Tyson Fury: How the ‘Gypsy King’ reclaimed his throne – from his lowest ebb to becoming Ring Magazine’s No.1 heavyweight and eyeing up a Deontay Wilder trilogy

11 Jun

Saturday night’s clash with Tom Schwarz may seem like a routine fight for Tyson Fury, but the ‘Gypsy King’ will most certainly be on his guard.

Of course, Andy Ruiz Jr’s upset win over Anthony Joshua will act as perfect motivation for the Brit in Las Vegas.

But Fury’s need to win is fuelled by something far greater than the fear of an embarrassing defeat. He simply has come too far to lose to the German underdog.

Tyson Fury speaks ahead of his fight with Tom Schwarz in Las Vegas

Almost a year ago to the day, Fury stepped over the ring ropes for the first time since his fight against Wladimir Klitschko and made his comeback to a sport which threatened to derail him completely.

After toppling the Ukrainian in Dusseldorf back in 2015, the Manchester-native succumbed to a deep depression fuelled by drugs and alcohol.

Suicidal thoughts plagued his mind and he blindly began to eat himself to death – ballooning to nearly 400 pounds.

Although he was mocked for consistently calling out fighters, the ‘Gypsy King’ was slowly shedding stone after stone.

Linking up with Ben Davison and Frank Warren proved to be the catalyst for the former unified world champion, who became a regular feature in Ricky Hatton’s gym.

A year on from his comeback fight, talkSPORT.com has taken a look back at Fury’s incredible year.

From fighting Albania’s second best cruiserweight, to signing an $80million deal with ESPN and Top Rank, the silver-tongued switch-hitter is back to reclaim the throne.

So how on earth did he manage it?

Sefer Seferi comeback

On May 20 last year, Frank Warren confirmed Fury would fight little-known Seferi in Manchester in his first fight since beating Klitschko in Germany.

Tyson Fury didn’t impress in his first bout back against Sefer Seferi

The former Ring Magazine, IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion had his license reinstated after accepting a backdated two-year ban for ‘anti-doping and medical issues’ and was expected to come through the bout against the much smaller man unscathed.

After 32 months away, the ring rust was evident for Fury as he towered over the career cruiserweight and battered him. Seferi’s corner pulled him out at the end of the fourth, but the showboating in the ring was only overshadowed by the fighting outside of it.

“I’ll be better next time. I’ll have more rounds and fight a better opponent,” said Fury.

“I learned two and a half years is a long time to be out. I’ll take my career very seriously this time and enjoy every moment.”

Francesco Pianeta and Wilder rumours

Fury boxed to a simple decision win over Francesco Pianeta in Belfast

Fury remained true to his word as a fight against two-time world title challenger Francesco Pianeta in Belfast was up next.

The Italian had lost world championship challenges against Wladimir Klitschko and Ruslan Chagaev and was seen as a step up in opposition.

“The Seferi fight is history and Pianeta is a far better operator than him,” said promoter Frank Warren. “His level of opposition tells you that.”

As the ‘Gypsy King’ began to shed more and more stones closer to the fight, he teased on his Instagram page a fight with WBC champion Deontay Wilder, in America no less.

Rumours soon began to intensify and, with the Bronze Bomber in attendance at Windsor Park, Fury took to the ring knowing victory would all but certainly secure a title fight with the WBC champion.

For 12 rounds, the Brit outboxed Pianeta and won every round as he looked to build up invaluable minutes in the ring.

As the post-fight interviews were being conducted, Wilder stepped into the ring and confirmed the fight was signed for the winter in America, with Fury owing to knock out the hard-hitting Alabama native.

But, of course, no one gave him even a chance of seeing the final bell against a man who had 39 knockouts from 40 wins.

The fight was announced after Fury’s win over Francesco Pianeta on Saturday

Further weight loss

Before facing a man who had knocked out every opponent who had ever dared to set foot in the ring with him, Fury knew he had to show drastic improvements in and out of the ring.

Speaking on the Joe Rogan podcast, Fury revealed that his amazing weight loss was down to the ‘dirty keto’ diet.

Basically, it enabled him to follow the regular keto diets low-carb concept, but didn’t care whether he was eating healthy proteins and fats or foods that have always been thought of as unhealthy, like cheese, bacon, burgers and other high-fat and high-cholesterol foods.

And fans were left stunned by the transformation.

Deontay Wilder fight – blitzing the bomber

Despite all the pre-fight criticisms and doubters, Wilder and Fury finally squared off at the Staples Center in Los Angeles and fans were treated to an early Christmas cracker.

With referee Jack Reiss dwarfed by the two giants in the opposite corners, there was surreal sensation surrounding the fight. Fury, a heavy underdog in the eyes of bookmakers and pundits alike, boxed beautifully for 12 rounds.

But the power of his American foe proved too much and he was knocked down twice, with his heaviest fall coming in the 12th and final round.

As we have come to learn with Fury though, there is very little this man cannot do and, somehow he clambered off the canvas with two and a half minutes remaining.

Mental Health Advocate

Tyson Fury remarkably recovered from a final round knockdown and many thought he beat Deontay Wilder

For a fight which many feared would never even happen, Wilder vs Fury delivered in a huge way.

The Brit was suddenly an overnight sensation in America and had earned plenty of admirers in and out of the boxing ring.

His post-fight interview with BT Sports captured the imagination and his touching words to the millions suffering with mental health issues around the world became legendary.

He said in the dressing room: “It’s an iconic comeback, isn’t it? Two and a half years out of the ring, 10 stone ballooned, mental health problems. I just showed the world tonight, and everyone else suffering from mental health [problems], that you can come back and it can be done.”

Looking straight at the camera, Fury added: “Everybody out there who has the same problems I’ve been suffering with, I did that for you guys. You know the truth, everybody out there knows I won the fight, and if I can come back from where I’ve come from, then you can do it too.

“So get up, get over it, seek help and let’s do it together as a team. I did it for you guys.”

ESPN and Top Rank deal

Although fans were initially dismayed once they learned the epic encounter with Wilder would not be played back instantly, the Fury success story cannot be denied.

Reports suggest the ‘Gypsy King’ will pocket £80million for his three-fight-a-year deal in the US, with BT Sports continuing to broadcast his fights on Pay-Per-View in the UK.

At the press conference to announce the deal, Fury and Warren insisted they do still want to make the rematch with Wilder, however admitted that they won’t wait around for this to happen. With Ring Magazine confirming the undefeated fighter is their No.1 heavyweight, you feel as thought Team Fury can call the shots.

With Tom Schwarz up first, the American Dream is tantalisingly close to becoming a reality.

Potential Wilder trilogy fight

With financial security almost guaranteed, the attention turns to the future and what is next for the 6ft 9ins slugger.

And fans are in for a treat, according to Top Rank CEO and founder Bob Arum.

Tyson Fury opted out of the Deontay Wilder rematch to sign a co-promotional deal with Frank Warren and Bob Arum

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.

“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.”

Freddie Roach explains why Tyson Fury was almost DISQUALIFIED against Deontay Wilder in Los Angeles

15 Dec

Tyson Fury was just moments away from being disqualified against Deontay Wilder because of trainer Ben Davison, according to Freddie Roach.

The legendary coach was working as a cutman for Fury’s WBC heavyweight title fight against the ‘Bronze Bomber’ on December 1 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Fury caught Wilder with several clean shots in the fight

Proving all of his doubters and sceptics wrong, Fury boxed beautifully and was denied an historic comeback win by some contentious judging.

With a rematch seemingly set to be confirmed in the New Year, much of the post-fight fallout has centred around comments made by Roach which seem a touch patronising to rookie trainer Ben Davison – who helped Fury battle his demons and get back into the ring.

Speaking to FS1 show Fair Game, Roach revealed how Davison nearly cost Fury the fight against Wilder after seeing his friend poleaxed by a vicious combination in the twelfth round.

He said: “The inspectors in the corners really had to hold him down and settle him down.

The ‘Bronze Bomber’ appeared exhausted at times in the fight

“He wanted to go into the ring to take care of his fighter, but if you go in that ring it’s an automatic disqualification.

“So we had to hold him down and let it play out.”

In the same interview, Roach revealed he was unhappy with the 25-year-old’s corner advice to the Brit.

The American felt Wilder was ready to be taken out, despite his incredible punching power.

“I’m more of an offensive coach,” he added. “I’m very aggressive, and I was a little bit disappointed with the corner work because Ben [Davison] was telling him to feint, feint and step back.

“I said to him [Davison] ‘why are you telling him [Fury] to step back? Let this guy fight. He can get rid of this guy.’

“We haven’t spoken about it yet but we’re going to have a meeting. I think he was very safe.

“I said: ‘wait a minute – don’t take chances? You’re in the boxing ring. You took a chance when you signed the contract for the fight’.

Roach’s comments came after the classic contest in LA

“[Fury] hurt him a couple of times and I was disappointed he didn’t get a chance to finish him.

“It’s funny, Ben gave the exact same instruction to the 126lbs fighter as he did the heavyweight fighter, so I said ‘wait – why are you treating these people the same?’

“These fighters know each other, but they’re not the same. His instructions were the same and choreographed for both guys, so I was a little disappointed.

“He did a great job with the conditioning, the weight loss and all that, and he’s only a 26-year-old kid.”

‘We will get rid of him’ – Tyson Fury will KO Deontay Wilder in the later rounds, says legendary trainer Freddie Roach

30 Nov

Tyson Fury will break Deontay Wilder down and knock him out in the later rounds of their monumental heavyweight clash.

That’s according to legendary trainer Freddie Roach, who will be in Fury’s corner at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday night.

The Brit has been training at Roach’s Wild Card gym

The two undefeated heavyweights will square off with Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title on the line, in literally the biggest fight of the year.

Pugilist purists believe 6″9 Fury will use his superior footwork and movement to confuse the hard-hitting American, who allegedly nearly blinded Audley Harrison when they sparred.

However Roach, who will be working as the 30-year-old’s cutman on the night, believes the Brit is the ‘better puncher’ and will stop Wilder.

He told Kugan Cassius for iFL TV: “We’ve been working every day and his trainer, Ben [Davison], was courteous enough to let me do the mitts with him a couple of times and we trade off every day and work on strategies and so forth.

Instagram Photo

“That’s where I learned he is not just a good boxer, he is a very good puncher also. Especially from the southpaw side – I like that power he has in that left hand.

“He throws it really, really hard and I asked him ‘Are you left handed?’ and he said ‘I was born left-handed’.

“He does have very good power also. I know the other guy is supposed to win by knockout and we are supposed to outbox him.

“We’re not going to outbox this guy; we’ll outbox him until he’s ready to go and then when he’s ready to go, we will get rid of him.”

A shirtless Fury pursued Wilder at the press conference

Wilder has knocked out every man to have ever set foot in the ring with him, while Fury possesses a much more modest knockout record of 70% of his 27 wins coming by stoppage.

The final press conference descended into anarchy, with both men gesticulating and shoving one another before eventually being separated.

However, in the media scrum afterwards, Wilder screamed at a journalist in frustration which has led many to believe the ‘Gypsy King’ has got his man rattled.

When pushed for a prediction, Roach was more than reaffirm his belief his fighter will shock the world once again.

The 58-year-old added: “He asked me a week ago, ‘Freddie, what if I go in there and just go after him and knock him out in the first round?’

“And I said ‘You can do that, I know you can do that’. But I think there’s a smarter way to do that and less dangerous.

“But boxing is dangerous, we all know that and we accept that going into the fight. So I didn’t take it away from him, I didn’t give it to him but if he feels that in the first round, I welcome to go.

“I still say I have the better puncher and I think they are underestimating our power.

“They think we are just a mover and boxer. But he is much, much more than that.”

Freddie Roach: All you need to know about legendary trainer helping Tyson Fury against Deontay Wilder

16 Nov

Freddie Roach has worked with a number of famous boxers throughout his illustrious career as a trainer – and he could prove the ace card for Tyson Fury against Deontay Wilder.

Fury has been training at Roach’s famous Wildcard Gym in Los Angeles and will have the legendary trainer in his corner as a cut man against Wilder in LA.

‘We will get rid of him’ – Tyson Fury will KO Deontay Wilder in the later rounds, says Freddie Roach

Freddie Roach will be in the corner for Tyson Fury on December 1

But who is the man widely regarded as one of the best boxing trainers of all time? talkSPORT.com takes a look.

Former boxer

Prior to becoming a coach, Roach was a boxer himself, making his debut in 1978 and winning his first ten professional fights.

Roach continued boxing until he was 26, eventuality retiring in 1986 with 40 wins and 13 losses, but his biggest fight came once he hung up the gloves.

Roach helped guide Amir Khan to glory

Despite a relatively short career, Roach sustained a number of punches, which have contributed to his suffering of Parkinson’s disease, a disorder which affects the nervous system.

Under the guidance of former trainer Eddie Futch, Roach worked as his assistant in Las Vegas and guided his first world champion Virgil Hill to the light heavyweight title in 1987. He branched out on his own in the early 1990s to set up the Outlaw Boxing Club and in 1996 he opened his current gym, the Wild Card Boxing Club.

Trainer to the stars

Since then, the 58-year-old’s client list of legendary fighters is a who’s who of the boxing world.

Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao worked together for 16 years

Mike Tyson, Bernard Hopkins, Oscar De La Hoya, Steve Collins and Miguel Cotto are just a few of the names to step between the Wild Card ropes.

He has trained 27 world champions to date, including Amir Khan, whom he helped to win both the WBA and IBF light welterweight crowns.

However, Roach’s most enduring partnership was his 16-year association with Manny Pacquiao where, across 34 fights, he famously helped the Philippine fighter topple the likes of Ricky Hatton and Antonio Margarito in dominant fashion.

Together the pair won a number of accolades; Roach, a seven time Boxing Writers Association Trainer of the Year winner and Pacquiao a world champion in eight weight classes.

After confirming their split earlier this year, Roach will now be hoping his vast wealth and experience can rub off on Fury as he seeks a return to the top of the heavyweight division.


Boxing news: Deontay Wilder says Tyson Fury hiring trainer Freddie Roach is a sign of nerves

16 Nov

Tyson Fury bringing in Freddie Roach is a sign the Brit is nervous, says Deontay Wilder.

Roach has been added to Fury’s corner with two weeks until the heavyweight duo meet in the Staples Center on 1 December and Wilder criticised the decision to part company with Peter Fury, his uncle and trainer, who masterminded his win against Wladimir Klitschko in 2015.

Fury decided to freshen things up when he made his return to boxing by hiring 24-year-old Ben Davison as his trainer

“This is the biggest fight of his life to date and if I was him I would be trying to reach out to any resources when you are dealing with one of the most dangerous men in the boxing game.

“I would have been more happy with Peter, that is who he really needs. His only name has been Klitschko, but Peter was the one that was with him for that. Peter knows him, in and out.

“In this short period of time (new trainers such as Roach) ain’t going to get to know you. When you start getting multiple trainers that is nervous behaviour.”

Roach trained Pacquiao for years and will be in Fury’s corner when he challenges Wilder

The WBC king also believes Fury couldn’t handle training at Big Bear’s altitude and that’s why he relocated to Los Angles where Roach has his gym, though that has been rubbished by the Brit’s camp.

“I want him to get the trainer that he feels can get the best out of Tyson Fury because I want him to bring his best. I am sick of fighters making excuses.

“I will knock him out, I will beat him. He says no man of his mother’s womb is going to beat him then why the **** is he switching up with all these trainers then?”

Roach is a boxing Hall of Famer and trained Manny Pacquiao to glory for years, in addition to being named ‘Trainer of the Year’ seven times by the Boxing Writers Association of America. When he was added to Fury’s corner, albeit as a cut man, some questioned what this meant for his current trainer, Ben Davison.

Davison said his position was not under threat and it was him who asked Roach.

“Don’t look into [Roach’s addition] too much. I’m in charge,” he insisted.

“I’m Tyson’s trainer and what I say goes. But what better second could you get than Freddie? Simple as that.”

Boxing news: Tyson Fury will have legendary trainer Freddie Roach in his corner for Deontay Wilder fight

14 Nov

Tyson Fury has enlisted the help of Freddie Roach for his heavyweight title fight with Deontay Wilder.

The ‘Gyspy King’ will have the legendary boxing trainer in his corner when he takes on the undefeated WBC belt holder at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on December 1.

Roach poses with Amir Khan

While training appears to have gone as smoothly as possible for the 6″9 Brit, it seems he is leaving no stone unturned in his quest to reclaim his place at the top of a stacked heavyweight division.

Fury is training at Roach’s gym in LA and has struck up a close friendship already with the 58-year-old.

“He asked me if I’d work in his corner,” Roach told Sports Illustrated. “He asked me if I could do cuts.

“I said, ‘Yeah, I have guys better than me though.’ He said, Do you know what you’re doing?’ And I said, ‘Of course I do, I have everything you need.’ So I’m the cutman.”

Tyso Fury prepares for his bout with Deontay Wilder

Roach has worked with some of the finest fighters of the past 20 years and established a reputation as one of the greatest coaches of all time.

Manny Pacquiao, Jorge Linares, Miguel Cotto and Amir Khan have all become world champions under his tutelage and will be in Fury’s corner alongside trainer Ben Davison.

Roach has prior history of working the corners having led MMA legend Georges St-Pierre to UFC middleweight glory last year at Madison Square Garden.

The American is expected to take the place of Fury’s father john, who is expected to not be allowed to travel to the States because of his conviction for gouging a man’s eye out in 2011.