Tyson Fury was king of the boxing world when he beat Deontay Wilder last year.
The true extent of what the 34-year-old went through during preparations for the fight were revealed at a recent public speaking event.
The WBC Heavyweight champion spoke of the problems which affected his training before detailing a near personal tragedy.
First came a COVID outbreak in the summer which struck his entire team pushing the trilogy fight back from a July date to the October.
Fury then recalled a health scare for his new baby daughter Athena.
“She had a heart condition, a rare heart condition when she was born. And they couldn’t stop her heart from beating fast. So, they transferred her from Lancaster to Alder Hey in Liverpool.”
“I didn’t really know how serious it was. I’m out training for Wilder 3, while I’m at Alder Hey Hospital sleeping on the floor.”
An Unlikely Friend
The champion then contacted an old heavyweight rival to help keep up his fitness for the upcoming Wilder fight.
“I called up big old Pricey [David Price], the big plumber from Liverpool. I said, ‘Pricey, where are you, are you up for a run? I’m at Alder Hey.’ He said, ‘Yeah, I only live round the corner.’
“He came for a run. I’ll never forget big Pricey for that because at my lowest moment when my little girl was in hospital, he came running with me. Big respect.
“I’m in the hospital, training, I’m not even eating right, I’m 20-odd stone. I’ve got this little girl who’s got a heart condition.”
Social media followers of Fury will have seen numerous clips of the champion out on runs with his team including his father, John. On one occasion though, after having COVID, Tyson struggled to last a short distance.
“I’m out running with my dad, I couldn’t run half a mile, I’d just had COVID, my chest was killing me, it was on fire, I could hardly breathe. I’m trying to train for Wilder running round the hospital.”
Another Fighting Fury
Boxing was soon forgotten about after his whole world was turned upside down.
“I get a phone call from Paris, ‘Where are you?’ She’s screaming, hysterical. She said, ‘The baby’s died.’
“I’m three miles away, trying to sprint back to the hospital and she’s screaming. I said, ‘It’s gonna be alright, don’t worry, let the doctors do their work.’
“By the time I got back, the baby had been resuscitated. I thought to myself, ‘If this baby can pull through, then I’m gonna go to America and I’m gonna slaughter Deontay Wilder.’”
Fury had just three weeks of training with Sugar Hill Steward to whip himself into a fighting shape to go toe-to-toe with ‘The Bronze Bomber’ in Las Vegas. What ensued was a heavyweight classic never to be forgotten with the ‘Gypsy King’ emerging victorious.
“I jumped in the ring, and I thought, ‘It’s either me or you, sucker. Let’s go to war.’
“I don’t know what happened, I don’t know where I got the stamina from, I don’t know where I got the energy from, but I ended up having a battle of attrition with Deontay Wilder on three-and-a-half weeks of training and ended up knocking him out cold after getting off the canvas two times.”