Not many people might believe him, but Tyson Fury continues to insist that he plans to retire after his fight with Dillian Whyte at Wembley.
Fury has retired before and it seems odd to walk away when a fight for the undisputed world title against Oleksandr Usyk or Anthony Joshua could be next, but Fury says he has no interest in getting hold of the WBA, WBO and IBF belts that he held in his first reign as world champion.
Instead, what he longs for, he says, is a life watching his kids grow up and doing domestic chores.
“I’m getting too old for this,” Fury said. “I’m 34 this year. I’ve had everything to deal with, weight loss, up and down, alcohol problems, drug problems. I’m probably round about 60 when it comes to boxing years.
“Every dog has his day whether you’re the greatest or not, age catches up very quickly so you’ve got to move over for the younger guys.
“I said to Klitschko all those years ago, ‘you were a good champion in your day, but Father Time has caught up with you, you’ve got to move over for the younger guys coming through, give us a chance’.
“I’m the same now. The mistake Wladimir made was he wanted to take on the next era of champions and it didn’t work out for him.
“The mistake Roy Jones made was not fighting Mike Tyson after Ruiz and walking away as one of the greatest fighters who ever lived.
“They all go on too long. They can’t get away from it because they love it too much. It’s a way of life, it’s all you know and what to know.”
If he gets past Whyte, the way would finally be clear for an undisputed world title fight. But although Usyk, like Fury, is unbeaten, Fury does not seem to have an interest in facing him.
“Being undisputed champion would mean zero to me,” he said. “Some pumped up middleweight? I’d give him his hiding, just like Klitschko did to Tomas Adamek. I’d bust him. I thought Usyk lost to Derek Chisora to be fair, he couldn’t even beat Del convincingly.
“He looked like a world champion compared to the body builder and if he fights me, I’ll show you how great I am. And I don’t have to be in no great shape to do it.
“He’s no Evander Holyfield and we all know what happened to him when he stepped up against a big man. A little man can’t beat a big man unless he’s useless or has a bad night. That’s a fact.
“Look how good Evander Holyfield was back in the day, a good puncher, great engine, tough as a house brick. When he fought Lennox Lewis and Riddick Bowe, he didn’t have that much success, they were too big for him.”
Fury says he would keep training when he retires, but would only keep involved in boxing as a fan,
“I have no interest in stepping on anyone’s toes in boxing, whether it’s as a trainer or promoter or manager,” he said. “I’m only a boxer. I only know how to fight. I never went to school. I don’t know anything about business and I’m not a teacher, I’m a pupil.
“People think being a boxing trainer is all glitz and glamour, it’s not. It’s probably one of the hardest jobs around. You come home thinking about it at night. A young person’s career and life is in your hands and if you give them the wrong information, they could go in there and get hurt.
“It’s a big responsibility being a trainer and not one I’m willing to do. I know I have commitment troubles, so I could commit today to be a trainer and then in two months, I wouldn’t want to do it. Then I’m stuck in something I don’t want to do.
“So, when I walk away from boxing, I’ll be the biggest fan in the world and I’ll turn up to all the big events, but just to be a fan. I won’t be a part of it.”
Ron Lewis is a senior writer for BoxingScene. He was Boxing Correspondent for The Times, where he worked from 2001-2019 - covering four Olympic Games and numerous world title fights across the globe. He has written about boxing for a wide variety of publications worldwide since the 1980s.
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