HUGHIE Fury takes centre stage in Bolton on Saturday night aiming to show the world he has put the agony of world title defeat against Joseph Parker firmly behind him.

Stepping back into the ring for the first time since a controversial points decision in September, Fury faces experienced British Heavyweight Title holder Sam Sexton at the Macron.

Past problems with his immune system slowed down what had been a rapid rise, meaning this is only the 23-year-old’s third fight since the end of 2015.

And having had eight months to reflect on the only blemish on his professional record, Fury wants to prove it will not prevent him from reaching the top again.

“I’m not dwelling on the past,” he said in a press conference held at Bolton Town Hall yesterday. “I’m moving forward.

“I worked on the mistakes I was disappointed with in the Parker fight and trained over Christmas. Great champions lose and I think everything happens for a reason. Losing that fight has made me a different man completely. Onwards and upwards.

“I am not underestimating Sam but there will be fireworks.

“I’ve had health issues and dark days but they are behind me. My body has improved 100 per cent – I’ve never felt this good.”

Much of Fury’s gym work has been based in Bolton, and he has used the Whites Hotel at the Macron Stadium extensively in the build-up to the fight.

Some bookmakers have Fury’s odds as low as 50/1 ON but he refuses to look past the 33-year-old Sexton, who has just three losses in a 27-fight career.

“I’m excited, full of energy, I’m looking forward to putting on a show,” he said.

“Sam’s age doesn’t bother me at all. When I was 14 or 15 my dad put me in there with grown men trying to take my head off. Age is just a number.”

Sexton won the British title at the third attempt in October, beating Gary Cornish in Edinburgh and revealed he has used a form of hypnotherapy in the build-up to tomorrow’s fight to help him stay focussed.

“What’s the point in getting wound up? If I get angry I make mistakes and there’s no room for those any more,” he said.

“It’s called boxnosis, and it is a way of staying relaxed. I can take all the pain and the anger from the past and turn it into something positive.”

Fury’s preparations started 10 weeks ago and his father and trainer Peter Fury says finding an opponent ready to take the fight has not been a simple job.

“It’s alright people talking over the internet and Twitter but no-one wants to fight him,” he said. “You have got to be forced. The only time a world champion is going to look at you and offer himself is if it’s a gimme fight. You have to earn your stripes and Hughie is on the road back.

“For 23 years of age, let’s not forget, he’s 6ft 6ins he’s well ahead of his years already. He took Parker’s best shots, did 12 rounds, he gets hit. He’s a tough kid and ticks a lot of good boxes.

“We’re not interested in PR jobs. We want him to have tough fights.”

Peter Fury feels his son is ready to move on from the disappointment of the Parker loss in Manchester and get himself back into the world title picture by this time next year.

“Hughie told me he’d rather have seen Parker really win the fight, because then he could have at least said the better man won. He didn’t’ feel that way,” he said.

“It was a bitter taste and I have to agree with him from ringside. But moving on from that has done him a favour because he could have done more. You have to go and take titles.

“Sam brings certain things to the table which will test Hughie. It’s going to be a big test. This is a proper British title fight, no gimme at all.”

Tickets and hospitality packages are available on the BWFC website and by calling 01204 673619.