Tyson Fury’s recent retirement was more like a summer vacation.
The WBC heavyweight champion last fought in April and knocked out Dillian Whyte inside six rounds.
For months, Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) was adamant soon after stopping his fellow British boxer that he’d called it quits on his professional boxing career.
But then, like many of his peers before him, the unpredictable Fury kicked retirement to the curb, and he’s now headed back to the ring this Saturday to take on Derek Chisora in a trilogy fight at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.
In a lengthy interview on Frank Warren's Queensberry Promotions YouTube channel, “The Gypsy King” opened up about his brief break and relationship with boxing.
“I am in a very good place with boxing at the moment. I’m back. I’m hungry. I’m putting the work in. I’m grinding,” said Fury.
“I’ve been in love with boxing for such a long time from being a little boy and I am 34 [years old] now, probably at the end of my career in the next few years. It has been a love-hate relationship and it has been toxic at times, but when it is good, it is very good.
“So we are in that relationship and I don’t just abandon things. I try to make things work and that is where we are at the minute. I’ve wanted to leave a lot of times but it always drags me back. It is like a massive drug and an addiction.
“I know it is an addiction and I am an addictive person. It is not my best friend, it is an addiction. It is abusive because, when I come to this gym it abuses my body, my mind, and my soul, but afterward I feel it takes me to ecstasy. The rush is unbelievable and it gives me the biggest highs ever, but it also gives me the lowest lows as well.
“Boxing is more addictive than any drug ever – ever. Because you can’t let it go.”
Fury has battled his addictions in the public eye over the last few years.
When Fury beat Wladimir Klitschko in 2015 to win four versions of the heavyweight title, soon afterward, he abused drugs and alcohol, ballooned to a staggering 400 pounds, and even contemplated ending his life while battling mental health issues.
Heading into the bout with Chisora – and with bigger plans in 2023 to face Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua – Fury says he’s in a better place now.
“This is a hobby now rather than a business or sport. This is my hobby and what I love to do,” said Fury. “I physically, mentally and emotionally can’t do anymore to win this fight. By the time the fight comes I will have done nine weeks training, nine weeks of isolation away from my family.
“I am isolating myself from the family, keeping them at arm’s length and just living like a fighter. While I am in camp, I am in Spartan mode and I can’t be around the family. I’ve got to have this fighting attitude in order to win these fights, big fights.”
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com.