Tyson Fury 'healthy as a trout, fit as a flea' in lead-up to Pianeta fight

"Healthy as a trout, fit as a flea"; Tyson Fury trains in Belfast. Nathan Stirk/Getty Images

Tyson Fury has dismissed any concerns over his fitness ahead of his pivotal fight on Saturday.

The former WBA-IBF-WBO world heavyweight champion, who turned 30 Sunday, must beat Francesco Pianeta in a 10-round bout to set up another world title shot later this year.

Fury (26-0, 19 KOs), of Manchester, England, has been in talks with American Deontay Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs), 32, who has made seven defences of the WBC world title, with a view to setting up a challenge on Nov. 10 or 17 in Las Vegas.

Fury says he has lost another stone while training at former champion Ricky Hatton's gym in Manchester after weighing in at 19st 10lbs for a four-round win over cruiserweight Sefer Seferi in June.

His comeback earlier this summer ended a layoff of over two and a half years after problems with drinking, depression and drugs and the serving of a backdated doping ban.

Fury insists he is not overlooking the Italian-born, Germany-based Pianeta (35-41, 21 KOs), 33, who he faces at Belfast's Windsor Park in Northern Ireland, as he looks to secure his second world title shot after a shock points win over Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015.

"I'm feeling healthy as a trout, fit as a flea," Fury said. "I'm very happy, everything is going smoothly, injury-free, training is going well. Just the same routine day in, day out for the last 10 weeks. I've had two or three days off since my last fight, I got straight back in the gym.

"I can't be any fitter than I was when I fought Sefer. There's only a certain amount of fitness you can do in boxing, it's not about fitness, to be honest.

"If you're going to be in a fight you have to be fit anyway. You shouldn't be taking fights if you're not fit.

"I've lost another stone if that makes a difference -- not really.

"Was I not fit against Sefer? Of course I was, I trained my guts out for seven months. I was fit to do 30 rounds but he only lasted four rounds so that was his problem, not mine.

"I've eaten, slept and drunk boxing -- I've done nothing else but box since November. So if I can't beat Pianeta I might as well get on my knees and kiss his two feet because I'm clearly shot to pieces.

"But if I'm half the man I was a few years ago, I will write Pianeta off like a good'un, put a face on him like the Elephant Man."

Despite his ring absence and problems, Fury has maintained popularity in the UK, where WBA-IBF-WBO champion Anthony Joshua is also one of the country's biggest sports stars.

"I've got a full country behind me, I have many fans all over the world supporting me and pushing me on," Fury said.

"It's been marvellous, the return has been epic. I think it's because the fans think I'm one of them, I'm definitely a man of the people, for sure, 100 percent."