Tyson Fury: Wilder "knows what's coming"

Undefeated former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury tells CNN that heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder "knows what's coming for him - the beast is coming."

Posted: Dec 1, 2018 11:19 AM
Updated: Dec 1, 2018 11:38 AM

Tyson Fury bought a convertible Ferrari in 2016 and made the decision to drive it off a bridge at top speed.

At the time, Fury had it all: a loving wife and children, and was the heavyweight champion of the world.

But he says he was "frozen in 2015" -- the time of his greatest triumph when he shocked Ukraine great Wladimir Klitschko.

The three-year thaw has been long and painful, but in theory, it will reach its climax with another world title shot against Deontay Wilder in Los Angeles on Saturday night.

Visit cnn.com/sport for more news and videos

In the intervening time, Fury has very publicly dealt with his demons of drugs, drink and depression.

It was "the lowest low that anyone could ever have," he recalled of that moment behind the wheel of the Ferrari where "I gave up on life."

Thoughts of his children wrestled him back to sanity, and he quickly sought help.

A psychiatrist warned family members he was an imminent death risk. The slow climb back to physical and mental health began when fellow boxer Billy Joe Saunders, his cousin and best friend, lured him to his boxing camp in Marbella, Spain.

Going in, Fury topped the scales at a whopping 392 pounds. By the end of the Spanish camp, he was already 28 pounds lighter.

Now back on the brink of another heavyweight title, the 30-year-old's resurrection is almost complete.

READ: Wilder vs.Fury: Tempers flare in angry exchange

'Quick fix'

Boxing has also been Wilder's salvation. The American picked up the gloves at the age of 19 -- far older than most of his peers -- after his daughter Naieya was born with spina bifida. He thought the sport would offer a financial quick fix to help pay for treatment.

"All I was thinking about was the money," he said. "I thought everyone made a lot of money by just stepping into the ring. My focus was to do whatever I could to support my daughter."

Naieya remains his guiding light in the ring, and he has a tattoo on his hand with the words "Road to Success" to remind him of his personal journey.

Branding himself a leader, king and soldier, the 33-year-old Wilder has a contrasting boxing background to that of Fury.

The son of a pastor, the family were just $50 away from going broke on a number of occasions.

At his parents' behest, he worked hard and became a college basketball star before getting his then girlfriend pregnant with Naieya and quitting college for a life within the ropes.

Shed 'a welterweight'

In contrast, Fury's name alone meant he was born to box. As he said back in 2014, "While other kids watched cartoons, I watched video tapes of boxing."

But it was not his namesake Mike Tyson that he aspired to emulate, instead Michael Spinks, renowned for his skilful boxing and footwork.

Born into the traveling community prematurely at little more than a pound, for a time Fury was the self-styled "Gypsy King" in the ring. Undefeated in his 27 fights, Fury insists the greatest threat to his own thrown has always been himself.

As he has said repeatedly this week, "The only one to stop me being successful as a boxer is me."

The turnaround has been remarkable. "I've come back from wanting to commit suicide and 28 stone [392 pounds) to as fit as a fiddle and in a great place mentally," he said.

Fury has shed nearly 140 pounds -- akin to an entire welterweight -- and much of his return to form and fitness is down to the relatively unknown trainer Ben Davison, who was working initially with Saunders in Marbella.

Shedding that weight has only been part of the fix. Post-Klitschko, Fury took cocaine and drank heavily. On the road to recovery, religion has been key. At his lowest ebb, he prayed to God. There are still days where he thinks "this is shit."

Getting inside Klitschko's head

The one major blot in his own salvation story is a positive test for a banned substance in February 2015 for which he received a two-year backdated ban from UK Anti-Doping, which left him free to box again in December 2017.

READ: Fury vacates heayweight belts

But there is no doubting his self-belief as a boxer. Against Klitschko, no one gave him a chance but he completely outboxed the Ukrainian.

The secret to that success lay in the build-up. Famously turning up as Batman to one press conference, Fury was a conundrum the normally methodical Klitschko could not work out.

It was the same in the ring -- one sparring partner likened Fury to an octopus, with attacks coming from everywhere, making him immensely difficult to prepare for.

As one of Wilder's team, Mark Breland, put it: "Even Tyson Fury doesn't know what he's going to do. If he doesn't know, then how can his opponent know? Tyson is the most awkward guy in the division, he's the hardest to figure out."

The evidence of Wednesday's final press conference would suggest Fury has got inside Wilder's head, such was the vitriol from the American. The alternative, cynical view would simply be that two men had millions more to be made from the pay-per-view audience -- the thinking being no publicity is bad publicity.

For his part, Wilder is adamant he won't fall into the same traps as Klitschko: "This is not Klitschko. I looked him in his eyes at the first press conference and said I'm not Klitschko, you can't get in my head."

Trying to assess the fight is nigh-on impossible. Fury has added Manny Pacquiao's trainer Freddie Roach to his corner, either an astute bit of business or a late sign of panic from Fury and Davison, depending on your take.

Wilder is the No.1 ranked American, Fury Britain's No.2 behind Anthony Joshua, who is primed to face the winner in April in London.

"Either of them that's ready, if you're serious, talk about me post-fight all you want, but if you're not really serious about fighting, leave me out of it so I can focus on fighting someone else," said Joshua.

A Joshua fight would finally unify the division. First, comes Saturday night in front of Wilder's home crowd, although Fury insists home advantage will have little impact with Wilder not heralded in the same way as Mike Tyson and the past American heavyweight greats.

Either way, it is a salvation for both; Fury for his mind, Wilder for his child.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 448268

Reported Deaths: 6013
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin931011480
Ramsey40016739
Dakota33072340
Anoka30999364
Washington20164228
Stearns17871187
St. Louis13690241
Scott1195496
Wright11614104
Olmsted1048475
Sherburne821365
Carver694836
Clay653280
Rice606868
Kandiyohi554371
Blue Earth541033
Crow Wing482774
Otter Tail457167
Chisago452732
Benton420186
Winona389646
Douglas374166
Nobles370846
Mower365529
Goodhue347958
Polk328658
McLeod325345
Morrison311744
Beltrami310347
Lyon302236
Becker284939
Itasca284543
Isanti282841
Carlton280043
Steele27379
Pine266713
Freeborn245321
Todd231730
Nicollet224636
Brown215134
Mille Lacs214246
Le Sueur210015
Cass207623
Meeker199733
Waseca189316
Wabasha17083
Martin170026
Roseau165416
Hubbard149338
Redwood139727
Renville137539
Houston135913
Dodge13474
Chippewa131332
Cottonwood127218
Fillmore12355
Wadena120116
Rock110212
Sibley10857
Aitkin108433
Watonwan10668
Faribault105916
Pennington99215
Kanabec97818
Pipestone94423
Yellow Medicine93714
Murray8815
Jackson85610
Swift83418
Pope7385
Marshall70215
Stevens7018
Clearwater68514
Lac qui Parle65716
Lake63715
Wilkin6259
Koochiching59610
Lincoln4841
Big Stone4573
Unassigned43768
Grant4298
Norman4248
Mahnomen4107
Kittson37219
Red Lake3174
Traverse2503
Lake of the Woods1951
Cook1140

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 305606

Reported Deaths: 4278
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk45754449
Linn17795275
Scott15444163
Black Hawk13773236
Woodbury13016175
Johnson1211749
Dubuque11387150
Pottawattamie8992112
Dallas888671
Story869434
Webster469771
Cerro Gordo466768
Sioux455157
Clinton450361
Warren443938
Marshall427761
Buena Vista393429
Muscatine390477
Des Moines381841
Plymouth350368
Wapello344198
Jasper321959
Lee317130
Marion304952
Jones271349
Henry264330
Carroll255434
Bremer245048
Crawford231022
Boone218417
Washington217632
Benton209444
Mahaska193136
Jackson192031
Tama187757
Dickinson186026
Delaware173736
Kossuth173644
Clay168820
Wright164824
Fayette162322
Hamilton160029
Buchanan159923
Winneshiek155719
Harrison155162
Hardin154729
Cedar153219
Clayton151448
Butler148224
Page144715
Floyd139636
Cherokee139027
Mills136416
Lyon135332
Poweshiek132724
Hancock130224
Allamakee127928
Iowa125422
Calhoun12279
Grundy121226
Jefferson120724
Madison12039
Winnebago119429
Mitchell116234
Louisa115030
Cass113341
Chickasaw111612
Sac111215
Emmet110831
Appanoose110538
Union108822
Humboldt105519
Guthrie103024
Shelby102926
Franklin102418
Unassigned9310
Palo Alto9079
Montgomery85622
Keokuk85026
Howard84219
Monroe81218
Clarke7957
Pocahontas77611
Ida74630
Greene6927
Davis69121
Adair68820
Lucas6508
Monona64016
Osceola6409
Worth6113
Taylor5949
Fremont5126
Van Buren49712
Decatur4894
Ringgold4389
Audubon4158
Wayne41421
Adams2963
Rochester/St. Mary'S
Clear
33° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: -1°
Feels Like: 24°
Mason City
Clear
30° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 1°
Feels Like: 19°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 0°
Feels Like: 22°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: -1°
Feels Like: 24°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
30° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 1°
Feels Like: 20°
A roller coaster of temperatures
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Community Events