Tyson Fury: "I'm going to knock Deontay Wilder out, and he's not going to want a rematch"
Home is definitely where the heart is.
And home for most fighters is within the gym. In lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury's case, it's more than home for him; it's become his salvation.
"Training and staying in the gym saved my life," the Gypsy King recently told journalist Tris Dixon of BT Sport.
"When I am not in the gym, I run the risk of slipping back into a deep depression. I train all of the time and take Sundays off, and Sundays are easily the worst days of the week for me. When I've got nothing going on, it's difficult to stay positive."
Shortly after becoming the lineal heavyweight champion by defeating future Hall of Famer Wladimir Klitschko in November of 2015, Fury shockingly relinquished his WBA, IBF, and WBO titles and decided to indefinitely walk away from the sport of boxing.
Consequently, the 6'9" heavyweight fell into a deep depression and gained an extremely unhealthy amount of weight. Tyson admittedly thought about taking his own life several times while riddled with drug abuse and alcoholism. To this day, the Manchester native struggles with bouts of depression and battles through it by staying active and working in the gym.
"I'm reminded regularly that I can slip down into deep despair very quickly. To have a good life, I need to stay active and stay fit. Without the training, I'll die. That's a fact. I'm not motivated by fame...it means nothing to me. I actually wish I wasn't famous...just to live a normal life. I actually look forward to it...all of the simple things in life that people take for granted."
So although Fury longs for the days when he can live a normal life among the people he holds most dear to his heart, he is disturbingly aware that his lowest moments are when he isn't able to stay active physically or mentally. So it seems that Tyson's confidence and bravado act as his primary defense mechanism and is a mere facade to the excruciating truth that he suffers from self-loathing and destructive behavior.
The boxing enigma's abilities both in and out of the ring serve as his greatest blessing and biggest curse.
It's ironic that the charismatic showman who doesn't relish being in the spotlight will indeed be featured in potentially this year's biggest fight and become the center of the sporting world's attention once again in Las Vegas, Nevada, on February 22nd.
The practice is painfully therapeutic for him.
So how will the confident yet insecure champion deal with the ring walk in less than three weeks on the biggest stage of boxing in "hostile" territory?
"I don't feel any better boxing in Manchester than I do fighting in Las Vegas or Germany or Los Angeles. Some fighters seem to thrive on a 'home field advantage' but I don't feel any different fighting wherever...on the road. I embrace and seem to thrive on competing away from home."
Despite stepping in the ring with arguably the hardest puncher in the heavyweight division in December of 2018, following a long and destructive layoff, does the Gypsy King feel that he's a better fighter currently, heading into the long-awaited rematch?
"I don't think you can be better if it's not broken. I don't think I need to be any different than in any other fights that I've had, because it's a winning formula, and I've always managed to win."
"But this time, he'll be getting a fighter who's more fit, and a fighter that's been active a few years, rather than coming back after all the problems...so yes, I guess you will see a much better boxer mentally and physically than I was before."
Even though Tyson appeared to be jumping from the wading pool into the ocean heading into his first meeting with Deontay Wilder, he ostensibly shocked the world by successfully controlling range and dictating the pace of the fight in December of 2018.
Fury insists that fans will see an even more impressive performance on February 22nd. Tyson genuinely believes the switch in head trainers, from Ben Davison to Javan "Sugar" Hill-Steward, will have a lot to do with a more dominant showing in less than three weeks.
"I know a lot about boxing, and I've been around the game a long time. So to train with someone and feel like an absolute novice again is exciting. Everything's diffferent and I feel like I'm learning again. Before it was merely polishing stuff that I did well, and it was a winning formula. But now it's working on stuff that I don't do so well...and that is new to me. And that's the challenge, and I love challenges."
So although change is customarily frowned upon, heading into the biggest fight of a pugilist's career, Tyson seems convinced that the switch in head trainers is not only healthy for him, but absolutely necessary to stay motivated and focused.
"I wasn't so sure in the beginning. But after spending three weeks together, I know it was a fantastic choice."
"For certain fights, you need certain styles. What I did before clearly is not good enough to win this fight. If I didn't win the way I boxed before, then I won't win it this time boxing the same way. Everything had to change. So that's what I'm doing. I'm willing to sacrifice everything for the victory."
"That's how much it means."
The enigmatic champion insists that he'll be going into his fight with Wilder, not just to outpoint the hard-hitting WBC champ, but to attack and take him out within the scheduled twelve rounds. While most critics and observers view the strategy as a dubious plan and a sure-fire recipe for disaster, Tyson feels his opponent won't be too fond of a more imposing style this time around.
"I was boxing him last time, and I was hurting him. He was hurt a lot in that fight. I just didn't have the energy to finish him. I've seen a lot of stuff that I'm going to expose in this fight. There was a lot of stuff that I saw the first time that I just couldn't pull the trigger on."
"So this time, he's going to fight the real Gypsy King, and I'm going to take him out. I'm going to knock Wilder out, and he's not going to want a rematch."
All will be revealed on February 22nd in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Related FightSaga Stories
- TYSON FURY
- Gypsy King
- wilder vs fury
- FURY VS WILDER
- DEONTAY WILDER
- TOP RANK
- FOX SPORTS
- Sugar Hill Steward
- BT Sport