The opponent for former unified heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury's ring return on June 9 was revealed on Sunday.
Promoter Frank Warren announced that Fury's highly anticipated comeback will come against Sefer Seferi in a scheduled 10-round bout that will take place at the Manchester Arena in Fury's hometown of Manchester, England.
Fury (25-0, 18 KOs), 29, has not boxed since he outpointed Wladimir Klitschko in a shocking upset to claim three world title belts and the lineal crown on Nov. 28, 2015, at Esprit Arena in Dusseldorf, Germany. Fury then pulled out of the contracted rematch multiple times, twice tested positive for cocaine and saw his life spiral out of control.
Since winning the belts, and later being stripped of them, he has dealt with drug, alcohol and mental health issues, ballooned in weight and announced at various times that he would retire. A doping case was also brought against him by British regulators and was finally settled and cleared the way for Fury to obtain a boxing license from the British Boxing Board of Control.
"Tyson is back, in fantastic shape and full of beans, ready to take the first step on the road back toward world domination once again," Warren said. "He needs comeback fights in order to shake off the ring rust after such a lengthy absence, and I am sure the fans will once again enjoy the ride back to the top."
When Fury's return was announced in mid-April he did not yet have an opponent, but few expected that when the foe was squared away it would be anyone who posed a serious threat given that Fury had been out of action for so long. Indeed, Seferi (23-1, 21 KOs), 39, of Macedonia, appears to be a relatively safe opponent.
Seferi, who has won his last two bouts, has faced mostly sub-.500 opposition since losing a wide 10-round unanimous decision in September 2016 to Manuel Charr, the only notable opponent of his career. Charr went on to claim a secondary world title in his next bout.
Seferi, the much smaller man who has fought most of his career as a cruiserweight, said he believes he has what it takes to pull the upset.
"This is going to be a hard fight for Fury," Seferi said. "I'm very disciplined and always ready to take on everyone and anyone. This will not be an easy night for him. I'm coming to Manchester to beat one of the boxing legends of the 21st century.
"He is tall and strong but he won't be ready for the pressure that I will bring on June 9 -- 2½ (years) out of the ring is a long time and nobody knows if he is still the same fighter that dethroned Wladimir Klitschko. I am going to seize this opportunity with both hands."
Said Warren: "Seferi is no pushover. He's gone the distance with a world-class fighter in Manuel Charr. He has spent the majority of his career at cruiserweight but so had Tony Bellew and David Haye before stepping up to the heavyweight division."
Fury's comeback fight will be his first since parting ways with his uncle, Peter Fury, as his trainer to work with Ben Davison. Regardless of his opponent, Fury said he is happy to finally be getting back in the ring.
"I can't wait to get in there and prove that I'm a better fighter than I've ever been," Fury said. "I'm coming into the prime of my career now and I've never felt better. I'm fitter, stronger and faster than the Fury of 2015. We're just three weeks away from what is going to be a huge night for the city of Manchester. I'm delighted to be fighting at the iconic Manchester Arena for the first time in my career and I'm promising the fans a special performance to thank them for their loyal support."