AGIT KABAYEL is the man with the opportunity to welcome newly crowned WBC champion Tyson Fury back to the ring.
The German – unbeaten in 20 fights – has been sent a contract to face Fury on December 5.
It will be the Gypsy King’s first time boxing in the UK since 2018, having signed a deal with US promotion Top Rank last year.
And after cancelling his trilogy bout with Deontay Wilder, Fury is now using his homecoming as a tune up to prepare for Anthony Joshua.
Here SunSport reveals how he compares to Kabayel.
For much of his career, Fury, 32, has been renowned for his slick, back foot boxing style that frustrates and bemuses opponents.
But in his second fight with Wilder – having drawn in 2018 – the Gypsy King proved his versatility as he switched tactics and applied the pressure.
It resulted in an emphatic and one-sided beating with Wilder, 35, being floored twice on the way to a seventh round stoppage.
It remains to be seen whether Fury will adopt the same tactics in his return fight or against title rival Joshua, 31.
But he has always been able to adapt if needed, for example boxing Martin Rogan in 2012 exclusively in the southpaw stance.
One of Fury’s greatest strengths is his ability to mix it up, whether that be by fighting on the front foot, cautiously or by switch-hitting.
His improved punching power since joining Javan ‘Suharhill’ Steward – nephew to the legendary Emanuel – is also a major factor in his recently developed style.
Another of Fury’s strengths is his composure in the ring, as even the division’s statistically greatest puncher, Wilder, could not strike fear into his eyes.
Kabayel turned professional in 2011 and has so far only boxed in Europe, winning 13 times by knockout.
His biggest result was a majority decision over Dereck Chisora in 2017, as the British favourite put in a laboured performance in Monte Carlo.
Kabayel is not gifted with fast feet and or particularly quick hands.
But he does carry respectable power and favours the right hand, specifically an uppercut.
But that punch has been most effective against smaller opponents, and will not carry the same success against 6ft 9in Fury.
Kabayel is used to walking his opponents down and letting heavy hooks and body shots go.
He has rarely been put on the back foot, but could be forced to retreat against Fury, who spent all seven rounds last February walking Wider down.
Joshua spent time sparring with Kabayel in 2018 before he knocked out Alexander Povetkin and then in 2019 before losing to Andy Ruiz Jr.
Fury has likely selected Kabayel – who stands 6ft 3in – to replicate Joshua, who is 6ft 6in.
How he decides to fight next month could be a hint to how he approaches facing AJ.
When Fury stopped Tom Schwarz – who has a similar style to Kabayel – he boxed the first round on the back foot behind a strong jab, throwing an occasional combination.
In the second round he even switched stances and applied more pressure eventually ending the fight.
Facing an unknown commodity in Kabayel, Fury could chose to box smart in the opening stages, even if he does so on the offensive.
And with Kabayel not used to opponents applying the pressure, he may be forced to work hard and fight at an increased tempo.
It would tire the 28-year-old out, allowing Fury to step on the gas towards the second half of the fight, and look to close the show.
It also gives the WBC king plenty of rounds to bank in preparation for Joshua, who faces Kubrat Pulev, 39, a week later.