It’s what the self proclaimed ‘Gypsy King’ has done throughout his entire existence, and every battle he has faced inside the ropes or in life itself, he has emerged undefeated.
Tyson’s rise to prominence is a story that needs to be heard and is a truly inspirational story that has transcended the world of just Boxing and sport.
His tale began on August 12th 1988, born into Irish travellers weighing only one pound and three months premature, he was given little to no hope of living by Doctors and medical personnel.
He survived and his father John named him after ‘Iron’ Mike Tyson, the reigning World Heavyweight Champion at the time.
Fury left school at 11 years old to tarmac roads alongside his brothers and took up amateur boxing at the age of 14. Encouraged by his father a former bare knuckle fighter and professional boxer himself, with his family’s roots also running deep amongst the sport.
As Tyson began to make a name for himself in the fight game it became apparent that people did not take him seriously despite the fact that he had put together a relentless winning streak, dismantling every opponent he had faced.
A shot at glory.
His 26-0 record would eventually lead him to a showdown with Wladimir Klitschko however, who had presided over the division as champion for 10 years straight.
The build up to the bout was somewhat unorthodox, much like Fury himself, as he continued to act as court jester in press conferences, with Boxing purists and analysts alike giving the man who came from nothing barely a chance against the Ukranian giant.
With the fight taking place in Dusseldorf, Germany, he would be stepping into the Lion’s Den for the chance to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming World Heavyweight Champion.
The following 12 rounds from Fury was a masterclass on how to hit and not be hit as he outclassed Klitschko from the off and throughout, his ability to switch styles and nimble footwork totally bamboozling the defending champion.
Crowned as the new World Heavyweight Champion and capturing every belt in the division, Tyson had scaled the mountain that few ever believed he could.
The Gypsy from Morecambe was the new face of the Boxing world.
The price of success.
It soon became apparent that Tyson’s triumph would ultimately lead to his downfall, as he sat on his recently acquired throne he began to ponder what was next…? had the pinnacle of his career been reached…?
What followed became well documented in the media as Tyson had to relinquish all of his hard earned titles after testing positive for cocaine and being declared medically unfit by Doctors to fight.
Fury began to gain vast amounts of weight due to his excessive lifestyle and depressive episodes, a comeback seemed unlikely as he publicly announced he was diagnosed as bi-polar and at times didn’t want to live anymore.
However, as we entered 2018 Fury boldly stated that he would be making a comeback to the ring and was set on reclaiming the World Heavyweight Championship’s that he had never lost, the eye of the tiger had returned.
Shedding a monumental 10 stone in the run up to his return bout with Sefer Seferi, Fury cut a lean and mean figure as he picked up the win in his hometown of Manchester.
Another win against Francesco Pianeta followed with talk amongst the fight industry that a bout against The ‘Bronzed Bomber’ Deontay Wilder was on the horizon.
In an era where big match ups seem to take an age to negotiate, Fury quickly put pen to paper on the fight and both sides agreed to the bout taking place in the December of that year, with Tyson once again stepping into the backyard of his adversary at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles.
Both men were undefeated going into the match up with Fury once again labelled as the underdog against the knockout artist Wilder.
Despite his two and a half years in the wilderness Fury controlled large portions of the fight, outboxing his opponent throughout with superior handwork and left right combinations.
With a win on points looming, it was Wilder who unleashed a devastating left right combination of his own in the final round, dropping Fury to the canvas in stunning fashion.
The arena and fans at home held their breath as it seemed that Tyson’s journey had ground to a shuddering halt.
As the referee began the count to 10, Tyson inexplicably began to rise to his feet in its latter stages, an iconic moment that seemed to symbolise his rise from the ashes.
A seismic return from the depths of depression and addiction that had taken hold of his life over the last number of years, an inspiration to anyone that feels like there is no way back from the brink.
Remarkably he closed out the fight on the offensive and as the final bell rang both men embraced in the ring. The match declared a draw with each combatant preserving their undefeated streaks.
Tyson was however widely recognised as the true victor amongst most pundits and fight fans.
With the first confrontation between them ending in such controversial fashion it was a only a matter of time before a rematch would take place to settle the ongoing dispute of who was truly the superior fighter.
The fight would take place on February 22nd 2020 at the MGM Grand Las Vegas, with Fury once again being given little hope against the explosive power of Wilder.
Fury’s stunning performance and systematic destruction of his adversary proved otherwise, as Wilder’s corner threw in the towel halfway through the 7th round to save him from a comprehensive and painful defeat. Which had seen him bleeding from the ear and placed on his backside twice already.
The Gypsy King’s redemption had come full circle as he was crowned the WBC Heavyweight Champion of the world without a blemish on his record.
His rise from obscurity to World Heavyweight Champion and subsequent fall from grace would have made a extraordinary story in its own right, yet it seems unfathomable that he has returned more charismatic and stronger than ever despite his underlying issues. As such his second Championship victory is rightly lauded as one of the greatest comebacks in sporting history.
No stranger to publicity on the other side of the ropes, Fury has courted controversy on many occasion with his outspoken views on religion and sexuality bringing much criticism in the past.
However his popularity has soared as he has proved to be a champion inside and outside of the ring, supporting mental health charities and addiction welfare groups after donating the entirety of his purse from his 1st match up with Deontay Wilder, which amounted to a staggering £7 million.
Currently an ambassador for Frank Bruno’s mental health charity, the once maligned Gypsy King has turned public perception on its head with his generosity and willingness to open up in regards to his own difficulties that he has faced with drugs, alcohol, and mental illness throughout the tenure of his life.
Raised awareness of such crucial issues has inspired countless others to come forward, to not face their problems alone, and that in itself may be his biggest victory of all.
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One thought on “Tyson Fury: The Real Life Rocky”
Reblogged this on Phil Sports 25/8 and commented:
A look at the career of the WBC World Heavyweight Champion.