Big Interview: Tyson ready to unleash Fury on boxing again
He is a deeply-flawed character who is as famous for his outrageous, distasteful and controversial comments as he is for his boxing.
Tyson Fury may have stunned the world in November 2015 when he defeated Wladimir Klitschko to claim the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO and IBO heavyweight titles.
But ever since he has created headlines for all the wrong reasons.
The self-proclaimed ‘Gypsy King’ once said he would ‘hang’ his own sister if she was promiscuous.
And after that win over Klitschko, his comments continued to be as shocking.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Fury equated homosexuality and abortion with paedophilia. He later denied the comments and accused the journalist of lying.
Then in 2016 – after receiving lots of negative press – the boxer wrote that ‘all the Zionist media outlets are on my back, because I speak the truth!’ He then went on to blame Jews for killing Jesus.
On many occasions, Fury has publicly made comments that are inexcusable.
To give him his due, he has always apologised.
Following those remarks that many deemed to be anti-Semitic, the Manchester born fighter said: “I apologise to anyone who may have taken offence at any of my comments.
“I said some things, which may have hurt some people, which as a Christian man is not something I would ever want to do.
“Though it is not an excuse, sometimes the heightened media scrutiny has caused me to act out in public. I mean no harm or disrespect to anyone.”
Those close to him claim Fury is not the man both he and the media portray him to be.
They say – behind closed doors – he is a thoughtful, personable and caring individual who has struggled to come to terms with the limelight he has been thrust into.
Fury himself meanwhile has admitted to being fragile, with the boxer openly discussing times he has suffered with depression.
What is clear though is that the 29-year-old boxer is his own worst enemy, as he showed following a bizarre appearance in Wolverhampton.
The boxer, who likes to call himself ‘The Mack’, held a meet and greet with fans at the Ramada Park Hall Hotel last month.
But before everyone sat down for dinner, Fury held a mini press conference with four journalists who had assembled to talk to him – with the sportsman agreeing to give 15 minutes of his time.
And it was nothing like anything this reporter has seen before.
Arriving half-an-hour late, Fury walked into the room by shouting at the top of his voice.
“The mack is back baby, the mack is back, the champ is in the room,” he roared.
He then ordered all the reporters to come and stand around him, before lowering his 6ft 9inch frame.
Unsure what was about to happen, Fury lent over before growling into all of our faces.
Being nose to nose with a heavyweight champion is a real eye-opener, I can assure you.
But the drama wasn’t over.
Fury then stood tall before loudly slapping his stomach to show off how much weight he had lost – with the fighter having ballooned during his time out the ring.
While the entrance had been extreme, it wouldn’t have looked out of place before a weigh-in for a major fight.
In front of the world’s press and thousands of screaming fans, it would have certainly made his opponent think – something Fury did so well in the build-up to the Klitschko fight.
But here, there were less than 10 people in room, with the reporters assembled just after a quiet chat.
Fury was appearing just 24 hours after he had been granted permission to resume his boxing career after accepting a backdated two-year doping ban.
The former world heavyweight champion had tested positive for a banned steroid in February 2015, but blamed the result on eating uncastrated wild boar.
And now free to fight, the questions started.
‘How do you feel to be able to fight again?’ was how the press conference started.
“I feel very, very happy,” Fury said. “I’m just over the the moon to be able to get back into the ring and fight.
“I’m losing weight fast. I’ve lost a lot and hopefully I’ll be out at the start of 2018.
“All anyone needs to know is return of the mack baby, return of the mack. The mack is back.
“I am going to knock out all bombs. All bombs are getting knocked out. All bombs. One after another they are going down.”
- Tyson Fury in Wolverhampton: 'Gypsy King' proves he's not just a heavyweight in the ring - PICTURES
Fans of boxing and sports fans in general hope Fury’s return will ultimately lead to showpiece bout with unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua.
The Gypsy King has been highly critical of both Joshua and his promoter Eddie Hearn since announcing his comeback.
And he insisted he is the man people should fear in the sport, not the current champion.
“Anthony Josuha is not top of the tree – I am top of the tree,” he said. “I am the angel on top of the Christmas tree. I will go on my time and my say so.
“And everything I want I will get. You heard it hear first.
“And this time next year you will all look at me and say ‘do you know what, Tyson Fury was right. Yet again Tyson Fury was right’.”
Despite the somewhat bizarre answers up until this point, Fury then put more of a professional hat on as he talked about his return to the ring.
“I have got a long way to go before I get back into the ring,” he continued. “The main focus for me at the moment is getting back into fighting shape.
“It’s alright looking good and losing a bit of weight, but to actually get in fighting shape mentally and physically – it’s a long hard road.
“I am only a quarter of a mile down it. But I’d like to be there by April/May.”
It was at this point, Fury perhaps started to show the side of his character he wants to show.
His answer for where he hopes to be this time next year was a simple one.
“I just hope I am still alive – I hope all my family is healthy and well,” he said. “I just hope on Christmas Day in 2018 we are still able toast cheers and enjoy it.”
With Fury having recently welcomed the arrival of a baby girl, he was then asked if his daughter is a motivation to reclaim his former titles.
“Life is fantastic at the moment,” he added. “Life is just rolling nice and smooth. It’s rolling.
“All praise be to God because without him none of this would be possible.
“It’s just a fantastic time of my life. I have got a new baby. I can box again.
“A number of things have gone well.
“I recently had a penis extension.
“That has gone to plan. I have had my after-op care and everything is going really well with it. It’s fantastic.”
With that answer, Fury then loudly beamed ‘and goodnight’ before walking away from his 15 minute interview after just four-and-a-half minutes.
And as soon as he stepped out the room, he was mobbed by his adoring fans.
In one or two moments, the boxer had threatened to show his softer side – the side you sense a big part of him wants the world to see.
But as soon as he did, the loud, brash and cocky comments quickly re-emerged.
Quite simply, he couldn’t help himself. He may say he wants to be different in 2018, but we can all expect more of the same.