The last fight of Tyson Fury, tormented and charismatic heavyweight king

A face of cinoche but not necessarily the face of the job. We wouldn’t have been surprised to see Tyson Fury in a bare knuckle fight in the backyard of a shady pub in Cork or Galway or as Vinnie Jones’ sidekick in a Guy Richie film, the bloody repartee than the punch. But the settled gypsy from south Manchester is the undisputed king of the premier category, that of the heavyweights.

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Whyte: ‘I’m not afraid to take risks’

Could it be otherwise with such a first name? Could it be otherwise with such a family? His paternal great-grandfather and maternal grandfather were bare-knuckle boxers, as was his cousin Bartley Gorman, a guy who could fight in a coal mine by lamplight. Tyson Fury shares the same nickname with them: Gypsy King. Unlike the Klitschko brothers, rulers of a nation of statues for a decade, Fury has adversity to grapple with. After overthrowing Wladimir Klitschko, he offered an incredible trilogy of tactical and technical intelligence against puncher Deontay Wilder from which he emerged undefeated (1 draw then 2 wins by K.-O.). Theoretically, this Saturday’s fight against Dillian Whyte should be the last. The boxer announced that he would put the gloves away. Should we believe it?

Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte on the eve of their fight against for the WBC heavyweight belt, April 22, 2022 in London

Credit: Getty Images

500 grams at birth

The announcement of his withdrawal from the rings did not come as a surprise. The Gypsy King’s life is not one of linearity. A novel life delivered in fragments. 2.06m under the height gauge and 130kg on the scale: Fury is a colossus, a force of nature. Hard to believe that he weighed only 500 grams at birth, premature at 6 months. Fury is a miracle, the youngest of four siblings: their mother had 16 pregnancies and lost 12 children. And when he seizes the belts of the youngest of the Klitschkos, his joy is mixed with the pain of having lost a child a few weeks from the end as well as one of his uncles.

He sank into depression for two years, with its procession of alcohol, cocaine, violent anxiety attacks, delusional comments spilled on Twitter and a suicidal impulse at the wheel of his Ferrari restrained in extremis. He’s around 180kg. Tested positive in the white, he will not play the second opus planned against Dr. Steelhammer, him the multi-graduate boxer upset to have been matrixed by a guy who stopped school at 10 years old and multiplied antics (he is arrived at a press conference dressed as “Fatman”, a meatier version of Batman) and unlikely punchlines (“You have less charisma than my underpants”) at press conferences.

Wladimir Klitschko’s faller in 2015, Tyson Fury was crowned world heavyweight champion

Credit: AFP

An eye-catching father

Fury is also a colorful clan, capable, according to the words of a local farmer, of having offered 27,000 euros in exchange for a wild boar whose contaminated meat would have made it possible to hide a positive control from nandrolone in February 2015. Obviously, the father figure takes up a lot of space. The man who wanted to overcome fate by naming his offspring Tyson in homage to Iron Mike has a solid background as a brawler, in a conventional ring (8 wins, 4 losses, 1 draw) but above all in a typically gypsy style: the bare knuckle. No gloves, no interruptions, no rules. And the daron, reputed to be undefeated in this little game, is not a tender one. To settle a 12-year-old dispute over beer bottles on vacation in Cyprus, John mutilates his former pal by gouging out his eye.

In 2010, he was sentenced to 11 years of violating. Released in 2015, he is a corner man for his son and spends his time skidding, rotting opponents of Tyson or even Dana White, UFC boss who was wrong to question the abilities of the Gypsy King in an octagon. Opposed to the fight against Wilder, he fell out with his younger brother for two months and only reappeared three days before the fight. His latest feat? Thursday, during the press conference at Wembley, he attacked the challenger and his entourage. Tyson intervened to appease the spirits. “I told his father to calm downreacted Whyte. He was screaming like a child. I asked him why he was putting himself forward when it was our time, his son and me. He always has to try to steal the show from his son. John Fury is an idiot because his behavior could have jeopardized the fight.”

John Fury on the eve of his son Tyson’s fight against Dillian Whyte for the WB belt, April 22, 2022 in London

Credit: Getty Images

The journey to progress and triumph

If he did not wear out the school benches for very long, Tyson Fury graduated with honors from the jury in “sweet science” thanks to courses given by his uncles Hughie and especially Peter who developed his coaching skills in documenting himself during his two visits to the cabin. “Fury is above everyone at heavyweight by farsays Nordine Oubaali, WBC world champion in roosters from 2019 to 2021. He is very technical, he has a lot of power and he is very clever. He knows how to attract his opponent, counter, put pressure and box in defense, which very few heavyweights are able to do. Fury has been underestimated in relation to his physique while he is very handsome to see boxing. In addition, he was never afraid to fight outside: he beat Klitchko in Germany, Wilder in the United States”.

The great strength of Tyson Fury is his desire to complete this family learning with other coaches. In 2010, he unexpectedly decided to take a plane ticket to reach Detroit. And in the Motor City, there is not only Axel Foley, there is also Emmanuel Stewart alias of “the wizard of the Kronk”, a mythical room. Died in 2012, Stewart was a reference and it was he who perfected the pugilistic technique of the Gypsy King, starting with his footwork and his sense of balance. Since then, it is Javan, the nephew of the wizard, who works in particular with Fury. He is the one behind the plan that destroyed Wilder in the rematch on February 22, 2020. “Fury has a rare ring intelligence and an uncanny ability to adapt.notes Raphaël Tronché, French heavyweight champion from 2017 to 2019. He always manages to get the best out of himself and bring out the worst in the person he has in front of him. He manages to bluff and pass for an athlete when he does not have the physical abilities of Joshua or Whyte for example. As a result, his opponents do not push him to his limits when that is the only way to win: do not get caught and debited”.

Tyson Fury knocks out Deontay Wilder during the WBC World Heavyweight Championship on October 9, 2021 in Las Vegas

Credit: Getty Images

Whyte, last fight or break to regenerate?

The history of noble art is full of definitive decisions that make the best comebacks. Will Tyson Fury miss a fight against Anthony Joshua and Oleksander Usyk? The Ukrainian is a newcomer in the queen category and he offered himself Joshua as an appetizer to weigh down the WBA, IBF and WBO belts. A Joshua in clear decline although very bankable with his Greek statue look. “For me, the announcement of his retirement is a bluffconsiders Nordine Oubaali. I think he will rebox to unify all the belts and also because his fights generate a lot of money.”

Despite a quickdraw not really carved in stone, Fury is gaining popularity across the Channel, in particular because he is involved in the fight against depression, he who has been diagnosed as bipolar. A 100% English duel would be particularly lucrative because there are many antagonisms between the two guys. “Fury is from Manchester, Joshua from Londonrepositions Rénald Garrido, super-lightweight whose fighting spirit is very popular with the British public. To sum up, it’s a bit of a rivalry like Paris and Marseille in France. Fury has an English identity: he likes to party, drink beer and he has a keen sense of humor. He does not necessarily have the typical style of the sportsman. So the English have an easier time recognizing themselves in him.” Raphaël Tronché agrees: “Fury will remain a model of redemption, of courage. He is a symbol of self-confidence. He is certainly a twirling person but also humble and full of compassion. He is a paradox or the definition of balance”.

But before imagining a sequel which is already dotted, there remains this fight against Whyte to win. “He also had a tortuous life path, a strong charactercontinues the boxer based in Marseille. It won’t be easy for Fury as he will have a batter facing him. It is sure that it will end on a KO. For me, Whyte is much more dangerous than a Joshua. Fury has a slippery, smart boxing. To beat him, you need a one-shot. He has already gone to the mat in his career. Nothing is played. But Fury is such a cash taker… And then mentally, he’s definitely the best overall. He came back from everything. We must not forget that 5 years ago, many buried it and saw it finished. In the head, Fury is out of the ordinary.”

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