In the last four years, Tyson Fury has been on a rollercoaster ride filled with the highest of highest and lowest of lows.
Let me take you back to November 2015. In Dusseldorf, Germany; fighting in front of a hostile crowd; Fury upset the bookies by toppling the nearly unbeatable Wladimir Klitschko. It would go down as a signature performance in Fury’s career, displaying an abundance of heart and guile.
Klitschko exercised his rematch clause, but twice the bout was cancelled, the second time as Fury was declared ‘medically unfit to fight’. Later, he would go on to reveal that he was battling depression and abusing such vices as alcohol and cocaine. A drugs ban and clashes with the authorities led to a long hiatus from boxing.
Fury’s troubles cut deep. As his mental health deteriorated, his weight ballooned upwards to a shocking 27-and-a-half stone.
Appearing on The Joe Rogan Experience, he made some startling revelations about that period in his life.
The Darkest Times
Fury said: “It wasn’t until after the Klitschko fight — a very massive high — that I had to avert to an even worse low. The lowest low that anyone could ever have. I’d wake up and think, ‘Why did I wake up this morning?’ And this is coming from a man who won everything. Money, fame, glory, titles, a wife, family and kids — everything. But I felt as if I had nothing, a gaping hole that was just filled with gloom and doom.
“I hit the drugs. I was out with women of the night and not coming home. I didn’t care about boxing or living, I just wanted to die. But I was going to have a good time doing it.”
Fury continued: “I would start thinking these crazy thoughts. I bought a brand-new Ferrari convertible in the summer of 2016. I was in it on the highway and at the bottom, I got the car up to 190mp/h and heading towards a bridge. I didn’t care about nothing, I just wanted to die so bad. I gave up on life but as I was heading to the bridge, I heard a voice saying, ‘No, don’t do this Tyson, think about your kids, your family, your sons and daughter growing up without a dad.’
“Before I turned into the bridge I pulled onto the motorway, I didn’t know what to do, I was shaking, I was so afraid. I sought help from a psychiatrist, and she told me dad I was an imminent death [risk].”
A combination of his family and his faith brought Fury back from the brink of disaster. He found the strength and motivation to start training again. Ignoring fans and pundits, who believed he was retired for good, he focused his attention on making the most incredible comeback in boxing history.
In June 2018, Fury stepped back into the ring for the first time since the Klitschko bout, in a tune-up fight with Sefer Seferi. A victory here was followed by another against Francesco Pianeta soon after.
Fury then turned his attentions to the most dangerous opponent he could find; WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
Their first bout finished in a controversial draw, but featured a stunning return to prominence for Fury. Finally, after all the trials and tribulations, he was back competing against the best once more.
Fury then fought another two lesser-known opponents, with the resultant victories setting him up for the rematch with Wilder. Fury dominated the fight from start to finish, snatching the WBC heavyweight title in the process.
Fury vs AJ
Anthony Joshua now stands in Fury’s crosshairs as he attempts to unify the heavyweight titles. Over the last few months, pictures have circulated of Fury looking far off prime condition. He claimed he wasn’t training anymore and he was essentially on ‘holiday’, which brought slight concern that his focus may be wavering as the fight negotiation stumbling blocks lingered.
Much to fans’ relief, he has allayed these fears with new snaps showing a lean and mean ‘Gypsy King’. Fury will likely weigh in around 10 stone lighter than he was at his heaviest.
Tyson Fury’s physical progress over the last four years is nothing short of remarkable and inspirational. The resurrection of his career has been shadowed by the insane physique improvement he has achieved.
With Fury looking this focused, it would be daft to bet against him unifying the titles.