on and reignite his professional career at the highest level.
*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*