How Tyson Fury has transformed his mind and body to be ‘more dangerous than ever’ as Deontay Wilder rematch beckons

11 Sep

During Tyson Fury’s open workouts on Tuesday, the ‘Gypsy King’ was his usual flamboyant self in front of the world’s media.

Although Saturday’s opponent Otto Wallin is not expected to offer too much in the way of resistance, the former unified world heavyweight champion looked in sensational shape as he displayed his frightening combination of speed and power, not befitting a man standing at 6ft 9ins.

And Fury was at his typically silver-tongued best, even calling his Swedish opponent ‘just my type – blonde and sexy’.

Tyson Fury showcases his speed and power in Las Vegas ahead of his fight with Otto Wallin
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But fans who have followed the 31-year-old’s journey know there is a darker undertone to Fury’s happy and positive exterior.

The lineal heavyweight champion finds solace in training and playing the role of entertainer to stave off the miserable thoughts which so terribly clouded him.

In 2016, after beating the odds to dethrone Wladimir Klitschko, Fury sank deeper and deeper into a state of depression which led him to consider taking his own life.

His battle back to happiness centred on his return to the ring, starting with losing weight. In total, Fury had ballooned to 400lbs at his heaviest and was in desperate need of help.

Fury was at his entertaining best on Tuesday, but the mask is indicative of his mental health battles
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Close friend Billy Joe Saunders introduced him to Ben Davison, with the 26-year-old assuming the mantle of trainer, psychologist and most importantly of all; a friend.

Strength and conditioning coach Kristian Blacklock revealed how, for the first time in four years of knowing Tyson, he has a lean and athletic Fury to work with from the start of camp.

“I don’t think he has ever been fully loaded because he has always, always had to lose weight and he was way overweight before the Klitschko camp,” Blacklock told the BBC.

“This time he can do anything: explosive jumps, athletic movements, no limitations. He can do things I do with a top middleweight.

“He backed himself at 60% against [Deontay] Wilder. He may not be 100% now – I don’t think a fighter ever is – but he is getting near that figure.”

Fury took the fight against fearsome puncher Deontay Wilder for December of last year and was controversially awarded a draw in Los Angeles.

The ‘Gypsy King’ had to lose 10 stone in preparation for the fight and no-one – from his own father to those in his team – felt he was truly prepared for the fight.

But it is testament to how far Fury has come both mentally and physically since that night in Dusseldorf in 2015 when he shocked the world. Despite the controversial decision, Fury remained calm in the ring and even sang ‘American Pie’ with the world’s media alongside 87-year-old Bob Arum.

Bob Aurm believes he has the world’s best heavyweight in the Top Rank stable
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And after a short break to return to his family for Christmas, Fury was back in the gym and preparing for a hectic 2019.

“He is a routine man,” Blacklock added. “So training benefits him mentally too.

“Working on the Klitschko fight I asked him ‘what are you going to do when you win the world title?’ I thought he’d maybe say ‘have a big holiday’.

“He turned to me and said ‘I will be depressed’. I laughed it off, but he was like ‘no, it will be an anti-climax, I will be depressed’. In hindsight, he was suffering then and it got worse.”

Promoter Frank Warren signed a co-promotional deal with EPSN and Top Rank which guaranteed the switch-hitter a deal worth $80million.

As part of the deal, a rematch for the WBC heavyweight title beckons and the chance to prove the critics once again.

Fury revealed to talkSPORT he is due to challenge Wilder again in February 2020 and Warren said: “He will be in much better shape than he was the first time around.

“That time he was basically training to make weight rather than training for the fight.

“Anything can happen though; we saw what happened with Anthony Joshua against Andy Ruiz.

“Even when Tyson fought Wladimir Klitschko, he was a big underdog in that fight, so anything can happen with these big guys. He cannot take his eye off the ball at all. Tyson is doing what he needs to do and that is stay busy.

“He needs to stay active so he doesn’t put weight on; mentally he needs to be on the money too.

“He is going to be more dangerous than ever.

“This is Tyson Fury with 18 months behind him in the gym rather than a six-month crash course.”

Anthony Joshua angrily denies he was relieved to lose to Andy Ruiz Jr as former world champion prepares for rematch

18 Jun

Anthony Joshua has lashed out at critics who suggested he was ‘relieved’ to lose his world heavyweight titles to Andy Ruiz Jr.

The Brit was stopped inside seven rounds by Ruiz at Madison Square Garden in one of the biggest shocks in boxing for decades.

Conspiracy theories about why the defeat occurred have ranged, but Joshua and promoter Eddie Hearn both admitted the better man won in New York.

Anthony Joshua has come under intense scrutiny following his defeat to Andy Ruiz

However, the 2012 Olympic Gold medallist hit back at critics who questioned his attitude in the immediate aftermath of the contest.

“As long as you know where you stand with your s**t, good and bad, that’s all that matters,” Joshua said on Instagram live.

“People are always going to interpret the story however they f****** want… as long as you stay true to yourself and know where you stand in a situation, you’ve got nothing to worry about.”

Although the location is still unclear, Hearn confirmed the rematch would take place at the end of this year.

The Mexican obliterated Joshua in seven rounds

However, Tyson Fury’s promoter Bob Arum has described the situation as ‘insane’.

“It’s the dumbest thing from the standpoint of a young fighter – Joshua’s relatively young – a young fighter who you want to bring back and recover,” he told talkSPORT.

“The idea that you would put him in with Andy Ruiz Jr again is insane. Give him some fights, forget about the titles.

“The titles will always be there. Joshua is a really good personality, he shouldn’t go back with Andy Ruiz. Any boxing guy, a real boxing guy, would tell you that. Unfortunately, his promoter [Eddie Hearn] is not a boxing guy.”

Tyson Fury will destroy Deontay Wilder within five rounds of their rematch, claims veteran promoter Bob Arum

16 Jun

Tyson Fury will demolish Deontay Wilder within five rounds of their rematch, claims US promoter Bob Arum.

The Gypsy King won via knockout in the second round of the contest in Las Vegas and the victory was never in doubt.

Fury poses with his US promoter Bob Arum following his victory

It was the first of three targeted warm up fights for the 30-year-old this year before he prepares to rematch Wilder in 2020, having drawn with the American in December last year.

And although Fury’s US promoter Arum has confirmed a rematch has not yet been officially agreed, he has tipped his newest signing to demolish Wilder in the early stages of the repeat bout.

“There is no heavyweight in the world that can beat him,” Arum said. “Now that he is in shape, Deontay Wilder is not going five rounds with him.

“We will have another fight, then we will fight Wilder. Nothing is signed. They both want to fight. There are two networks and it’s 50/50.

“It’s easy to do. You’ve got my word it’s going to happen. First quarter of next year. Right here [in Las Vegas].

“Fury took off 144-pounds to prepare for Wilder the first time around. I don’t care who you are, that’s not good.”

The veteran promoter, 87, also said there hasn’t been a fighter with more ‘charisma’ than Fury since the great Muhammad Ali.

“That was amazing. Tyson Fury is a force of nature,” he continued.

“This was one of the great shows I’ve ever seen and not just because of the boxing. He’s an entertainer. He is truly unique.

“Now that he’s in shape, he can knock out every heavyweight in the world. I haven’t seen a fighter with that much charisma since Muhammad Ali.”

Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury TRILOGY confirmed according to Top Rank promoter Bob Arum

8 Jun

Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder will have a trilogy of fights, Bob Arum has confirmed.

The Top Rank CEO and founder is now co-promoting the Gypsy King alongside Frank Warren and confirmed a rematch will happen.

Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder II and III will happen, according to Bob Arum

Wilder and Fury fought to a disputed draw back in December which left fight fans around the world clamouring for more.

Although the rematch is still yet to happen and both men have got their separate ways for the moment, the Bronze Bomber insisted 2020 would be the year they settle the score.

And Arum has himself insisted now that the two heavyweights will join the pantheon of greats and have a trilogy.

Wilder v Fury II is going to happen. It will be a terrific fight,” Arum exclusively told World Boxing News. “The first fight was terrific. This fight will be even better.

Boxing legend Bob Arum speaks during a press conference before the heavyweight match against Tom Schwarz and Fury

“But no jumping. Anything can happen to Fury, although I don’t think it will, that happened to Anthony Joshua.”

Asked whether a third fight could be on the cards Wilder and Fury, Arum unequivocally replied: “Yes, I can assure you of yes.

“There are a lot of good heavyweights who have had trilogies. This would be a trilogy.”

After their draw in December, both men have a chance to right the wrongs from the first fight. Wilder felt his two knockdowns were enough to win the fight, while Fury thought he outboxed the American.

And when asked if potentially a fourth fight would be required, Arum answered: “We’ve had great trilogies in the past. Ali v Frazier. Ali v Norton. They were all trilogies, not four fights.”

Going further, Arum revealed a purse split agreement is in place for the final encounter in the saga.

“The percentages will change, as in the winner would get more on that third fight, than the loser. It’s all based on who wins the second fight.”