When writing about heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, one always has to address how fully to represent him. Fury, 33, has a raspy English accent, and he uses colorful—often graphic or off-putting—language with relative ease. His verbal skills were on full display in the lead-up to his fights against Deontay wilder (42-1-1 41 Kos), who was considered the better fighter at the time. In their rematch, the first Wilder-Fury fight ended in a draw; Fury defeated Wilder via TKO in the 7th round.
But while Fury (30-1, 21 Kos) can sometimes be hard to like, there is a lot about him to admire, especially when it comes to mental health issues. For the past several years, Fury has been on a crusade to raise awareness about the crippling condition that he suffers from.
Early in his career, Fury was considered a joke. He was 6’9″, a fat 280 pounds with limited punching power. In 2015, he challenged then pound-for-pound king Wladimir Klitschko for the unified heavyweight champion of the world. As the British would say, the fight was rubbish.
Yet round by round, Fury boxed smart, facing Klitschko with an unorthodox style that left Klitschko unable to adjust. Fury claimed all three titles, and he was at the height of his career, but rumors began to circulate that he was in trouble. “For the past four months, Tyson Fury has been snorting cocaine, drinking daily and getting ‘fat as a pig,” wrote author Stayton Bonner in his article World Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury: ‘I’ve Done Lots of Cocaine.’ And if that wasn’t bad enough, Fury’s loose lips led to a series of offensive and insensitive remarks about women, Jewish people, and the LGBTQ community Tyson Fury Now He Fights for His Title.
Had he gone through with a rematch against Klitschko, the money would have been in the high millions. But Fury was informed by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) that he had failed a drug test when traces of cocaine were detected in his urine sample.
Fury had started boxing at 14 and made his professional debut in 2008 at age 20. But he couldn’t go on the way he was. “I woke up, and I wondered why I woke up this morning. I had money, fame, glory, titles, a wife, a family, kids, everything, but I felt like I had nothing, just an empty gaping hole filled with doom and gloom,” Fury told writer, Alan Dawson. “I hit the drink, heavily, on a daily basis. I hit the drugs. I was out all night partying with women of the night and not coming home. I didn’t care about boxing, about living; I just wanted to die. I was going to have a good time doing it while I was doing it Tyson Fury Now He Fights for His Title.”
Fury battled suicidal ideations after driving a new Ferrari convertible at 190 miles per hour. “I was heading to the bridge—if I hit it, the car would have crashed like a Coke can, by the way. I heard a voice say, ‘No, don’t do this, Tyson,'” he told Dawson. “‘Think about your kids. Think about your family and your little boys and girls growing up with no father.’ And everyone saying, ‘Your dad was a weak man, he… took the easy way out because he couldn’t do anything about it.’ I pulled over, and I could feel myself shaking. I was frightened and afraid. And I never wanted to think about taking my life again. I got help.” His transformation started in 2018.
Boxers are professionally stubborn, forcing themselves to feel invincible so they can keep fighting. But Fury had to admit that he was vulnerable and opted to seek the appropriate intervention by moving his father, John, into his home. And he relied on his wife and children for additional support. Although his mental health issues consumed most of his life, Fury never forgot boxing. He sobered up, lost 112 pounds, and returned to the ring, eventually signing a five-fight television deal with ESPN for $104 million.
In August of this year, Fury is expected to challenge Anthony Joshua ( 24-1-22 Kos) who is also British) in Saudi Arabia for title unification. The site fee is expected to be more than $150 million, with each boxer receiving over $40 million Tyson Fury Now He Fights for His Title.
When Fury fought Wilder in their first fight, Wilder hit Fury with a two-punch combo that knocked him down; no boxer would have gotten off the canvas after that. But Fury beat the count, and for many, that was Fury’s victory. He told BBC Sport: “I am living proof anyone can come back from the brink. There is a lot of people out there suffering from mental health problems who think all their days will be grey, but life can improve again, and you will start to enjoy the little things again.”