Fighting through the darkest points in his life to get back in the ring, Tyson Fury’s struggles over the past year have been well publicized.
The 30-year-old has spoken candidly about suffering with depression and turning to drugs and alcohol for solace. Also in a recent interview with Joe Rogan, to nearly ending his life on multiple occasions.
It comes as no surprise then that the boxer sees his battle within as one that transcends his career in sport.
He said, “I have done something bigger than sport and boxing which is I’ve got over and maintained and managed mental health problems.”
The Gypsy King has also experienced an influx of public support during his journey back to action, not least because of the way he has documented his phenomenal weight loss and return to fitness.
His openness about the subject of his mental health has endeared many to him despite his past bad guy persona.
“I think that’s bigger than boxing. And I think I’ve been better received through doing that than actually in sports”.
Fury also spoke of the “pleasure and pride” he has taken from helping people facing similar problems.
Tyson Fury spoke to William Hill ahead of his fight with Deontay Wilder at the Staples Center on Saturday.
Assuming you beat Wilder, how does 2019 pan out?
“I don’t think Wilder will take the rematch. He won’t take the rematch clause. I’m going to give him that bad of a boxing lesson and beat him up that badly he won’t want that rematch clause.
“He’ll fight Joshua, I think. Even with his loss. He doesn’t have anywhere to go.
“2019 is gonna’ be an epic year, 2018 has been a sensational, unimaginable, unthinkable year for me.
“And to top it off with a win over Wilder, we’ll have a great Christmas, and I’ll start my training in January and I’ll be gearing up for March.
If you win this do you believe you’ll get the recognition you deserve?
“I think it’s gone more than boxing now, more than sports. I have done something bigger than sport and boxing which is I’ve got over and maintained and managed mental health problems.
“I’m speaking a lot about it as well.
“I think that’s bigger than boxing. And I think I’ve been more well received through doing that than actually in sports. And I think I’ve took more pleasure and pride out of helping people in them needy situations.”
Is there a chance we could see you knock Deontay Wilder out?
“100%. I don’t believe Wilder’s ever faced a puncher like me in his whole career. Don’t forget Wilder fought 35 bums.
“34 actually. Cos’ he’s had about five real fights.
“People on European level who turned up to win a fight – and I can name them.
“Stiverne the first time he turned up, that was a good fight. And it was a good fight, that was his first live opponent.
“The Frenchman Johann Duhaupas, he’s not world class level man – he’s just a good European level trier. Closed all his eye for him, got to him a lot. He never hurt Duhaupas once in the fight.
“The first man who showed him a little bit of movement, Artur Szpilka. A lot smaller than me at six-foot-three man.
“Light, sharp, struggled with him. Gerald Washington, a man with no experience, but up until he knocked him out was winning all the rounds. Who’s not really a fighting man anyway, just a football player.
“Chris Arreola gave him a good fight. He never knocked out Arreola, Arreola retired in his corner because he was over the hill and past his best. Took him 8/9 rounds.
“Then he fought Stiverne again, which I’m not counting so it’s still on five. And then he’s fought Ortiz and Ortiz is 147 years-old, everybody knows that.
“So that’s six real opponents, the rest of them were there to lose. And, out of the six of them, who really came to win?
“Who believed they were going to win? Did Duhaupas think he was going to win taking a fight on three weeks’ notice? I don’t think so.
“Did the Polish lad really believe he was going to win after getting knocked out by Brian Jennings in nine rounds? I don’t think so.
“So that takes six down to four. And then you’ve got Gerald Washington an inexperienced novice, who turned up for a paycheque. I’m gonna say it, he wasn’t on that level and knew he wasn’t.
“So that takes it down to three. Stiverne, the first time, believed he could defeat Wilder because he didn’t know much about Wilder.
“So that’s one man who believed he could win. And Ortiz, he believed he could win. But, Ortiz had problems before the fight – which is well documented.
“And he probably shouldn’t have boxed. But, he still gave him a good fight. So there’s two men, out of all of those men who believed.
“Arreola, he didn’t believe he was going to win the fight, just turning up for a payday. So, out of his six live opponents, only maybe two of them believed they could win it.
“You ain’t messing here with a man who believes he can’t win a fight, against a boxer.
“You’re messing with a man who believes he can win a fight against an army. Any army. One man on his own stands united.”
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