TORONTO (February 6, 2014) – It isn’t just a 6′ 9″, 250-pound frame that distinguishes Tyson Fury as potentially the biggest superstar in British sport.
After 21 consecutive pro wins, the trigger tongued traveller is on the cusp of challenging for the world heavyweight title and don’t expect the build-up to slip beneath the radar. Everybody, it seems, harbors an opinion on Fury’s fighting talent and kamikaze mindset – and not all of them are favorable – but Tyson continues to grow bolder with each passing victory.
After a frustrating 2013 in which he fought just once and was twice left stranded at the altar by David Haye, the 25-year-old foghorn has penned a three-fight promotional deal with Frank Warren which should culminate in a summer blockbuster with European champion and former victim Dereck Chisora.
Dormant for 10 months, Fury seeks to shed some rust in an international 10 rounder with American banger Joey Abell at The Copper Box Arena in London, UK on Saturday, February 15 and his disciples and detractors will be equally eager to see how he fares. Few are ambivalent when it comes to Tyson Fury.
Canadian fans may watch all the action on Fight Network, starting at 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT), while Americans can view on both cable and satellite pay-per-view for a suggested retail price of $24.95 via DIRECTV, iN Demand, DISH, Avail-TVN. Integrated Sports Media is distributing this major British boxing event in the United States on behalf of Fight Network. It may also be viewed in the United States on GFL.TV.
The big fella (Fury) certainly hadn’t lost his tongue when boxing writer Glynn Evans called to discuss recent developments last Sunday morning.
Last time out, in your IBF eliminator against Steve Cunningham, you were dropped early by a fighter almost three stone lighter than you yet roared back to win by the most spectacular of knockouts in round seven. Do you feel the Cunningham fight enhanced or harmed your image?
“I couldn’t care a damn. All I know is that it moved me forward. I’m not bothered how many times I get turned upside down as long as, at the end of the fight, it’s my hand that gets raised and I move closer to my goal.
“Everything about the Cunningham fight, from fighting at Madison Square Garden in New York, to the build-up, to the knockdown, to the brutal finish, was great experience for me which I’ll bank for later on.
“I had a fantastic response from the US media and fans. The Yanks love a fighter who can talk, who’s a showman and I can certainly do all that. They even seemed to love the singing though I doubt I’ll be making that a regular occurrence. I only know three songs. I’ve already exhausted my repertoire. I really enjoyed the excitement. It was certainly one of the best fights of my career.”
The Cunningham fight, an official eliminator for the IBF title, was supposed to pave the way for a final eliminator against Bulgarian beast Kubrat Pulev. However, your decision to pursue the mega-fight with David Haye instead cost you your IBF ranking and a guaranteed pathway to a contest with world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. That must be something you regret.
“No, not really. I was going to get paid £5 million to fight in a huge, packed arena on pay-per-view in my home country as opposed to collecting a measly one hundred grand to fight Pulev over in Germany.
“It was a no brainer. I’m a prizefighter and money is the prize that drives me. Rankings and titles don’t put food in my cupboards and I’ve a wife and two children to support. If you don’t risk, then you don’t achieve. Unfortunately, due to David Haye, the gamble didn’t pay off this time.”
Though you’ve been inactive from the ring since the fight with Cunningham last April, you’ve endured two world class camps for the brace of scheduled fights with Haye. Though those fights never materialized, in what ways did the preparation develop you as a fighter?
“I didn’t need to develop. I don’t put a high emphasis on boxing ability even though some say that I’ve got plenty. What you need to succeed as a world-class fighter is toughness, being game, having plenty of heart and balls. Technical ability don’t really come into it, in my opinion.
“All the others will lose ‘cos’ they’re s***. All I want to do is go in and have a fight, have a war; and may the best man win. I’ve fought good men yet I’m still undefeated in 21 fights. Clearly, that philosophy seems to work for me.”