LONDON -- Tyson Fury hopes to fight five times before the end of 2018 as he returns to boxing having been inactive for over two years since out-pointing Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015.
The former WBA-IBF-WBO world heavyweight champion makes his ring return at the Manchester Arena on June 9 against an opponent that will be revealed Wednesday, and Fury (25-0, 18 KOs) hopes promoter Frank Warren can keep him active with the ultimate goal being a shot at heavyweight titleholders Anthony Joshua (WBA-WBO-IBF) and Deontay Wilder (WBC).
"Frank Warren has told me umpteen times so I hope and pray he keeps me busy and I know he will," Fury told reporters on the top floor of the BT Tower Tuesday.
"Very busy, the busiest heavyweight of all champions to date. I'm going to have four or five fights this year. Maybe six, who knows?
"June, then I'll fight July, August, September and October as well. I can't get enough, I love boxing that much.
"I want to fight five times this year, it's very feasible. If anyone can do it, the magic man can do it.
"Joe Louis had the bum-a-month campaign and that's exactly what I want to do. All this fighting once or twice a year -- I hate that inactivity. I want to fight every week if I can, but at least once a month, so I think we can do bum-a-month campaign easy.
"I've had four fights in five years -- that's terrible. I've never been active apart from my first year when I had nine fights. A match-fit fighter is a dangerous fighter no matter who you are in there with. It's all experience and getting used to everything."
Fury, who has spoken openly about his problems with depression following his win over Klitschko, says boxing has medicinal powers for him.
"I just want to keep going for as long as possible until I can't box anymore," Fury said.
"My style is not taking punches. So I've got no mileage on the clock. I believe I can carry on as long as I want to. I hope I carry on until I can't box anymore. I feel emptiness when boxing is not there. Nothing that you can buy or material can fill that void for me.
"I've got a very long boxing career ahead of me. Look at Bernard Hopkins, James Toney, Roy Jones Jr. Boxing is my medicine."
Despite the layoff and controversial comments, Fury remains popular in the U.K. -- perhaps even more so than after his triumph over Ukrainian Klitschko in Germany.
"Yes I believe I am more popular now than when I was world champion," Fury said.
"The appeal is that I'm just a normal person, one of the lads, anyone can relate to me. A lot of people can relate to the same problems I've been through. I'm a bit of an inspiration to people now because they know that if I can come through it anyone can come through it.
"I box for those people, everyday as a motivation for those who are feeling down, depressed and sad and giving up on themselves. There's no need to give up -- help is around the corner. I'm living proof that you can get over it.
"It's not just about punching people in the face and winning and losing. To be a big star in boxing you have to have personality and create excitement other than punching someone in the face. Not all of them can do what I do when I step in the ring and take the microphone."
While Fury insists he is not contemplating fighting English rival Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) or American Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) soon, he says whoever is world champion will want to fight him.
"I'm not really focused [on fighting Joshua]," Fury told reporters.
"Everyone is talking about Joshua, Wilder and whoever else. But this is the Tyson Fury roadshow -- it's not about anyone else, it's about me on my self-journey. I don't care what the other fighters are doing.
"I'm not focused on any of them. I have the best belt you can get -- the lineal belt of the division dating back to John L Sullivan -- you cannot beat that. I've had all the alphabet titles. Titles are very unimportant to me. I see myself as the lineal world heavyweight champion and I don't need any belts.
"They need what I have. To be considered world champions of their era they have to beat me."