By News Team
20th February 2020
The Tyson Fury story is one that has been well documented over the last few years. An inspiring battle with mental and physical health has seen the Briton fall to rock bottom and rise back to the highest level of sport.
Ahead of his titanic rematch with Deontay Wilder on Saturday night in Las Vegas, we chart the key events in Fury’s inspiring comeback.
All and nothing
“I had everything, but it didn’t mean anything. I wanted to die on a daily basis. So material goods are only good for when things are going right in your life.”
These were the words that defined Tyson Fury’s demise. Fury, who won the lineal and unified heavyweight titles in 2015, had achieved a lifelong dream in fulfilling what he believed to be his destiny. But once Everest had been climbed, what would he do next?
Underlying mental health problems began to consume the fighter in the weeks that followed, and rather than defending his title against Wladimir Klitschko in a rematch, Fury would be stripped of all belts. Fury spent the next two years out of the ring in pubs and bars, gaining 11 stone in weight in the process, with suicidal thoughts beginning to set in.
“I was heading towards this bridge, I was going to smash the car into the bridge at very high speed. I just didn’t have the ambition to live anymore.
“Before I got to the bridge, I heard a voice saying don’t do this, you’re going to destroy your family’s life and I immediately pulled the car over and that was the first time I thought, right, now or never. I need to get well immediately.”
Fury flew out to long-time friend and boxer Billy Joe-Saunders’ Marbella training camp in early 2018. It was there he would meet Ben Davison, whose friendship would provide a catalyst for the revival of Fury’s boxing career and life.
It was there Fury began to train and lose weight, and it was soon announced Fury would return to the ring in June of that year, at the MEN Arena in Manchester, with Davison in his corner.
“Mental health has got to be the biggest battle I’ve ever fought with, more than any opponent.”
After two successful comeback fights in the summer of 2018, Fury agreed to fight long-time heavyweight champion Wilder for the WBC world heavyweight title that December.
Many feared that the test was too soon for Fury, who had only recently returned anywhere close to his fighting weight, and it was clear that he would need to shed further weight in order to face 12 rounds with one of the most feared heavyweights in recent history.
The outcome? Wilder was taught a lesson in boxing, only tainted by two knockdowns, one of which the result of an illegal blow to the back of the head, and the second, a two-punch combination in the 12th which temporarily knocked Fury unconscious, only for him to rise from the canvas and fight on.
A draw would be the result, but most believe the lineal heavyweight champion won on the night.
“I was robbed of the greatest comeback in boxing history. In five years’ time, two years’ time, the decision will only read a draw. Everybody knows who won the fight.”
This time around, however, it’s unlikely we’ll see the fight go to the scorecards, with both fighters claiming they are looking for the knockout.
Will Fury return to the very top? We’ll find out on Saturday night.