By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Tyson Fury felt much more confident when he began this training camp than three years ago, when he began preparing for his career-changing victory over Wladimir Klitschko.
Fury arrived at his camp in Big Bear Lake, California, late last week, at almost exactly what he expects to weigh when he steps into the ring to challenge Deontay Wilder (255 pounds). That’s dramatically different from his physical condition when he started training to challenge Klitschko in November 2015.
“A lot of people don’t know this, but I had to lose 110 pounds going into the Klitschko fight,” Fury said during a recent three-city press tour to promote his Showtime Pay-Per-View fight with Wilder on December 1. “A hundred and 10 pounds. I felt weak. I didn’t feel great. I wasn’t having a great night. We didn’t see a vintage Tyson Fury, but it was still good enough to beat a legend of boxing. This time, I’m already on weight. I’m 258 pounds as I sit here. I’m gonna box at 255 or something like that. So I’m going into training camp on weight. This is not a weight-loss mission. I’m already down.”
The 6-feet-9 Fury reached nearly 400 pounds during more than two years away from the gym. The lineal heavyweight champion – who battled alcoholism, drug addiction and depression during his hiatus – began taking training seriously again in January.
England’s Fury (27-0, 19 KOs) weighed in at 276 pounds for his technical-knockout victory over Sefer Seferi on June 9 in Manchester. The 30-year-old contender dropped 18 more pounds prior to his 10-round, unanimous-decision defeat of Francesco Pianeta on August 18 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
The former IBF/IBO/WBA/WBO champion expects to weigh approximately eight pounds more (255) when he faces Wilder than he was when he weighed in for the Klitschko fight (247).
His upset of Klitschko took place exactly nine months after he stopped Germany’s Christian Hammer in London. Fury weighed 260 pounds the day before he beat Hammer in February 2015.
If Fury weighs in around 255 pounds, he should out-weigh the 6-feet-7 Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) by at least 30 pounds in their 12-round fight for Wilder’s WBC title.
“I’ve already been training since January for the buildup of this fight,” Fury said. “[Wilder is] gonna get the best Tyson Fury ever. I don’t have to go in and lose all that energy and lose all that weight. It’s already gone. And I’ve maintained at this weight for seven or eight months. So I’m gonna be working on strength and I’m gonna work on game plans. I’m not gonna over-train and leave it all in Big Bear.
“This is the mistake fighters make at this level. They think if you train harder, you’re gonna fight harder. But you can only be so fit in a boxing fight. It’s not about who’s the fittest or who punches the hardest or who’s the strongest. Because Mr. Olympia would be heavyweight champion of the world. It’s about boxing skill. That’s why we call it boxing and that’s what he’s gonna see, a whole lot of skill in there on the night.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.