Tyson Fury didn’t provide much of a glimpse into what’s in store for his boxing future other than that it will cost a king’s ransom to get him on board for the biggest heavyweight fight to be made.
The unbeaten lineal/WBC heavyweight champion confirmed during an in-house interview with Hall of Fame promoter Frank Warren and Queensberry Promotions’ head of media Dev Sahni that he will return to the ring in some capacity. No timetable was offered for his next fight, though the 6’9” heavyweight champion from Manchester, England teased that a voluntary title defense is in store for later in the year.
“One hundred percent,” Fury confirmed, walking back previous claims that he was forever done from the sport following his sixth-round knockout of countryman Dillian Whyte on April 23 at Wembley Stadium. “Like they said in the Jerry Maguire movie, SHOW ME THE MONEY! Show me the money, Frank. If anyone can show the money, it’s Frank. If he can bring back someone from the dead, it’s magic. I call him the magic man.”
Fury (32-0-1, 23KOs) signed with Warren’s Queensberry Promotions upon his celebrated ring return in 2018. It came after a 30-plus month gap following his November 2015 championship win over Wladimir Klitschko, with Fury overcoming substance abuse and severe depression to reclaim his place atop the heavyweight division.
The coronation was complete following Fury’s seventh-round stoppage win over then-unbeaten WBC champ Deontay Wilder (42-2-1, 41KOs) in their February 2020 rematch, less than 15 months after the two fought to a disputed draw.
Fury repeated the feat in their rubber match, overcoming two knockdowns to floor Wilder three times in an eleventh-round knockout last October 9. The bout was hailed as the 2021 Fight of the Year, with Fury providing an encore in his win over Whyte in front of a Wembley record crowd of 94,000 in their all-British heavyweight championship fight.
Despite announcing his retirement after the Whyte fight, the undefeated Brit remains the widely regarded true champion of the division. However, there still exists the desire to crown a full undisputed champion.
That would require Fury to face the winner of the Oleksandr Usyk-Anthony Joshua rematch targeted for August 13 or 20 in Saudi Arabia. Ukraine’s Usyk (19-0, 13KOs) claimed the WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO belts in a twelve-round win over Watford, England’s Joshua (24-2, 22KOs) last September in North London.
Usyk—a 2012 Olympic Gold medalist—became a two-division champ with the win, having previously served as the undisputed cruiserweight king before moving up in weight in 2019. Fury believes that the rematch won’t play out any different for Joshua and is prepared to help clean up the mess for the sake of bringing home all of the titles to the U.K.—for a price.
“When this middleweight (Usyk) knocks out this bodybuilder (Joshua) again, there’s only going to be one man, isn’t there, to sort this out,” insists Fury. “What I would say to these people who want this fight to happen, you better have a big checkbook. To bring the big GK (Gypsy King) out of retirement for active battle duty, to redeem this country yet again, it’s going to cost.
“I am a prizefighter and I fight for prize. But it’s going to cost if you want me to go on a mission with this middleweight and show what a real heavyweight does to him, then that’s going to be expensive. You’ll have to have deep pockets and we can even talk then. The fight that’s happening is Joshua and Usyk. So, if I was ready to go tomorrow, they’re not because they’re fighting each other. Until then, the Big Mac’s gonna stay in Morecambe, training like a lunatic.”
Rumors of Fury and Warren in advanced talks with officials in Saudi Arabia were refuted by the reigning heavyweight champion, dismissing any claims of pre-arranging to face the winner of the Usyk-Joshua rematch. Such a conversation won’t take place until at least after that fight, with Fury likely to enter a voluntary title defense in the interim—assuming he ends his alleged retirement.
There is one remaining perk that could sway his decision, in addition to cracking open the safe.
“If you do get us a deal with these Middle East folks, can you at least get me free fuel for life,” Fury requested of his promoter. “I’m paying a fortune on petro!”
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox