Anxiety, alcoholism nearly ended Tyson Fury’s boxing career

Tyson Fury
Tyson Fury in LAs Vegas. Photo/Sports Illustrated

Forget Floyd Mayweather Jr, British boxer Tyson Luke Fury is the man of the moment.

He sparked a fierce debate in boxing circles recently after a high stake fight with American boxer Deontay Wilder.

After the Las Vegas spirited battle, Fury crushed Wilder in the 11th round with a knockout. He retained his WBC heavyweight title for the third time.

But, he accused Wilder of showing disrespect and lacking sportsmanship attributes. This, he says is from the American’s path in accepting Fury’s words of respect after the fight.

While acknowledging that Wilder is a great boxer, Fury says that disrespect is the only shortcoming with the American boxer.

Tyson Fury

Tyson Fury. Photo/ CNBC

“I’m a sportsman. I went over to him to show some love and respect and he didn’t want to give it back. That’s his problem.”

And for a man of Fury’s stature, and almost miraculous comeback to the ring, he values respect.

His life story in boxing is amazingly inspiring with moments of weaknesses nearly threatening his colorful career.

Here is Fury’s detailed life story.

How Did Tyson Fury Start His Boxing Career?

The 33-year-old traces his interest in boxing through his miraculous survival after birth. Fury was born prematurely – three months before – and doctors told his parents that his chances of survival were minimal.

However, a strong fighter he is that he survived prompting his father to name him after the legendary Mike Tyson. He was a symbol of a fighter in his Irish family that lied in Manchester. And he still is.

At 10 years, Fury started training in boxing. His father, John Fury trained him. At 11, he dropped out of school and joined his father in tarmacking roads.

Unfortunately, his father was jailed for gouging out a travelers eye. His uncle took over his training. Both his uncle and father were great boxers of their time and it is only natural that fury took after them.

With the training, Fury became an amateur boxer and represented Ireland and England thrice at the international level.  He fought for Holy Family Boxing based in Northern Ireland and for Smithboro club in County Monaghan.

His first victory was in a double international match against a Polish boxing team where he won both bouts.

In July 2007, he won the EU Junior Championship. He later won a silver medal in the championship finals.

His last amateur fight was in 2008, the same year that he joined professional boxing.  Fury won the ABA super-heavyweight title.

Tyson Fury Professional Boxing

Tysons professional debut in boxing started in 2008. He fought in the heavyweight division and his fights leave a trail of a resilient boxer.

His most memorable fights include one against American heavyweight boxer Kevin Johnson in 2012. He won through a unanimous decision by the judges after 12 rounds.

In 2013, he yet again participated in IBF title eliminator by beating American Steve Cunningham. It was one of the wildest fights in his boxing history. He knocked out Cunningham in the fifth round.

His lists of major victories go on and on up until he was stripped of his WBC title and everything came to a standstill.

How Alcoholism Nearly Ruined Tyson Fury’s Boxing Career

In July 2015,  Fury battled Wladimir Klitschko in a world heavyweight title battle that was so controversial. He won by a unanimous decision after the 12th round but he was tripped his IBF title 10 days after this fight.

He did not live up to a contract clause for a fight with IBF mandatory challenger Vyacheslav Glazkov. His contract with Klitschko stated so.

It then emerged that he was suffering from mental health issues and alcoholism that he couldn’t make it for another fight.

Tyson Fury

Tyson Fury in LAs Vegas. Photo/Sports Illustrated

He had also put on so much weight and was now a perennial drug user. He would later be charged for violating anti-doping rules.

Fury lost his WBA, WBO, and IBO titles as a result through to 2018.

He stayed for two years working on himself and rebounded with a match against Wilder which went on a draw. But it was a huge comeback for a man who was nearly written off the ring.

In 2020, Fury knocked out Wilder in the 7th round and reclaimed his heavyweight champion status. He did it yet again in October 2021.

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