Tyson Fury (27-0-1, 19KOs) returns to the ring in Las Vegas this weekend against German contender Tom Schwarz (24-0, 16KOs). Observing Fury’s return to the top of the heavyweight division from close quarters was Brian Phillips (6-1, 2KOs – a Liverpudlian prospect in the lightweight division. Phillips spent a considerable amount of time in Fury’s comeback camp, and describes working alongside the lineal heavyweight champion as ‘One of the best learning experiences’ in his career.
Phillips was in a good place from the beginning. Learning the sport from Rotunda ABC developed him into a fine young fighter who was ready to turn his attention towards the professional ranks. However, when Phillips sought to learn new tricks after his first career defeat, he found himself alongside the lineal heavyweight champion who was incidentally also making a comeback. When asked by Boxing Social what he learned in that time, he said:
“[It was] one of the best learning experiences in my boxing career. I started off as an amateur boxer in Rotunda ABC, who’ve had multiple ABA champions and well schooled fighters. Liam Smith – World champion. Callum Smith – World champion. Tony Bellew – World champion. They were all in Rotunda.
“When I went over to Big Bear, I wasn’t back mentally but just speaking to Tyson and the team, they touch on the mental side of the game. There’s a lot to it in the pros.”
The old saying goes, ‘A happy fighter is a dangerous fighter,’ and after Andy Ruiz Jr’s demolition job of Anthony Joshua, the proof is in the pudding.
“You come into the gym and you’re a happy fighter. I was overtraining and I saw the way they trained. The rest was more important than the training – they were getting the hard work in and having loads of rest.
“They were eating good as well with the nutrition side of things. In the gym, you’d be just sticking the jab out and getting on your legs. Just basics, but they did it really well.”
Fury has come on leaps and bounds since his time away from the sport; battling depression, weight loss and drugs in the process. ‘The Gypsy King’ delivered two performances against Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta to land a World title shot against Deontay Wilder. Discussing the comeback, Phillips told Boxing Social:
“Unbelievable. It’s the best comeback story in boxing. I might sound a bit deluded but his comeback was like it was my comeback, because I’ve just come off a defeat and he just come back from depression.
“He was talking about depression and it helped me come back from my defeat. When he beat Wilder and got the draw, it was another setback for him, and it was like he rose back up and said ‘Whatever, throw anything at me and I’ll still come again’.”
Phillips has bounced back from his defeat with the help of Fury and his team with two points wins, and looks to continue his winning ways since his experience with ‘The Gypsy King’. Finding motivation from the former unified World champion, Phillips believes Fury has set an example for people to follow. He told Boxing Social in an exclusive interview:
“He’s ranked no.1 in the World with Ring magazine and if he can come back from that, anyone can come back from anything. A defeat is nothing, if he can come back from depression then a defeat is nothing, he can comeback from anything.”
The charismatic Fury is now waltzing into the US market. A co-promotional deal with Bob Arum has launched a Top Rank debut fight for this weekend against Tom Schwarz, who many expect Fury to beat soundly. Giving his own two cents on the fight, Phillips said:
“Fury will outbox him throughout the fight until a late stoppage.”
Article by: Chandler Waller
Follow Chandler on Twitter at: @ChandlerWaller