Analysing Tyson Fury’s five potential opponents for December 5 fight in London
Tyson Fury is on the hunt for his next opponent after scrapping plans to face Deontay Wilder in a trilogy bout.
The ‘Gypsy King’ will now return in a UK homecoming on December 5, with a five-man shortlist of possible foes.
Co-promoter Bob Arum revealed that Oscar Rivas, Efe Ajagba and Agit Kabayel are in contention to face Fury, plus two others in the WBC rankings – Charles Martin and Michael Hunter.
“It’s not rocket science,” he told iFL TV.
“Go to the 15 names on the WBC list, 10 of them are not available because they are scheduled to fight within the next month or the next two months, they’re not available.
“Daniel Dubois is there, Joe Joyce is there, but they’re not available. In the same way Derek Chisora is there and Oleksandr Usyk is there – but they’re not available.
“You end up with five guys who are possible. You mentioned three of the five; there’s Efe Ajagba, Agit Kabayel, Rivas is there and there are two others.”
Take a look at the five possible opponents below…
Oscar Rivas (26-1, 18 KOs)
Rivas is a Colombian heavyweight best known to UK fans for his all-action fight with Dillian Whyte in July 2019.
The 33-year-old compact brawler floored Whyte in round nine as the pair went to war for 12 rounds.
Rivas ultimately lost by unanimous decision and has not fought since.
Aside from that, he’s recorded a slate of wins topped by his final-round knockout triumph over Bryant Jennings.
Efe Ajagba (14-0, 11 KOs)
Ajagba is a Nigerian heavyweight prospect who has spent most of his career so far rising through the ranks under the guidance of Al Haymon’s PBC.
However, he recently changed course and aligned with Arum’s Top Rank.
His aggressive upright style caught the eye in a number of his early victories, but recently he’s shown weaknesses as he was floored by Iago Kiladze and failed to impress against Jonathan Rice.
The 26-year-old appears to still have some way to go before he is ready for world level, but did reach the world stage with his win over Curtis Harper in 2018 as his opponent left the ring before the first punch was thrown.
Agit Kabayel (20-0, 13 KOs)
Kabayel is a German heavyweight whose career path has been somewhat baffling over the past few years.
In 2017, the 28-year-old beat Herve Hubeaux to win the vacant European heavyweight title and then defended it with an impressive points win over Derek Chisora.
In the three years since, he’s only fought three times against journeymen and has been unable to put together any career momentum to progress from European level to challenging the world champions.
The man who outboxed Chisora in 2017 is a talented heavyweight to be reckoned with, but it’s unclear if he can translate that ability against the very best.
Charles Martin (28-2-1, 25 KOs)
Martin will always be a joke of a boxer to many UK fans who saw his fight with Anthony Joshua in 2016.
The American won the IBF heavyweight title – that Fury was stripped of after his win over Wladimir Klitschko – by virtue of a fluke knee injury to his opponent Vyacheslav Glazkov.
He then declared that he walked this Earth like a God and entered the ring wearing a giant crown before being knocked out in two rounds by AJ.
Martin has actually recovered well though. He rebuilt and faced rising heavyweight Adam Kownacki in a brilliant fight back in 2018, where he gave it his all but was ultimately just outclassed over 10 rounds.
The 34-year-old has now put together three consecutive wins again, scoring a big KO of Gerald Washington on the Fury vs Wilder rematch undercard back in February.
Michael Hunter (18-1-1, 12 KOs)
Hunter is arguably the most avoided fighter in the heavyweight division at present.
Despite only being a relatively small heavyweight, the American stands as a highly talented boxer with impressive speed and defensive attributes.
As a cruiserweight, he suffered his only defeat to the division’s king Oleksandr Usyk back in 2017.
He then moved up and put together a solid CV at heavyweight by beating Martin Bakole, Alexander Ustinov and Sergey Kuzmin.
Last December, he drew with Alexander Povetkin in a close fight on the Andy Ruiz Jr vs Joshua rematch undercard, though many felt he was unfortunate not to get the decision.