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Tyson Fury, The Atypical Heavyweight Star

When you think of heavyweight boxing, you often think of menacing power punchers like Mike Tyson or Joe Frazier, legendary fighters like Rocky Marciano and Evander Hollyfield, or iconic figures of change like Muhammad Ali and Joe Louis. Meet Tyson Fury, an outgoing heavyweight boxer, who defies conventional motifs of what a heavyweight boxer should or shouldn’t be.

For starters, Fury can really box – in fact, he is the best modern heavyweight since probably Lennox Lewis, yet he talks a good game like Ali and even in his own odd way incorporates social issues, as in his last fight he brought up mental health awareness after explaining his leave from the sport of boxing via depression.

“I talk about mental health a lot because it’s very important to me. Only 18 months ago, I was in a very, very dark place. I just wanted to prove to people that there is a way back. You can come back from anything. Nothing is impossible, and if you’d seen me a time ago when I was very heavy and very unwell… I love to inspire people. to get better and change their lives as I did mine. And I’m living proof that anyone can change.” Fury explained on Wednesday’s press conference.

Fury is a rare, vulnerable star. Private in the gym wanting his team and a solemn few around him, but a showman to the masses fueled by the roar of the crowd and entertaining those who wish to come to see all of the fight week activities. Virtually no topic is out of bounds with Fury.

“I box because I like to keep happy and it keeps me happy to fight. I plan to box until I can’t box anymore. I feel fantastic at the minute. Boxing keeps me really happy, and I’m very happy with where I am in my life at the minute. I want to box on. I don’t see myself retiring. I just turned 30 years old. I’ve got over 10 years left in this game, so you’ll have to keep seeing me for the next 10 years, I’m afraid. Keep entertaining, keep putting on great shows.” said Fury on Tuesday’s media workout.

Fury, who defeated the modern heavyweight boogeyman Wladimir Klitschko in November of 2015, took a three-year leave from the sport due to a depressive episode that was made worst through drug and alcohol abuse. After two tune-up bouts in 2018, Fury jumped into a bout with WBC heavyweight world champion Deontay Wilder fought to a draw, and despite being knocked down twice, most feel Fury won, including me.

Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, Fury will now look to make his debut with Top Rank Inc, his new co-promoter, as well as his debut in Las Vegas, Nevada, potentially his new home as Top Rank looks to make him one of the new faces of their company.

Then we have Tom Schwarz, an undefeated heavyweight from Germany, who is ranked #2 by the WBO behind internet favorite, Dillian Whyte. So, Fury at this stage of the career will make his Vegas debut against a top-ten ranked opponent. That being said little is known of Schwarz as he was built in Germany. In fact, Schwarz has fought all, but two of his 24 professional bouts in Germany with the other two taking place in Prague and has never fought in the United States.

“Training for this fight was very good. We had hundreds of sparring partners to prepare for this big fight. My time is now!” said Schwarz concisely

Fury is one of these fighters who you gravitate towards if you’re a writer, he interesting, defies conventions and on top of all that, is just flat-out interesting. Fury is unpredictable in-and-out of the ring, and though he might be more of a purists delight his eccentric nature draws in new fans of the sports, who find Fury through various forms and platforms.

“I was down and out. I have my family right here, and even those guys thought I was gone. There was no return for ‘They Gypsy King.’ No more. He was finished. I dusted myself off, got back on the road, got back mentally well, and me, {trainer} Ben {Davison} and the whole team, we worked very hard for a long time to get to this position.”

Fury is why we love boxing, he is a story of redemption, but along with redemption, he is a story of perseverance. Fury is relatable to seemingly all at some point, but I relate the most as he is not unlike your talented friend you know could do something with their talent and finally gets focused.

Fury fights Saturday, June 15th on ESPN+, the streaming subscription-based app at 7 PM PST at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Lukie Ketelle

Lukie Ketelle