Tyson Fury will finally fulfil a childhood vow when he fights Tom Schwarz in Las Vegas on June 15.
The Morecambe heavyweight is heading to the Sin City on Sunday to continue his preparations for the little-known German, 16 years after telling himself he would resist its temptations until he had earned the right to fight there.
That Fury will fight Schwarz at the MGM Grand Garden Arena also means he will be following in the footsteps of many of the sport’s greatest names.
The 30-year-old has had to resist stag parties and fights involving friends in order to keep his vow, and he said: “I made a promise to myself when I was younger that I wouldn’t go to Vegas until I fought there.
“It was when I was 14 years old. I always knew I was going to be heavyweight champion of the world.
“I remember watching Ricky Hatton fight Floyd Mayweather at the MGM Grand, and I always thought to myself, ‘I won’t go to Las Vegas unless I fight there’ for the reason being that it always gives me something to push towards, to achieve another goal.
“Here it is, it’s finally arose and I’ve got the opportunity to go there, not as a holiday-maker or as a gambler, and headline at a massive casino and hotel.
“I jumped at the opportunity, one because I’ve never been but because my mates go all the time and the fact I fancy a little bit of it but I can’t really go.
“I’ve waited all this time to go so I can’t really break it now.
“We’ve had a few stag dos. There was a stag I couldn’t attend, there’s been many conventions in boxing organisations held in Vegas that I couldn’t go to and there have been many big fights I couldn’t go to.
“There’s been many opportunities to go but I didn’t go.”
As he did for December’s draw against Deontay Wilder, Fury will again use Ricky Hatton’s expertise in his corner alongside his trainer Ben Davison.
Freddie Roach has also not been ruled out, having joined Hatton and Davison in December, but the heavyweight will not use the American’s LA-based Wild Card gym this time.
Fury said: “This fight’s in Las Vegas so it’s a different heat to LA. It’s in the desert.
“We’re going straight into Las Vegas on Sunday – that gives us four weeks to acclimatise and get ready, and hopefully that’ll be enough and it’ll be good.
“I spoke to Ricky Hatton about it and he said four weeks is plenty. He boxed there a few times, as we know, and I’ve taken that advice on board.”