News   |    April 28th, 2022

TREMENDOUS TYSON

Boxing. A sport in which encompasses a variety of values including discipline, respect, determination and immense courage. These principles are essential to a successful boxing career, and are attributes which Tyson Fury has displayed throughout his unbeaten campaign as a professional. Following Tyson’s latest victory at the weekend, with a composed 6th round knockout against his worthy contender Dillian Whyte, the world heavyweight champion has announced his retirement…for now at least.

The 33-year-old has certainly had an eventful career. Fury successfully defeated one of the most impressive boxers in our era in Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 to become the new heavyweight champion of the world, securing the unified WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO and The Ring titles. However, 10 days later he was stripped of his IBF title as he was unable to grant a fight to the IBF’s mandatory challenger, Vyacheslav Glazkov, due to a rematch clause in his contract with Klitschko. The rematch never materialised as Tyson fell into a spiral of mental health challenges subsequently suffering from alcoholism, drug use and extreme weight gain. He was also charged with anti-doping violations, further tarnishing his reputation and professional record. Subsequently, in 2016, he vacated the WBA, WBO and IBO titles as The Ring stripped him of his last remaining title in early 2018.

However, the tale doesn’t conclude here. After more than 2 years of professional inactivity, the Gypsy King announced his comeback and confirmed he would challenge Deontay Wilder for the WBC heavyweight title. After the bout was scored as a draw in an exceptional performance from Fury, he later defeated Wilder in the next 2 rematch fights, repeating his previous success as the best pound for pound boxer. As we look back on his career, with a record of 33 fights, 32 wins including 23 by KO, with 1 draw, and having won every belt and accolade there is to win in boxing, it can be argued that Tyson Fury is one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of our generation.

Not only is he one of the most talented boxers we have seen, but he has been one of the most influential in a number of other ways. Fury’s battle with depression, anxiety and various other mental health challenges, has prompted him to become an ambassador in raising awareness around mental health. He has become a role model for anyone suffering not just in the boxing community, but also within wider society. Remaining humble, he has rehabilitated a sport with a stereotypical macho undertone where mental health was rarely openly talked about. With what some would call a controversial attitude to media, fame and money, having previously declined awards and openly expressing his disregard for fame and fortune, I find it very refreshing and humbling.

Whether you like him or not, the straight talking 6ft 9 Mancunian has certainly stamped his mark on the boxing world. Through the highs of becoming world champion to the lows of depression and suicide, Tyson Fury has experienced life to the extreme. Boxing will be sad to see this brilliant personality leave its sport.

We have to respect his decision and thank him for the extraordinary bouts and memories he has provided us with.

Image – Reuters

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