With 34 fights under his belt, the undefeated Tyson Fury has been in with punchers, movers, big men and small – but there’s one he believes stands out from the pack as the most challenging.
Having travelled to Germany to relieve Wladimir Klitschko of the unified heavyweight titles, Fury spiraled into a depression and drug driven hiatus from the sport.
Like he did in the Klitschko fight, he upset the odds by making a comeback just shy of three years later. The goal was WBC Champion, Deontay Wilder, who he faced after two warm-up fights.
Fury boxed magnificently for the duration, but was put down twice – once in round nine and then again, much harder, in twelve. His rise from the canvas personified his return to the top level of the sport, although the fight was ultimately ruled a draw.
Asked recently on a Twitter Space if this was his toughest test in the ring, he said no, but it was with Wilder.
“No, I don’t think that one was most challenging. I think Wilder three – me and Deontay had a trilogy, three title fights together – I think the third one was probably the hardest fight of my career.”
“We both went to war. We both came in with damaging intentions. He put me down twice, I put him down three times, and I ended up getting a knockout in round eleven. But I do believe it took a lot out of both fighters, for sure. Hell of a fight.”
After dominating and stopping the American in their second bout, Fury was contractually forced to take part in a trilogy. The build-up for him was disrupted by family illness, and many feel it showed in the ring.
Despite the two heavy knockdowns, he took over in the later rounds clearly, battering Wilder from corner to corner and eventually stopping the brave former-champ. It ended a magnificent modern heavyweight trilogy.
He went onto speak about the recovery process from the fight.
“There’s a lot of rest and recuperation involved. Eating plenty of food, enjoying your family or friends or people you care about. And just taking it nice and slowly you know.
Because you’re gonna be sore, you’re gonna be in pain, you’re gonna be hurting quite a lot. After a few days or a week, you start to get a lot better. Time is a healer, no matter what it is.”
Many feel that ‘The Gypsy King’ has two more fights he must make happen to cement his legacy – a domestic grudge match with superstar, Anthony Joshua, and, more importantly, an undisputed fight against the slick Oleksandr Usyk.