By Keith Idec
NEW YORK – Amid all the trash talk and histrionics Tuesday, Tyson Fury offered a reminder of just how far he has come since resuming his boxing career earlier this year.
The lineal heavyweight champion expressed exactly why, after all he has been through, he feels Deontay Wilder can’t beat him once their over-the-top press conference ended on the flight deck of Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.
“After everything I’ve been through – mental health problems, drug addiction, alcohol addiction, I’m back,” Fury said. “I’ve defeated all the odds. How am I gonna let my somebody beat me with a pair of boxing gloves on? I will overcome Deontay Wilder. I will force my will upon him until he quits.”
The hard-hitting Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) has been installed as a 2-1 favorite over Fury in their scheduled 12-round fight for Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title. The Wilder-Fury fight will headline a Showtime Pay-Per-View event December 1 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
For the 30-year-old Fury (27-0, 19 KOs), challenging Wilder will mark just his third and clearly most difficult fight since ending a 2½-year layoff June 9.
Win or lose, Fury simply is happy to have returned to boxing. He battled depression, drug addiction and alcoholism after upsetting Wladimir Klitschko to win the IBF, IBO, WBA and WBO heavyweight titles in November 2015.
Those well-documented demons cost Fury his four heavyweight titles. The 6-feet-9 former champion approached 400 pounds during his lengthy layoff, but he said Tuesday he weighed 258 pounds, the same amount he weighed the day before he defeated Italy’s Francesco Pianeta by unanimous decision in their 10-rounder August 18 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
As good as he feels physically, the boisterous British boxer believes he has found peace, too.
“Listen, I’ve only just turned 30,” Fury said. “So there’s nothing else out there for me, other than fighting. I was born and raised to fight. Ever from being a little child, I’ve boxed, punched, fought. It’s bred in me. Both sides of the family are all fighters. We don’t know anything else. … [Without boxing], all’s I do is put weight on and go depressed. And I’ll end up probably suicidal again if I do that. I need boxing. No boxing, no life. That’s how I feel about boxing. Boxing is my passion. It’s my love affair. I’m cheating on me wife every day with boxing. That’s how much I love boxing.
“I really, really, really have a passion for boxing. I love getting punched, I love slipping punches, I love being in there. Not a lot of other fighters can say that’s the case. A lot of fighters just do it for money or fame or glory. None of that matters, because if they said I’m not getting paid for this fight, I still wanna fight, because I wanna fight the best. And I believe, at this present moment, Deontay Wilder is the best heavyweight in the world, barring none. I’m gonna come back and beat him. And it’s gonna be one of the great comebacks of our century.”
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.