Thursday, June 13, 2024

‘Don’t be surprised if he walks away’: What’s next for Tyson Fury?

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After Tyson Fury’s defeat to Oleksandr Usyk, questions have been asked about the British boxing star’s future in the sport.

“Don’t be surprised if Tyson walks away,” said Sky Sports boxing expert Johnny Nelson after Fury’s loss in Saudi Arabia.

The 35-year-old was nearly knocked out and struggled through the final three rounds before Usyk was crowned the new undisputed world heavyweight champion in Riyadh.

It was the first defeat of Fury’s professional career and sees his WBC belt ripped away and handed to Ukrainian champion Usyk.

Usyk won on a split decision and now holds the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO belts.

Fury disputed the result, saying he believed he won the fight and suggested the judges sided with Usyk because of the war in Ukraine.

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Tyson Fury suffered blows to the face – and his career – in his match against Oleksandr Usyk. Pic: Reuters

“His country is at war, so people are siding with the country at war. Make no mistake, I won that fight in my opinion,” said Fury, who wants a rematch in October.

Nelson said Fury “will be devastated at the result”, adding: “Tyson’s team will have serious conversations about motivating him after this and get his mind back.

“What more can he do? How can he improve from that? This defeat would have done his head in and his heart in.”

Pic: PA
Image:
Pic: PA

Meanwhile, former pro boxer Barry McGuigan thinks Fury has peaked.

“Tyson is starting to drop,” he told Sky Sports.

“His ability to take a shot isn’t as good as it used to be, his powers of recovery aren’t as good as they used to be and he’s getting older.”

Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk. Pic: Action Images via Reuters
Image:
Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk. Pic: Action Images via Reuters

Fury later admitted in a news conference he had made mistakes during the match and would do things differently in future.

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Tyson Fury disputed his loss after the match with Oleksandr Usyk, saying:

He said: “[I’ll] keep my defence a little bit tighter, a bit more focused and not so much messing around because I was having fun in there, I was playing around, I was hitting his body, I was hitting him with uppercuts to the head.

“I thought I was bossing the fight.”

Fury said he boxes for the love of the sport – and, once that love fades, he will put away his gloves.

“I’m not boxing because I’ve got no money, I box because I love it,” he told reporters after the fight.

“I’m 36 in a few months and I’ve been boxing since I was a child.

“All the time I’m loving the game, I’ll continue to do it. When I can’t do that anymore, I’ll pack it up.”

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Fury was on top of the world back in 2015 when he defeated Wladimir Klitschko to claim all four world title belts.

But his success was quickly followed by a dark period.

Public battles with depression and drug addiction ultimately cost him his belts, and saw him retreat from the sport.

He was accused of taking the banned substance nandrolone – which he denied – and admitted to drinking heavily and taking cocaine.

His weight ballooned to 27st, having clocked in at 17st 8lbs for his match against Klitschko.

Tyson Fury, of England, celebrates after defeating Deontay Wilder. Pic AP
Image:
Tyson Fury celebrates after defeating Deontay Wilder in 2020. Pic: AP

After declaring himself “medically unfit” to fight Klitschko, he said he would concentrate on his “medical treatment and recovery”.

In an emotional interview with Rolling Stone magazine, he said he was “going through a lot of personal demons” and was a “manic depressive” – and admitted to having suicidal thoughts.

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In 2020, however, he burst back into the spotlight of top-level boxing when he beat US fighter Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas.

Even the legendary Mike Tyson couldn’t contain his excitement as he watched Fury perform.

Now, after calling for a rematch for last night’s contest, it is up to Fury how he reacts to losing the biggest fight of his career so far.

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