Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

Tyson’s out of the dark and on a roll to the top

Tyson Fury

At 6ft 9’ with an unblemished record and just 23 years of age it’s little wonder that Tyson Fury can look into the future and ponder days of glory only bequeathed upon the few.

Fury, who earlier this year vacated the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles, is already number eight in the WBC rankings, the title held by Vitali Klitschko. In addition he has drawn some of the biggest ratings Channel 5 have ever had in his last three fights.

From the outside it would seem that everything is smoothly fitting into place but the big man with charisma to burn admits to bouts of depression that at times have left him a tortured soul, while the ongoing incarceration of his father brings its own issues.

In addition, just before Christmas he nearly lost his second child, Prince, who was in intensive care for two weeks at barely two months old.

“He was in intensive care for two weeks, his heart rate kept going right down low and it wasn't looking very good,” said Fury, who clashes with Belfast man Martin Rogan at the Odyssey Arena tomorrow night.

“My wife Paris was running around and screaming and crying, it was mind numbing.

“I was trying to calm her down and say what will be will be, but we prayed to God and he answered our prayers.

“I was going in there to the hospital and looking at my newborn son with pipes coming out of him everywhere. There seemed miles of wires as he was plugged into three or four machines.

“But God is good and my faith is the most precious thing in the world to me.”

It is safe to say the last 12 months have been far from easy for Fury and yet he has thrived in the ring, taking the British and Commonwealth belts off Dereck Chisora last summer.

Even not being in the best physical shape and finding himself on the canvas could not prevent Fury from cutting through decent opposition in Nicolai Firtha and Neven Pajkic.

Now Fury is adamant that he is mentally and physically in a much more balanced place and that the first man to feel the full force of his newly-honed persona will be Rogan.

The Irish heavyweight title is expected to still be on the line despite a row this week over whether it should be over 10 or 12 rounds and the British Boxing Board of Control’s objection to David Irving as the sole referee and judge — the BBBC demanding three judges.

“That depression is gone, I’m a new man,” said Fury.

“I think there was just a lack of organisation in my life, I wasn’t doing the proper things. There were a terrible lot of things going on with my dad and other things in the family... now I’m in a high place.

“Rogan said to me ‘Welcome to Hell’ but there’s no way I’m going there, I’m only going to Heaven.

“I’m mentally, physically and spiritually in a much better place.

“I’ve never used weights before, I’ve been using a proper nutritionist and I’ve been doing more sparring than ever before.

“I think you’ll see a more mature performance from me, I’m not going to get drawn into a brawl with Rogan. I’m going to box the head off him, leave him with a right face.

“I’ll be hitting him with so many jabs he’ll be begging me to knock him out with the right hand.”

While Fury says he is not looking past tonight, it is inevitable that he ponders the night he finally has the opportunity to take on either Vitali or Wladimir Klitschko for a version of the world heavyweight title.

“My plan is to keep busy, fighting every four to five weeks because a fight with one of the Klitschkos will not happen until 2013. It takes a lot of work to put that together, there’s a lot of business work to be done. The world will want to see me in with one of the Klitschkos.”

Promoter Mick Hennessy is guiding the young man along that road to a showdown with one of the brothers who have dominated the division for a decade.

“Everyone in boxing must know now that the only man who can beat the Klitschkos is Tyson Fury,” said Hennessy.

“Tyson is a modern day heavyweight, he's 6ft 9' but he also has the speed, the heart, the hunger, the chin and the power to beat either one of them.

“We have total respect for the Klitschkos because they have proven themselves to be true warriors and the best in the division since Lennox Lewis retired but now they must realise that there's a new kid on the block and he's coming to rule the heavyweight division and his name is Tyson Fury.”

Tomorrow night he intends to give us a glimpse of what the future might be.

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