“Magic” Matthew Ellis believes that heavyweight sensation Tyson Fury is biting off more than he can chew by tackling the experienced Blackpool man in just his fifth pro fight in London this weekend.
The two men clash at the York Hall on Saturday night live on ITV4 on a Hennessy Sports event as part of the undercard to the John O’Donnell vs. Craig Watson Commonwealth title fight.
Ellis, who turns 35 on Sunday, plans to give himself an early birthday present by derailing Fury’s career and setting himself on course for a British title shot. He certainly holds all the aces when it comes to experience over the 20-year-old Fury having had 27 pro fights with 20 wins, nine early, with six defeats and a draw.
“I know Fury is a good, big kid with a lot of ability but he’s too inexperienced and the step up in levels is going to be too much for him," said Ellis.
"He hasn’t really fought anyone yet and they’ve definitely bitten off more than they can chew here. He’s still just a novice and I’m levels above anyone he’s fought to date. He’s been calling out all the British heavyweights to step up and fight him and I’m only too happy to take him up on that challenge.”
Ellis, like Fury is a former ABA champion, and he sees clear parallels between the early part of his own pro career and Fury’s. “When I turned pro it was a lot like what Fury is getting now in terms of the hype. I was a good amateur and when I turned pro there were big plans for me, my fights were on ITV and I was getting all the publicity but you start to believe in your own hype and you start listening to the wrong people.
“I fought in the U.S. and sparred the top guys like Evander Holyfield, but all the back slappers get in your ear and tell you how good you are. You start to believe your own hype and you start cutting corners in training and eventually you get found out.
“It sounds to me like Fury could be going down the same road and if that’s the case he’s going to come unstuck on Saturday night. He’s a big lad but I’ve fought bigger guys in the past, so that won’t be a problem for me. In fact I think Fury still had a bit of toning up to do and he’ll need to mature because at 20 he’s only a baby by heavyweight standards.”
Ellis' own career has failed to live up to his own expectations but he believes a win over Fury could set him on course for a British title shot. “I’ve had problems with inactivity over the last few years, mainly down to managerial problems where I’ve had to sit out contracts but I put that time out of the ring to good use and set up a business for myself so it’s not about the money for me anymore.
“I got fed up with the politics of the sport but the dream of winning a title keeps me going and I still have that desire. I believe I can win at least a British title and in heavyweight boxing all you need is one big win to reignite your career and I’m getting that opportunity to do that live on TV on Saturday".
Ellis last outing was a defeat at the hands of former world champ Enzo Maccarinelli and he’s determined to make amends for that result on Saturday. “That wasn’t me in there, I had some personal problems around that time and I took the fight on less than 24 hours notice so I didn’t do myself any justice.
“I did think about hanging up the gloves after that but I knew I didn’t want to go out like that and the desire is definitely still there. I’ve been training hard in the gym and really enjoying my training again and I’m looking to surprise a few people on Saturday night.”
Fury’s clash with Ellis is part of an exciting undercard at the York Hall that also features an English Light Welterweight title showdown between Lenny Daws and Peter McDonagh while hot prospect Bradley Evans, Wembley’s Steve O’Meara and Irish Welterweight champ, Stephen Haughian are also in action.
Tickets are available from the Ticketline box office on 0844 888 4402 or via www.ticketline.co.uk.