He is front and center of the heavyweight pack in terms of charisma. Where he stands vis a vis the crew athletically, as a fighter, that will be clarified on Dec. 1.
Tyson Fury talks a superior game, though, it must be said, since he’s gotten his psychological game on point, after melting down to the point of feeling suicidal two years age. His pronouncements these days are wayyyy less prone to be “off the rails” interesting. He used to regularly barf out statements which insulted large bands of the population, but these days he’s using his voice for good, being a proponent in the name of speaking up for those suffering from mental illness.
During a recent media call, as he counts down to the clarifying faceoff with Deontay Wilder in LA, and on pay-per-view, Fury, age 29, showed his quick wit and ability to toss out tidbits which keep the boxing press intrigued.
Here are some highlights.
“Whatever Freddie wants to do he can do. Freddie is his own man. Whatever he wants to do, he’ll do in the corner. I’m sure he will,” said Fury, disclosing that the ex-Manny Pacquiao tutor will help out Ben Davison doing oversight fight night.
“I’m hoping it’s going to be the toughest fight of my life,” said the Traveller, when asked if he thought Wilder would be a harder out than Wladimir Klitschko was. “That’s what I’m preparing for, so if it’s anything less, than it’ll be easy for me.”
“I don’t really know him as an individual character. I only know him as a boxer, so I don’t really have an opinion on him. He’s in my way and that’s all I’m focusing on at the moment. I’m not going to hold no hard feelings. It’s just a sport,” said Fury, zagging when you might have thought he’d zig, after being asked what he thought of the Alabama-based WBC titlist. Yeah, he could have called him a dosser or tosser or whatever he was calling him four weeks ago, but instead he chose mellow mode.
“I’m not so sure it’s the boxing but definitely the training does help,” he said, when asked if he saw boxing as therapy. “See, when I don’t train I tend to get down and low so I need to train on a regular basis. When I train I’m fine. I think with the boxing side of things it’s always giving me something to look forward to, something to train for or a goal. And it’s really helped me in the last year or so.”
The most bizarre moment of the call came when a questioner said, “My mother was on the aircraft carrier during the promotional event in New York City, thinks you’re quite a character. She wants to know if you abandon sex during training?”
“No sex. No sex. No sex at all, boy,” the fighter answered.
The comeback boxer of the year gave us a hint what sort of bout we’ll see when asked if he isn’t planning on defending his way to the win, being he’s ultra clever.
“Well, I don’t know about clever; if it was clever I’d be a rocket scientist and not a boxer. But I have got the ability to see punches before that happens, which is a very good skill. And so like you say, I’ll be looking to avoid the knockout punches and land mine. Boxing is about hitting your opponent and not taking any in return, that’s the way I look at boxing.” His ability to defend, to know what’s coming before or as it is launched makes him a very, very hard man to get a bead on.
My three cents: Fury will render Wilder much less busy than in any other bout he’s been in. He’s a master defuser, in against a potent detonation specialist. Possibly Wilder’s awkwardness will help him, because the superlative intuition Fury enjoys might be rendered less effective because Wilder doesn’t throw from the same places regular guys do. My main desire regarding the fight is for it to be “fan friendly,” have enough pockets of drama and structured violence to give good bang for the PPV buck.
Follow Woods on Twitter