Sporting Life1st July, 2009

Tyson Fury wants to have both the English and Irish title belts wrapped around his waist in the coming months.

The undefeated Manchester giant has been nominated by the British Boxing Board of Control as the mandatory challenger for John McDermott's English heavyweight title with the bout ordered to take place by the end of November.

However Fury's strong Irish roots mean that he's also eligible for an Irish title and he has his sights firmly set on that belt as well.

"It would be great to be the English and Irish Heavyweight champ at the same time. That would be pretty unique and I'm very proud of my Irish roots. My Dad was born in Tuam in County Galway and my grandmother on my Mum's side was a Tipperary woman so it would be great to fight for the Irish title."

Fury returns to the ring at the York Hall, Bethnal Green on July 18th as he bids to stretch his perfect record to seven straight wins.

Last time out Fury knocked out Belfast prospect Scott Belshaw in two rounds but much to Fury's disappointment the Irish title was not on the line.

"I was hoping that the Belshaw fight could have been for the Irish title because I thought it was worthy of it but you need to have been in a scheduled eight- rounder to fight for the Irish belt and the Belshaw fight was my first."

The Irish Heavyweight title has been inactive since Mike Tyson conqueror Kevin McBride won it in 1997 and Fury wants to bring it back to life again.

The title was first won in 1890 by Galway's Peter Maher who would later go on to win the World title and Fury believes he can follow in Maher's footsteps almost 120 years later.

"It hasn't been fought for since McBride won it 12 years ago but it has a great tradition so it would be great to see the title active again. I want to win as many titles as I can in this game. I'd love to start out with the Irish and English titles and then move on to British, Commonwealth and European titles before going on to the world scene."

As usual Fury is not shy in naming some prospective Irish title opponents.

"There are actually a couple of unbeaten Irish heavyweights out there who you'd think would jump at the chance of fighting for the Irish title. Declan Timlin and Coleman Barrett are both unbeaten in 7 fights and they're both from Galway but like everyone else I don't think they want to know about it," he said.

"The challenge is out there for them so if they want it then we can get it on for the Irish title as soon as possible. I'll take on any Irish heavyweight out there, all I want is the opportunity to fight for the Irish title."