David Moyes has pulled no punches in a knockout bid to keep his job as manager of relegated Sunderland – he says he is ready to make a move to recruit boxer Tyson Fury.

Black Cats boss Moyes, desperate to retain his position despite overseeing a miserable campaign in which his side lost their Premier League status, says Fury can boost Sunderland’s firepower in the Championship.

Moyes made his startling admission to a hushed gathering of reporters at a hastily arranged press conference at the Stadium of Light late on Wednesday.

Chairman Ellis Short, thought to be on hand to share his views on the upcoming fixture at Hull City on Saturday, could only sit open-mouthed as Moyes held court on his sensational recruitment plan.

Clearly oblivious to the fact that Fury is a former heavyweight champion boxer, not a, erm, footballer, a rather befuddled Moyes stunned the gathered media when he said: “Like me, you will have seen that Tyson Fury is back in training and looking to get back in shape after a period of rest and recuperation. Yes, fitness is a concern but when he knuckles down, he can do it, no problem. He’s only 29 years of age, for heaven’s sake.

“For too long too much has been asked of the likes of Jermain Defoe, Victor Anichebe and Fabio Borini in front of goal. The sorry fact is that we have scored just 26 league goals all season. With a big lad like Tyson up top I am sure things will happen for us in and around the box.

“I fully appreciate that Championship football isn’t so much of a draw for Fury, but I can sell my brand of football to him; that along with my desire to get this once great club back to where it belongs – in the Premier League.

“What helps is that I see Tyson is without a club at the moment; that makes a huge difference for us when it comes to negotiating a deal. As of yet, I haven’t managed to actually speak to him but I remain hopeful. Eternally optimistic, you might say.

“I have Dm’d him on Twitter and tweeted him to follow back so we can open early dialogue. It’s exciting for me, it’ll be exciting for him and I know the passionate hordes here on Wearside will be ecstatic that we are finally making a big push into the transfer marker after what has been, it has to be said, some awful recruitment.”

It was at this point that Short whispered something to an ashen-faced Moyes, who left the conference muttering something about a “misunderstanding” – and he has remained uncontactable ever since.

In a short statement reacting to the bizarre claims from Moyes, a red-faced Short moved quickly to salvage and restore the club’s standing after this latest debacle, and said: “David has been under huge pressure this season. But this could be the last straw. To claim Fury is 29, when in fact, he is 28, is unforgiveable.”