His promoter Frank Warren has detailed the extent to which Tyson Fury continues to be influenced by his struggles with his mental health.

On Saturday at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Fury contests the undisputed heavyweight title against Oleksandr Usyk in a fight that will define his decorated career.

His dramatic trilogy with Deontay Wilder, after almost three years of inactivity when he was suicidal, abused drugs and alcohol and reached in the region of 30st in weight, inspired countless others affected by mental health disorders, and perhaps even made him an icon for his times. 

Warren oversaw the comeback that started with victory over Sefer Seferi in June 2018 and that considerably before Saturday’s fight established the 35-year-old Fury as the world’s leading heavyweight.

Fury’s living with bipolar disorder regardless means that there remain times when he is misunderstood, and for all that he looks both physically and mentally healthy in Riyadh just days ahead of his biggest fight, Warren explained how the condition represents a consistent test.

“He’s in a real good place,” the promoter said. “It’s well documented that he’s bipolar and I get p****d off when people keep talking about how he contradicts himself. He does that because he’s bipolar. I find it offensive that people keep digging him out over things like that. I don’t understand it; it feels like a little campaign against Tyson Fury who has been one of our best boxers we’ve had and gone out and done everything that has been asked of him. Overcoming demons that most people would never have got out of, let alone go and fight. 

“He was a drug addict and a boozer and all that s**t and he’s come out of it and gone and won fights, won the title, gone in people’s backyards and done it. Here we are again – he’s fighting a guy who is undefeated. These are two guys in their prime.

“I wouldn’t have envisaged [his comeback leading to Saturday’s fight with] Usyk to be quite honest because [Usyk] wasn’t there – or all this [in Saudi Arabia], because it wasn’t happening. If somebody had said to me last August that we’d be doing this I’d say, ‘Yeah alright’, but we are aren’t we? It’s happening in a big way.

“[Fury remains focused via] his lifestyle – he’s got a regime in his life. He works for that. He’s in the gym always training but when he’s in the gym he needs a goal and an aim – it will be interesting when he retires. When he is training for a goal you suddenly see the switch and he’s ready to go. 

“If he wants to retire today and come back three months later that’s up to him, what the f**k has that got to do with anybody else? It’s his life to do whatever he wants. 

“He’s got that mentality where he wants to go on and on [with his career] but he’s got people around him who will ensure that doesn’t happen and the first person to tell him will be me. He will see who is around and how he beats them. 

“I’m only alright with anyone boxing if they are fit enough and well enough to box. If he starts shipping a lot of punishment – and he’s been caught with a few shots over the last few fights – if he starts shipping a lot of punishment then what is the need for it? He’s a very wealthy man – probably one of the wealthiest British sportsmen now – he doesn’t need to do that. It will be his choice.”

Warren was asked the lowest point of his time working with Fury, and recalled the cancellation of his planned rematch with Wladimir Klitschko in 2016 when Fury reached an all-time low.

“When he went off the rails,” he responded. “It was the BoxNation days when we were trying to do the Klitschko rematch. He missed the press conference. I wasn’t aware of what was going on but when I heard about it and heard the stories that were coming back… 

“But imagine what his family and his wife [Paris] were going through. He has done bloody brilliantly, He has turned his life around in a big way. 

“We get a lot of mail sent to us and we open it before we forward it and you won’t believe how many people he has inspired. People identify with him. He has been an inspiration; three number-one [‘bestselling’] books; Netflix series. Somebody must like him.

“I knew straight away [the comeback would succeed] because when I did the first deal with him before he fought Klitschko I could see in his eye there was something about him. When he called me about the comeback and we had another meeting it was still there. I could see there was a spark there in him. He wanted it and he was determined. So it turned out to be – the meeting was in a hotel in London.

“Look at him facially – his body and more importantly, mentally, where he’s at. He’s up for it in a big way. It’s going to be a great fight by the way because Usyk is the same – he’s well and truly up for it too. We are going to get something special. It’s going to be a major moment in sporting history, not boxing history – sport history.”

Fury – he is two years younger than Usyk – explained how his then-career high point of defeating Klitschko in 2015 did so much to trigger his decline. 

If, as Warren believes, he is nearing his final few fights and needs the stability his career provides him with there could very easily again be struggles in his future, but Warren – who has seen similar struggles with some of the other fighters with which he has worked – regardless insists that he is unconcerned.

“He’s got a lot of support,” he said. “Frank Bruno went off the rails; Joe Calzaghe went off the rails. Loads of fighters have done that. Other fighters have managed to deal with it. Not just fighters, sportsmen. Footballers have been p**s-heads or druggies or whatever. The [Paul] Mersons – there’s loads and loads of them. It happens, because what do you do? ‘What my life has been built around is now gone, and how do I reinvent myself? How do I cope with the future?’ It’s tough.

“On his day there is nobody like him. Whether you love him or hate him, one thing about Tyson is he leaves everything in the ring – he’s guts and British grit personified. He gets hit on the chin and gets up off the floor. He’s got this will to win and he has a drive within him. In some way being bipolar is part of that. It forces him and propels him to not give up.”