By Nick Parkinson, courtesy of The Daily Star
BIBLE-BASHER Tyson Fury says he is praying for bitter rival Dereck Chisora – ahead of Saturday’s British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles clash.
The 6ft 9ins Manchester fighter is a devout Catholic and regularly goes to church – yet this week threatened to ‘kill’ Londoner Chisora in the ring at Wembley Arena.
Fury, 23, has stopped nine of his 14 opponents and there has even been talk of next weekend’s winner going on to fight world No.1 Wladimir Klitschko, who out-pointed Briton David Haye to unify the world heavyweight titles two weeks ago.
Despite being in the hurting business, Fury’s faith is more important to him than beating fellow unbeaten British heavyweight Chisora or becoming world heavyweight champion one day.
He said: “Religion is everything to me. Without it I would have nothing. I’m a practising Catholic, not as much as I should do but I do go to church as often as possible.
“I try to do everything by The Bible. I’ve read testaments in church and I pray a lot. It’s the most important thing to me, more important than boxing.
“I would rather be knocked out ten times by DC than not go to heaven. I’m God-fearing.
“I pray for Dereck Chisora and everyone. I pray that I win and he is okay. This is the fight game, it’s not ballet dancing, so there’s going to be fierce talk before the fight but I don’t wish Chisora dead or anything like that. This is sport. I will hold no grudges after the fight. I pray that he comes to the fight first of all, that it’s a good fight, and I win.
“I also pray that he is okay after it.
“I don’t have a problem reconciling my religion with boxing. God gives me the strength and belief to win. I’m up for it more than any other fight.
“He has not been in the ring for a while so he will be a bit ring-rusty, but I have never felt so fired up for a fight.”
Chisora-Fury will be the first fight to be shown live on Channel 5 as boxing returns to terrestrial TV.
And the challenger insists it is a huge boost for the sport after over a million viewers were left disappointed at paying to see David Haye’s points defeat to Klitschko in a world heavyweight title unification clash earlier this month.
Fury hopes victory and the exposure gained from appearing on Channel 5 will make him as big a star as Haye.
He said: “David Haye didn’t do what he said he would do and he let everyone down.
“I’m hoping I can make Britain happy about heavyweight boxing again and stop people talking about David Haye’s little toe.
“It’s great for British boxing that this fight is back on terrestrial TV, free to watch, because everyone is sick of paying for fights that end up being s***.
“Millions of people bought Haye’s fight with Klitschko but it was s***. People can watch this fight for free.
“You can get more well known for fighting on terrestrial television Sky gets 90,000 for its boxing, but we are looking at getting 2.5million for this fight.”