By Keith Idec
Tyson Fury isn’t simply attempting to gain a psychological advantage over Deontay Wilder.
Fury said during a conference call Wednesday that he added Freddie Roach to his team primarily because the Hall-of-Fame trainer has a wealth of experience that can be beneficial both before and during his fight with Wilder. England’s Fury moved his training camp three weeks ago from Abel Sanchez’s gym in Big Bear Lake, California, to Roach’s Wild Card Boxing Club in Hollywood, California.
Roach clicked quickly with Fury and his head trainer, Ben Davison, who asked Roach to join their team.
“We’re training in Freddie’s gym now, in Hollywood, at the Wild Card,” Fury said. “You know, it’s good to have Freddie’s experience around, giving us good pointers. And he’s a very nice guy, so I thought I’d invite him to be part of the team and he can give us some good experience in the corner.”
Roach told si.com earlier Wednesday that Fury hired him as a cut man for their December 1 fight for Wilder’s WBC heavyweight title at Staples Center in Los Angeles (Showtime Pay-Per-View). Fury won’t limit Roach to working a cut, though.
“Whatever Freddie wants to do, he can do,” Fury said. “Freddie’s his own man. Whatever he wants to do, he’ll do in the corner. I’m sure he will.
“It’s always good to have experience in the corner. It’s always good to have a wise hand in the corner, and it’s gonna be to my advantage.”
When asked later during the conference call if he was playing mind games with Wilder, Fury refuted that theory. The 30-year-old Fury (27-0, 19 KOs) said the move to Roach’s gym midway through training camp was planned all along, but adding Roach was an instinctual choice.
“I just invited him into the corner because he’s a lovely fella,” Fury said. “He’s been very hospitable to us. And I thought he would be good if we got him in the training, and in the corner as well, to give us some tips. I genuinely [think] he’s very experienced and he’s a very nice guy. It’s not a mind tactic to Deontay Wilder.”
Davison replaced Peter Fury, Tyson’s uncle, as his head trainer when the lineal heavyweight champion launched his comeback from depression, alcoholism and cocaine addiction in January. The 33-year-old Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) has long been trained by Jay Deas and former WBA welterweight champion Mark Breland.
Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.