Tyson Fury has admitted that he will keep fighting until he physically can’t – citing his mental health as the reason that it’s impossible for him to quit the sport that has kept him ‘sane.’
‘The Gypsy King’ has been open about his mental health struggles in the past, helping many fans along the way and garnering a huge following worldwide.
Although it may seem like the WBC Heavyweight Champion is in a good place following his triumphant ring return in 2018 after a two and a half year lay off to deal with depression and addiction, Fury told BT Sport that a fresh downfall is never far away.
Asked what happens when his body won’t allow him to fight anymore, Fury answered:
“I don’t know. Probably imminent death – and that’s the truth. The answer to that question is I don’t know, because the four months that I was retired, I’ve never felt so back to [how I felt in] 2015, 16, 17 … I was back in that moment in time where life was very dull and very dark, and there was no way out for me again.”
Fury gave retirement another shot this year following his KO victory over Dillian Whyte in front of a packed Wembley crowd. 6 months later and he’s expected back in the ring to face an old foe in Derek Chisora. Why? Because he doesn’t know how to quit.
“It’s very, very powerful and I don’t think people realise the face as why I’m back boxing. I ain’t back boxing for a belt or for some more money, or to win another five fights or twenty five fights, or to unify the division, or whatever. Not interested.
I’m back boxing because of this [his head] – and without it this is going downhill rapidly. And I don’t know any other way of keeping it sane. And this is me being brutally honest. Speaking from the heart. I do not know how to quit. I wear a t-shirt that says ‘don’t quit’, so how can I go against my own words?
Finally, the big man who has inspired many summed up what refusing – or rather being unable to – hang up the gloves would look like.
“I can’t quit. I’m going to be like Roberto Duran, fighting at 59 years old. I don’t know anything else. I’m going to mess up whatever the undefeated record means – to me it means nothing anymore. I used to think that being undefeated world heavyweight champion like Rocky Marciano would’ve floated my boat … but now I know why all the greats get hurt – because they’ll never let it go.”
Even for @Tyson_Fury this is brutally honest 😳
The factors why he's back boxing aren't for belts or money, it's back for his mental health.
"I do not know how to quit. I don't know anything else. I'm going to mess up the undefeated record. Now I know why the greats get hurt." pic.twitter.com/9ptR48nxRp
— Boxing on BT Sport 🥊 (@BTSportBoxing) November 14, 2022
The latest comments from Fury may leave his fans torn. On one hand, they will want to see their champion fight as many times as possible, on the other, a healthy retirement from the sport that can take so much must be prioritised.