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Exclusive: British boxing icon Fury hopeful of fighting in Dubai

Tyson Fury (right) during his WBC heavyweight title bout against Deontay Wilder at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. — Reuters
Tyson Fury (right) during his WBC heavyweight title bout against Deontay Wilder at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. — Reuters

Dubai - He has punched his way to 31 explosive victories from 32 fights to earn himself the accolade of the No.1 heavyweight fighter in the world



By Leslie Wilson Jr.

Published: Wed 9 Feb 2022, 8:19 PM

World heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury can be painfully honest, bright as a button, and unexpectedly polite.

All of which is a far cry from the volatile, masterful and thunderous 6 foot 9 inch giant of a man we have watched, awestruck, punch his way to 31 explosive victories from 32 fights to earn himself the accolade of the No.1 heavyweight fighter in the world.

But the man they call the ‘Gypsy King’ who we caught up with at the MTK Strong Gym in Al Quoz, Dubai was different. He defied the stereotype boxer as he posed for photographs, signed autographs, and effortlessly endeared himself to the horde of animated fight fans that were assembled at the elite training facility.

“I love it out here,” the 33-year-old Briton told the Khaleej Times in an exclusive interview. “I’m here for the sun, sand, sea and good weather.

“The weather is good, it’s not too hot, nice breeze. The kids love it and I’m looking forward to getting my 10-year Golden Visa as well. I’m becoming a Dubai-Emirati soon. I couldn’t be happier.”

Okay, so now we know you like it out here, so do you see yourself ever fighting in the UAE?

“Why not, hopefully, sometime in the future,” he says in all honesty. “Never say never, that day might come.”

Fury was ordained to be a pugilist from the moment his father, John, chose to name him after the legendary Mike Tyson.

And he would not let his Dad down, winning the European National Champions, European Junior Championships, and World Junior Championships before turning professional at 20 years of age in 2008 where he destroyed Hungary’s Béla Gyöngyösi in his debut fight.

Big-name heavyweights like Derek Chisora and Wladimir Klitschko felt the power of his gloves, before Fury engaged in an epic trilogy against the American heavyweight champion, Deontay Wilder, winning the second and third fights in 2020 and 2021 in emphatic fashion after the first meeting in 2018 was deemed a controversial draw.

Does he still reflect on those career-defining fights and the impact that they had on the heavyweight boxing world?

“Not really. They were good fights I enjoyed them and now I want to move on,” he says. “Life goes on. I have nothing more to prove to anyone, I’m just doing it for fun now.”

Fun? Brutalising your opponent’s face, getting hit yourself?

“Fun means getting punched in the face and waking up early to train, that’s my idea of fun,” the 350 pounder says, with the hint of a smile.

Fun sounds like a bizarre word to describe the serious business of boxing where fighters regularly throw punches between 1,200 to 2,000 ppsi (pounds per square inch) at each other.

On the more serious side, Fury is scheduled to go head-to-head with fellow British professional boxer Dillian Whyte (28-0) in their eagerly-anticipated grudge match on April 23 this year at Cardiff’s Principality Stadium in Wales.

“They’re all the same,” he says when asked what he thought of the upcoming fight. “Whyte, Oleksandr (Usyk), they’re all the same. I’ll beat them all.”

Even after all these years, does he still have the hunger?

“I just want to be happy on a daily basis,” Fury says. “I’ve stopped being hungry years ago. I don’t do this for hunger any more. I don’t box for money or fame. I box now because I love it and enjoy the sport.”

Looking across at him you could see the honesty in the bearded face of a man who became a born-again Christian and has a strong belief in his faith.

“I try to keep my faith strong. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I think anybody who has faith in God will do well in life.”

QUICKFIRE ROUND WITH TYSON FURY:

Best punch: Low blow (grimaces)

Biggest fight: Mental health

Childhood idol: Muhammad Ali

A fight he wants most: Dillian Whyte

Best fighter on the planet: Me


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