Tyson Fury: Heavyweight Champion who has defeated more than just his opponents

Tyson Fury marked another step on his sensational redemption story by beating Deontay Wilder to defend his world heavyweight title. The ‘Gypsy King’ won the trilogy against his American opponent in a fight that lived up to the hype. 

It wasn’t always the glamour of the Las Vegas stage for Fury. In 2015, he defeated heavyweight legend Wladimir Klitschko to become world champion. However, Fury fell into depression, testing positive for cocaine, and growing to an unhealthy 400lbs at his heaviest, a long way from the elite athlete that he was meant to be. 

This resulted in a two and a half year absence from boxing, the belts that he won in Germany on that famous night were stripped from him. The four belts are now with Oleksandr Usyk following his recent victory over Anthony Joshua. 

Fury dropped an impressive 10 stones to return to the ring. He worked his way back to fight knockout artist Wilder, who had 41 career knockouts and was heavyweight champion. Despite dominating the fight, Fury was caught and knocked down in the 12th and final round, true to his vindication story he rose up to finish the fight. This was the culmination of his years of recovery and was a poignant moment in Fury’s journey. 

He has since won the next two fights, cementing his place as the top heavyweight boxer in the world. Fury speaks often about mental health and has become an inspiration to many struggling around the world.

The third bout itself between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder marked an end to what several are calling a ‘trilogy for the ages’. It was the Gypsy King, after knocking-out Wilder with a right hook in the eleventh-round, who left the ring victorious on the night to retain his WBC heavyweight title in Las Vegas.

The first two rounds saw Wilder dictating the fight with an impressive series of jabs to Fury’s body, edging the lead on the judges’ score card. And despite being knocked down by Fury in the third round, Wilder’s straight right hand sent Fury to the canvas in the fourth, suggesting to many that perhaps an upset was on the cards. But they should have known better. Tyson Fury never fails to inspire, and after recovering from Wilder’s blow to the temple, the Gypsy King never looked in doubt. From the sixth round onwards, Fury, as was the case in the first two bouts, outboxed Wilder in every aspect. Come the penultimate round, the Bronze Bomber looked fatigued and out on his feet, perhaps owed, in part, to coming into this fight at a career-high weight of 238lb. Wilder ate a telling right hook from the Briton shortly thereafter and that was all she wrote.

“Me and Wilder’s saga is done now, done for good” asserted Fury after the fight. Yet, this begs the question: what, or rather, who next for the Gypsy King? Had Anthony Joshua retained his WBA, WBO and IBF heavyweight belts against Oleksandr Usyk two weeks prior, then naturally he would’ve been the next in line. But he didn’t, and so he isn’t. AJ will have a chance to redeem himself against Usyk come the rematch in spring of 2022, but if Usyk is to reign victorious once more, talk of a clash between the Ukrainian and Fury will surely be soon to follow.

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Metin Yilmaz and Oscar Rees

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November 2021
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