While Tyson Fury may not have won the WBC heavyweight title in his fight against Deontay Wilder, he’s won respect around the world, and he’s dedicated his fight to those suffering with mental health problems.
Fury’s journey from depression and substance abuse, to his title fight in Los Angeles last night (December 1) has been well publicised.
Now, after going 12 rounds with Wilder and getting back on his feet after a brutal knockdown, during the post-match interviews, Fury was less interested in the result of the fight and more interested in dedicating his performance to those fighting their own problems.
Speaking to the BT Sport cameras, Fury said:
It’s an iconic comeback, isn’t it? After two-and-a-half years out the ring, ten stone ballooned, mental health problems.
I just showed the world tonight, and everyone suffering with mental health problems, you can come back and it can be done.
Everybody out there who has the same problems I’ve been suffering with, I did that for you guys.
When posited that his Rocky story didn’t quite come true, Fury said:
It could have been a lot worse, but thank God both men are going home to their families safe and sound. It was great. It was a good fight.
Fury has received plaudits from fellow boxers and sports personalities for his heroic efforts.
I just saw @Tyson_Fury come back from drugs, depression, two years of inactivity and massive weight loss to outbox the WBC Heavyweight champion, who was gifted a draw! In a rematch, I can only imagine that he will be even better prepared. #WilderFury2
— Lennox Lewis (@LennoxLewis) December 2, 2018
Lennox Lewis wrote on Twitter:
I just saw @Tyson_Fury come back from drugs, depression, two years of inactivity and massive weight loss to outbox the WBC Heavyweight champion, who was gifted a draw! [sic]
In a rematch, I can only imagine that he will be even better prepared. #WilderFury2 [sic]
After a truly inspirational journey back from drink, drugs & depression, @Tyson_Fury puts on a performance that will inspire millions! I thought he won the fight, but the draw means nothing. He’s already won. Congratulations mate! 👊🏼#sobriety
— Carl Froch MBE (@Carl_Froch) December 2, 2018
While Carl Froch wrote:
After a truly inspirational journey back from drink, drugs & depression, @Tyson_Fury puts on a performance that will inspire millions! [sic]
I thought he won the fight, but the draw means nothing. He’s already won. Congratulations mate!
— Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) December 2, 2018
And BT pundit, Rio Ferdinand tweeted:
As a sportsman what @Tyson_Fury has done tonight must be respected. What he has been through in his personal life, to put in a performance like that.
Despite the outcome being objectively unjust, Fury took it on the chin professionally and showed a lot of respect to Wilder.
He may not have won, but his admirable humility won over hordes of fans, and there’ll hopefully be a rematch for Fury to try to cement his superiority over the Bronze Bomber.
The fight contracts included a rematch clause, and in the post-match interviews, both Fury and Wilder said they wanted to take that opportunity.
Wilder said he wanted the rematch to be in America again, naturally, but Fury, a lifelong Manchester United fan, wants the rematch to be at Old Trafford.
@Tyson_Fury I’m sending this to you every way possible because you’re the biggest inspiration on me beating the disease and obstacle known as mental health. Thank you for being my role model. God bless you. 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/BIEySsrTPq
— Devin Wisehaupt (@xDevinMW) December 2, 2018
Fury has only fought in England once in the past four years, and his team feel they’ve done enough to warrant a home fight.
Speaking during the post-fight press conference, promoter Frank Warren said:
I thought Tyson won it and won it well, whatever the result of the fight. It was a fight that you’d want to see again, irrespective of whether it was a draw or whoever won the fight.
It’s one of those fights that you want to see again and we want to do it again but we want it in the UK. That’s where the next one should be.
From my perspective, I’d love to have a rematch and I’d like to see it in the UK. We could fill a football stadium up, maybe Wembley or Arsenal or any one of those big stadiums
Tyson came here to Los Angeles, he’s travelled to Germany to Wladimir Klitschko’s back yard. Now let’s let him have some home turf because on home turf, he would have won that fight.
Fury v Wilder II is going to have a lot of people watching, and with good reason.
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Tim Horner is a sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated with a BA Journalism from University College Falmouth before most his colleagues were born. A previous editor of adult mags, he now enjoys bringing the tone down in the viral news sector.