Tyson Fury

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Tyson Fury
Tyson Fury's training camp diary.JPG
Fury in 2016
Statistics
Real name Tyson Luke Fury
Nickname(s) Gypsy King
The Furious One
2 Fast
Rated at Heavyweight
Height 6 ft 9 in (206 cm)[1]
Reach 85 in (216 cm)
Born (1988-08-12) 12 August 1988 (age 27)
Wythenshawe,
Manchester, England
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 25
Wins 25
Wins by KO 18
Losses 0

Tyson Luke Fury[2] (born 12 August 1988) is a British professional boxer. In 2015, he defeated long-reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko to become the unified WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, The Ring magazine and lineal heavyweight champion. Fury was subsequently stripped of the IBF title for being unable to grant a fight against their mandatory challenger, Vyacheslav Glazkov, due to agreeing to a rematch with Klitschko. As of July 2016, Fury is ranked the world's fifth best boxer, pound for pound, by BoxRec.

Having initially been denied the opportunity to fight for Ireland at the Olympic Games, he was permitted to represent both Great Britain and Ireland after tracing his family lineage to relatives in Belfast and Galway.[3][4] Fury has represented both England and Ireland as an amateur, winning the ABA championship in 2008 before turning professional later that year. He has since held the British heavyweight title twice, as well as the European, Commonwealth, English, and Irish heavyweight titles.

After winning the world titles he was nominated for the 2015 BBC Sports Personality of the Year shortlist, but attracted significant criticism in the media relating to statements he had made which his critics called "sexist and homophobic."

Background

Born and raised in Wythenshawe, Manchester, England, Fury was born into a family of Irish Traveller heritage.[5] His paternal grandfather was from Tuam, County Galway, which is also the birthplace of his father John Fury.[6] The Furys of Galway are ultimately of Gaelic origin, deriving their present name from Ó Fiodhabhra.[7] His maternal grandmother is from County Tipperary and his mother was born in Belfast.[8][9] His family has a long history in boxing;[10] his father competed in the 1980s as "Gypsy" John Fury,[11] initially as a bare-knuckle fighter and unlicensed boxer, and then as a professional boxer.[12]

He is a cousin of Irish former WBO middleweight champion Andy Lee,[9] British light heavyweight champion Hosea Burton[13] and heavyweight Hughie Fury.[14] He is also a distant relative of "self-styled King of the Gypsies"[15] Bartley Gorman,[16] hence Fury's own self-styled nickname, 'Gypsy King'.[17] He has also styled himself as 'The Furious One'[18] and Tyson '2 Fast' Fury.[19] His father named him "Tyson" after then-world heavyweight champion Mike Tyson.[10]

Despite strongly identifying with his Irish heritage, Fury has had problems in gaining duel citizenship, because in the 1960s, his father's birth in County Galway was not recorded civilly, as Irish Travelers at the time only recorded births through baptised with the Church, rather than officially with the state.[20]

Amateur career

As an amateur, Fury represented both Ireland and England. Fury represented Ireland three times at international level. He initially fought out of the Holy Family Boxing Club in Belfast, Northern Ireland and later switched to the Smithboro Club in County Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland.[21] In a double international duel against an experienced Polish team in 2007, the Irish team lost 12–6 overall; Fury, however, was victorious in both his fights in Rzeszów and Białystok.[22] In another Irish match against the US, Fury won his bout by knock-out.[23]

He was forced to withdraw from the Irish national championships after officials from the Holy Trinity Boxing Club in West Belfast, the club of the then Irish amateur heavyweight champion, submitted a protest regarding his eligibility.[23][24] He won a bronze medal at the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in 2006.[1]

In England, whilst representing Jimmy Egan's Boxing Academy, he participated in the senior national championships in 2006 but was beaten by David Price 22–8.[25]

In May 2007, he won the EU Junior Championship representing England, and later lost to Maxim Babanin in the final of the European Junior Championships. As a junior, he was ranked number three in the World behind the Russians Maxim Babanin and Andrey Volkov, but lost out to David Price for a place at the Olympic Games in Beijing representing the United Kingdom.

Price was chosen for the 2008 Olympic team ahead of Fury due to Olympic rules restricting each country to one boxer per weight division. Fury also unsuccessfully tried to qualify for Ireland, and attributed his failure to qualify for the Olympics as his reason for turning professional, instead of waiting for a chance that might not have come in 2012.[24]

In the absence of Price (who won Olympic Bronze in Beijing) he became national champion (ABA) in 2008.[10]

Professional career

Early career

Fury after his debut fight in 2008

Fury made his professional debut at the age of 20 on 6 December 2008 in Nottingham, on the undercard of Carl Froch vs. Jean Pascal and against Hungarian fighter Bela Gyongyosi, who Fury defeated via TKO in the first round with a combination to head and body. Then until July 2009 he went on to have six more fights in the space of seven months, defeating Marcel Zeller, Daniil Peratyakto, Lee Swaby, Matthew Ellis, Scott Belshaw and Aleksandrs Selezens all via knockout within 4 rounds.

On 11 September 2009, Fury fought John McDermott for the English heavyweight title, and won via a controversial points decision given by the referee after the full 10 rounds. Despite actually being a fairly close fight it seemed that the majority of people had scored the fight to McDermott, some comfortably. Fury later said although he was disappointed with his performance he was not unfit for the fight, but had instead overrtrained in the gym. He also stated that the TV commentary and replays didn't reflect and show the punches he was landing, instead favouring McDermott's performance.

Fury scored two more victories against Tomas Mrazek and Hans-Joerg Blasko before facing McDermott in a rematch on 25 June 2010. This time there was no controversy as Fury won the 12 round fight via TKO in the 9th round, picking up the vacant English heavyweight title in the process. Another three wins followed for Fury, points decisions over American fighters Rich Power and Zack Page in two 8 round matches and a knockout of the Brazilian Marcelo Luis Nacimento in the 5th round.

British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion

Fury vs. Chisora

On 23 July 2011 Fury faced undefeated heavyweight Dereck Chisora for the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles at Wembley Arena in London. Both men went into the fight with a record of 14-0 and despite Fury's superior size and reach, Chisora went into the fight as the favourite. After 12 rounds Fury won via unanimous decision.

Within a year, Fury had another four fights against Nicolai Firtha, Neven Pajkic, Martin Rogan and Vinny Maddalone and won them all via TKO within 5 rounds.

Fury vs. Johnson and Cunningham

On 1 December 2012, Fury won a unanimous decision over American world title contender Kevin Johnson (W28-L2-D1), in a WBC title eliminator at the Odyessy Arena in Belfast.

On 20 April 2013, Fury fought the highly ranked American former world Cruiserweight champion, Steve Cunningham (W25-L5) in his United States debut at Madison Square Garden. The bout was an IBF title eliminator to determine the Number 2 World Ranking, with the winner then needing to fight unbeaten Bulgarian heavyweight Kubrat Pulev for the mandatory position for a tilt at the long reigning Ukrainian world champion Wladimir Klitschko. Cunningham came into the fight on the rebound from a controversial split decision loss to Tomasz Adamek of Poland. Fury fought wildly in the first two rounds, and was floored by Cunningham in the 2nd round. However, Fury rebounded and handed Cunningham the first knockout defeat of his career with a right hand in the seventh round.[26]

This win gave the 24-year-old Fury a world ranking of 7 according to BoxRec,[1] a number 2 ranking according to the International Boxing Federation, 6th with the World Boxing Council, and 5th with the World Boxing Organization.[27]

Haye negotiations and fallout

Due to fight David Haye[28] on 28 September 2013. Haye pulled out of the fight on 21 September, after sustaining a cut, which required six stitches, above the eye during training.[29] The fight was originally postponed to 8 February 2014. Haye pulled out of the fight a second time on 17 November, stating that he had a career-threatening shoulder injury which required surgery, and hinted at his retirement.[30] However, Fury believed Haye was making excuses because he didn't want the fight, with Fury himself saying "I'm absolutely furious but in all honesty this is exactly what I expected. Everyone knows I was very suspicious when he pulled out the first time and this confirms to me that he's always been afraid of me and never wanted this fight." Aside from training camp expenses, Haye also cost Fury his positions in the world rankings including an IBF final eliminator bout which would have made him mandatory for a shot at the world title.[31]

European heavyweight champion

Fury vs. Chisora II and Hammer

Fury was due to fight rival and heavyweight contender Dereck Chisora for the second time on 26 July 2014, for the European and once again the British heavyweight title. The bout was also a WBO title eliminator. However, on 21 July, Chisora was forced to pull out after sustaining a fractured hand in training. Belarusian Alexander Ustinov was lined up as Chisora's replacement in the bout scheduled to take place at the Manchester Arena,[32] Fury pulled out of the fight after his uncle and former trainer Hughie Fury was taken seriously ill.[33] However, Fury and Chisora rescheduled the rematch for 29 November 2014 at ExCeL London. Fury was victorious again after dominating the fight up until Chisora's corner pulled him out at the end of the 10th round. Fury also used a southpaw stance for the majority of the fight, despite the traditional right handed orthodox stance being his preference.[34]

Fury then went on to face Christian Hammer on 28 February 2015, and also won the fight when it came to a halt in the 8th round via RTD.[35]

Unified world heavyweight champion

Fury vs. Klitschko I

In July 2015, it was confirmed that Fury would fight Wladimir Klitschko in a World Heavyweight title showdown, for the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO and The Ring Heavyweight titles. Initially scheduled on 24 October 2015, Klitschko sustained a calf injury and it was postponed to 28 November 2015. For this match, Fury trained with the highest ranked heavyweight kickboxers in GLORY, Rico Verhoeven and Benjamin Adegbuyi.[36]

The fight took place at Esprit Arena in Düsseldorf, Germany,[37] with Fury winning after twelve rounds by a unanimous points decision, with scores of 116–111, 115–112, 115–112.[38] On 8 December 2015, the IBF stripped Fury of their title, as the contract for the fight against Klitschko included a rematch clause, precluding Fury from facing the IBF's mandatory challenger Vyacheslav Glazkov. Fury had held the IBF belt for only 10 days.[39]

Fury vs. Klitschko II

After months of negotiation, on 8 April 2016 the rematch with Klitschko was finally announced, this time with the fight scheduled to take place in Fury's home town of Manchester at Manchester Arena on 9 July 2016.[40] On 24 June 2016, it was announced that this fight would be postponed to a later date due to Fury sustaining a sprained ankle in training.[41]

Personal life

Fury and his wife Paris married in 2009.[42] He is a practicing Catholic.[43][44]

In September 2015 Fury expressed a desire to run as an independent candidate to be the UK Member of Parliament for Morecambe and Lunesdale, opining that the government were too focused on immigrants and not enough on homeless people and those with drug and alcohol problems. He also suggested that Britain should leave the European Union.[45]

Fury said in April 2016 that he had suffered more racial abuse since becoming world champion, because "nobody wants to see a gypsy do well".[46] Also in April, after the press conference, Fury said he will be relocating to the United States after his rematch with Wladimir Klitschko because he does not feel accepted in Great Britain, stating, "I am a gypsy and that's it. I will always be a gypsy, I'll never change. I will always be fat and white and that's it. I am the champion yet I am thought of as a bum. I am moving out of the country. I am going to America where champions are better thought of. I am moving to Los Angeles where people have a better life. I made the decision last week to go where people admire success." [47]

Public behaviour

In 2013, Fury told an interviewer before his first fight at Madison Square Garden that he would "hang" his own sister if she was promiscuous. That same year he was fined £3,000 for calling fellow boxers David Price and Tony Bellew "gay lovers".[48] After the 2015 controversy emerged, Bellew said that he was not upset by Fury and considered it wrong that people were pulling him down.[49]

Shortly before winning the world titles in November 2015, Fury publicly argued that performance-enhancing drugs (which he denied taking) should be permitted in boxing and other sports. He said: "Why don't they just make drugs totally legal in sports, then everybody would be taking drugs and then it would be fully fair then, wouldn't it? ... It's none of my concern really, but if the governing bodies want to do that then I think it would be a bit fairer because you've got all them people taking drugs and when you face a man who is not taking drugs it becomes unfair, doesn't it?"[50]

After the world championship fight, he stated that he had been cautioned against potential cheating tactics by the Klitschko camp, of which he provided no evidence, and he would not even drink water in the locker room post-fight because of fears that he would be drugged.[51] The British Boxing Board of Control met on 9 December and agreed to summon Fury to explain his recent comments.[52]

In May 2016 the Fury team released a training camp update video which included Fury voicing opposition to transgenderism and also to bestiality and rape but suggested they might eventually be legalised, due to the increasing number of formerly taboo practises becoming accepted, and saying: "Everyone just do what you can, listen to the government follow everybody like sheep, be brainwashed by all the Zionist, Jewish people who own all the banks, all the papers all the TV stations. Be brainwashed by them all."[53][54] Jonathan Sacerdoti of the Campaign Against Antisemitism called for Fury to be barred from the sport after what he called his "offensive and racist" remarks. The group made a complaint to the British Boxing Board of Control.[54][55] Responding on Twitter to the controversy, Fury wrote that "all the Zionist media outlets are on my back, because I speak the truth!" and blamed Jews for killing Jesus.[56]

Fury subsequently apologized, saying: "I apologise to anyone who may have taken offence at any of my comments. I said some things, which may have hurt some people, which as a Christian man is not something I would ever want to do. Though it is not an excuse, sometimes the heightened media scrutiny has caused me to act out in public. I mean no harm or disrespect to anyone and I know more is expected of me as an ambassador of British boxing and I promise in future to hold myself up to the highest possible standard. Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am in no way a racist or bigot and I hope the public accept my apology."[57]

2015 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award nomination

After winning the world title he was named as a finalist of the 2015 BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY). His nomination ignited a lingering controversy which began even before the Klitschko fight, when Fury seemingly likened homosexuality to paedophilia when he said: "There are only three things that need to be accomplished before the Devil comes home. One of them is homosexuality being legal in countries, one of them is abortion and the other is paedophilia. So who would have thought in the 50s and early 60s that those first two would be legalised. … For me, people can say 'oh, you're against homosexuality, you're against abortions, you're against whatever' but my faith and my culture is all based on the Bible. The Bible was written a long time ago, wasn't it, from the beginning of time until now so if I follow that and that tells me it's wrong, then it's wrong for me."[58][59] Later, over 138,000 people signed an online petition on the American-website Change.org, with the originator saying that what they saw as his "homophobic and sexist views" on societal ethics made him an "unsuitable recipient" for the award.[60] Asked directly if he was homophobic, Fury said: "No. Definitely not. I wouldn't be a very good Christian if I hated anybody. If Jesus loves the world, I love the world."[61]

Fury also stated that Olympic and world champion heptathlete, Jessica Ennis-Hill, a fellow contender for the BBC award, "slaps up good" and that "a woman's best place is in the kitchen and on her back – that's my personal belief."[62] Fury responded to the controversy by denying he was homophobic and telling iFL TV that his critics could "suck my balls" – and labelled those who signed the petition as "50,000 wankers".[63]

On 9 December, BBC bosses were fighting a frantic battle to save the SPOTY awards, after a leading contender, long jumper Greg Rutherford, threatened to pull out because of the controversy.[64] Rutherford later agreed to stay in the award show, finishing five places below Fury in the public vote. In a separate development, the Sports Journalists' Association withdrew an invitation to Fury to attend the British Sports Awards in London.[65]

On 8 December 2015, the SNP's John Nicolson, a member of the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, challenged the BBC over Fury's SPOTY nomination.[66] On 9 December, Greater Manchester Police confirmed that they were investigating an allegation of hate crime against Fury in relation to comments made about homosexuality on Victoria Derbyshire's BBC television programme.[67] The police soon reported that no hate crime, but only what they called a "hate incident", had occurred, so no charge would be laid.[68]

Fury was placed fourth in the BBC SPOTY competition and apologised at the ceremony for his offensive comments, saying: "I've said a lot of stuff in the past and none of it is with intentions to hurt anybody. It's all a bit of tongue in cheek and if I've said anything in the past that's hurt anybody, I apologise to anyone that's been hurt by it."[55][69]

Professional boxing record

25 fights, 25 wins (18 knockouts), 0 losses
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round, time Date Location Notes
26 N/A N/A Ukraine Wladimir Klitschko N/A – (12) 29 Oct 2016 United Kingdom Manchester Arena, Manchester, England Defending WBA (Unified), WBO, IBO, The Ring and lineal heavyweight titles
25 Win 25–0 Ukraine Wladimir Klitschko UD 12 28 Nov 2015 Germany Esprit Arena, Düsseldorf, Germany Won WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, The Ring and lineal heavyweight titles
24 Win 24–0 Romania Christian Hammer RTD 8 (12), 3:00 28 Feb 2015 United Kingdom The O2 Arena, London, England Retained WBO International heavyweight title
23 Win 23–0 United Kingdom Dereck Chisora RTD 10 (12), 3:00 29 Nov 2014 United Kingdom ExCeL London, London, England Won European, WBO International and vacant British heavyweight titles
22 Win 22–0 United States Joey Abell TKO 4 (10), 1:48 15 Feb 2014 United Kingdom Copper Box, London, England
21 Win 21–0 United States Steve Cunningham KO 7 (12), 2:55 20 Apr 2013 United States The Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, US
20 Win 20–0 United States Kevin Johnson UD 12 1 Dec 2012 United Kingdom Odyssey Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland
19 Win 19–0 United States Vinny Maddalone TKO 5 (12), 1:35 7 Jul 2012 United Kingdom Hand Arena, Clevedon, England Won vacant WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight title
18 Win 18–0 United Kingdom Martin Rogan TKO 5 (12), 3:00 14 Apr 2012 United Kingdom Odyssey Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland Won vacant Irish heavyweight title
17 Win 17–0 Canada Neven Pajkic TKO 3 (12), 2:44 12 Nov 2011 United Kingdom EventCity, Manchester, England Retained Commonwealth heavyweight title
16 Win 16–0 United States Nicolai Firtha TKO 5 (12), 2:19 18 Sep 2011 United Kingdom King's Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland
15 Win 15–0 United Kingdom Dereck Chisora UD 12 23 Jul 2011 United Kingdom Wembley Arena, London, England Won British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles
14 Win 14–0 Brazil Marcelo Luiz Nascimento KO 5 (10), 2:48 19 Feb 2011 United Kingdom Wembley Arena, London, England
13 Win 13–0 United States Zack Page UD 8 19 Dec 2010 Canada Colisée Pepsi, Quebec City, Canada
12 Win 12–0 United States Rich Power PTS 8 10 Sep 2010 United Kingdom York Hall, London, England
11 Win 11–0 United Kingdom John McDermott TKO 9 (12), 1:08 25 Jun 2010 United Kingdom Brentwood Centre, Brentwood, England Won vacant English heavyweight title
10 Win 10–0 Germany Hans-Joerg Blasko TKO 1 (8), 2:14 5 Mar 2010 United Kingdom Leisure Centre, Huddersfield, England
9 Win 9–0 Czech Republic Tomas Mrazek PTS 6 26 Sep 2009 Republic of Ireland The O2, Dublin, Ireland
8 Win 8–0 United Kingdom John McDermott PTS 10 11 Sep 2009 United Kingdom Brentwood Centre, Brentwood, England Won English heavyweight title
7 Win 7–0 Latvia Aleksandrs Selezens TKO 3 (6), 0:48 18 Jul 2009 United Kingdom York Hall, London, England
6 Win 6–0 United Kingdom Scott Belshaw TKO 2 (8), 0:52 23 May 2009 United Kingdom Colosseum, Watford, England
5 Win 5–0 United Kingdom Matthew Ellis KO 1 (6), 0:48 11 Apr 2009 United Kingdom York Hall, London, England
4 Win 4–0 United Kingdom Lee Swaby TKO 4 (6), 3:00 14 Mar 2009 United Kingdom Aston Events Centre, Birmingham, England
3 Win 3–0 Russia Daniil Peretyatko TKO 2 (6), 3:00 28 Feb 2009 United Kingdom Norfolk Showground, Norwich, England
2 Win 2–0 Germany Marcel Zeller TKO 3 (6), 2:50 17 Jan 2009 United Kingdom DW Stadium, Wigan, England
1 Win 1–0 Hungary Bela Gyongyosi TKO 1 (6), 2:14 6 Dec 2008 United Kingdom National Ice Centre, Nottingham, England Professional debut

Titles in boxing

Regional titles
Preceded by
John McDermott
English heavyweight champion
11 September 2009 – 2010
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Himself
Vacant
Title last held by
Himself
English heavyweight champion
25 June 2010 – July 2011
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
David Price
Preceded by
Dereck Chisora
British heavyweight champion
23 July 2011 – 8 February 2012
Vacated
Commonwealth heavyweight champion
23 July 2011 – 8 February 2012
Vacated
Vacant
Title last held by
Coleman Barrett
Irish heavyweight champion
14 April 2012 – present
Incumbent
Vacant
Title last held by
Robert Helenius
WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight champion
7 July 2012 – July 2013
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Andy Ruiz
Preceded by
Dereck Chisora
European heavyweight champion
29 November 2014 – July 2015
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Erkan Teper
Vacant
Title last held by
David Price
British heavyweight champion
29 November 2014 – 17 April 2015
Vacated
Vacant
Title next held by
Anthony Joshua
Preceded by
Dereck Chisora
WBO International heavyweight champion
29 November 2014 – 28 November 2015
Won world title
Vacant
Minor world titles
Preceded by
Wladimir Klitschko
IBO heavyweight champion
28 November 2015 – present
Incumbent
Major world titles
Preceded by
Wladimir Klitschko
WBA heavyweight champion
Unified title

28 November 2015 – present
Super title until December 2015
Incumbent
IBF heavyweight champion
28 November 2015 – 8 December 2015
Stripped
Vacant
Title next held by
Charles Martin
WBO heavyweight champion
28 November 2015 – present
Incumbent
The Ring heavyweight champion
28 November 2015 – present
Lineal heavyweight champion
28 November 2015 – present

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External links