In a new series, published during weekdays on Boxing Social, the incomparable Terry Dooley delivers his unique look at the boxing news.
With his trilogy fight against former holder Deontay Wilder just days away, current WBC heavyweight titlist Tyson Fury has spent fight week reiterating that his boxing career is a million miles removed from the challenges he faces looking after his family and taking care of their wellbeing. Fury’s daughter, Athena, spent 11 days in intensive care in August. She was on a ventilator and it was a turbulent time for the Fury family.
Athena is back home now with Paris, Fury’s wife, and their other five children. It was a bad time for the defending titlist, who insists that it has made him appreciate his boxing career even more. “I was very stressed for a while, but then I was able to get back to training and focus on the fight,” he told The Mirror.
“Boxing is my sport, it’s my way of earning my living and it’s a way out of reality for me. It’s almost like a fantasy world, it always has been. The real world is your family and providing for them and looking after them and hoping everything goes well with it. I’ve never ever taken anything for granted as a boxer.”
Fury’s promoter, Frank Warren, had dismissed the prospect of a meeting with recently deposed WBA, IBF and WBO holder Anthony Joshua, who dropped a clear decision to Oleksandr Usyk last Saturday night, but Warren has since stated that a long-awaited meeting between Fury and “AJ” could still be on the cards.
He told BBC Sport that: “I do believe the public buys into that fight even if AJ isn’t champion. If he did fight Tyson he would have a lot to prove and I do think the public would buy into it.”
Warren also confirmed that a win for Fury would draw a line under his US odyssey and that a fight here in the UK is a distinct possibility if he beats Wilder. “There’s no (Americans) out there for him to fight after this,” he said. “I think he’ll be back here (next) which will be a great homecoming.”
A lot of pre-fight speculation has focussed on Fury’s physique and whether the recent addition to another member of the family and the stress of seeing Athena suffer will play a part. His trainer, Sugar Hill, has told the Vegas Insider that Fury could by close to 300lbs for this one in order to give him an edge. “It’s not going to be 300 pounds, it’s probably going to be like 290 or something but not 300 exactly.”
“The bigger the better, the heavier the stronger,” he added. “He’s training with that weight, he’s built up. It’s not like he’s just putting on fat, it’s building up muscles.”
There is talk of the possibility of a fourth fight should Wilder win, but his manager Shelly Finkel has told The Sun that they fully expect a big, decisive victory that will remove any calls for a fourth fight and send Fury into retirement.
“At this point, no,” he said if a fourth fight could take place. “We’ll see what happens in the fight, but at this point no. And I would think, if my clairvoyance is correct, Fury won’t want any more part of him after this. I guess I’ve been with him about 14 years now, and this is the best I’ve ever seen him. From everything combined, including physical and mental. He’s stronger physically, mentally really focussed on this. I just don’t see how Deontay’s not going to knock him out this time.”