Hughie Fury is scheduled to be one of the first headline acts at the Manchester Arena when it reopens following May’s terrorism attack — and he wants to deliver a world heavyweight championship title for the city.
Fury faces New Zealander Joseph Parker on September 23 for the WBO belt at a venue which has remained closed since the suicide bombing which killed 22 people at an Ariana Grande concert on May 22.
The arena is not planning to stage events again until early September. John Legend’s gig on September 16 is the only act on the calendar before Fury and Parker’s fight seven days later.
For Manchester-born Fury, returning to the ring at that venue in his city will be a poignant occasion. “It was absolutely devastating when I heard it on the news,” said the 22-year-old.
“My mum came into my room and she started crying. My little sister is only 14 and she normally goes to all these concerts and we were so lucky she never went to that one.
“We were thinking if that was my little sister we wouldn’t know what to do. It was so devastating to see. There are no words for what those people are going through.
“It was tragic what happened. It was a devastating thing and my heart goes out to all the families out there.
“I’m going to put a show on for the fans and for Manchester and I’m going to dedicate this fight to Manchester. Believe me, I will be winning it.”
Fury has been heartened by the community spirit his fellow Mancunians have shown since the attack. “It’s showing people aren’t scared,” he said.
“It was an amazing feeling to see so many people come out in Manchester after that happened. They filled the streets and it was incredible that so many people stuck together and were so strong.
“They’ve shown you can’t run scared, you’ve got to show these people. They did and I’m proud of Manchester for that.”
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