Tyson Fury’s comeback, culminating in his sensational victory in Las Vegas in the early hours of yesterday, overshadows the storyline of Rocky (… and Rocky II … Rocky III … Rocky IV … and Rocky V).
How so? You just have to turn the clock back three years to a harrowing moment in October 2016 for proof.
Tyson is behind the wheel of his Ferrari F12 on a highway near his home in Morecambe, Lancashire.
Nothing, in other words, in the life and times of Tyson Fury can be described as ‘normal’ – like anyone who has tuned in to the first two episodes of the colorful documentary about his home life on ITV (Tyson Fury: The Gypsy King ) will already be collected
He is on his way to a bridge, and his certain death, at 180 mph. Suddenly, just before the needle on the speedometer hits 190 km / h, he reaches his senses and lifts his foot off the gas pedal.
“I heard a voice say,” don’t do this. You are going to destroy the life of your family, “he later recalled, admitting that he had told his wife Paris that he would not expect him at home.
The suicidal man in the Ferrari that day shows no resemblance to the warrior who defeated Deontay Wilder for thousands of British fans (and countless others who stayed up all night to watch the spectacle on pay-per-view TV) in the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
At that time he had cracked up to 27 stones, a colossal weight, even for someone of his 6ft 9 status, after being depressed, drug and alcohol addiction, and self-infused brew with homophobic, sexist and anti-Semitic statements.
“His public supply was so low,” a prominent boxing journalist wrote, “that if he had his Ferrari in that bridge in Lancashire, the news in most non-boxing circles would have evoked little more than shrugging his shoulders.”
The return of Tyson Fury, culminating in his sensational victory in Las Vegas in the early hours of yesterday, overshadows the storyline of Rocky (… and Rocky II … Rocky III … Rocky IV … and Rocky V)
Although many athletes, including boxers, have conquered injuries and loss of form before him, few, if present, just like Tyson Fury, delivered sporting and personal.
His performance in Vegas, his entrance on a throne, with a golden crown, on “Crazy” by Patsy Kline – a humorous nod to his own recent troubled past – led a radio commentator to declare that when he finally hangs up his gloves, he will be “remembered” in the same way as the “Greatest” himself, Muhammad Ali.
It’s funny to think that Tyson, the mountain of man, arrived three months early in the world, weighing just a pound and small enough to be held in the palm of a hand, with doctors giving him little give them a chance to survive.
But fighting was in Baby Tyson’s genes.
Born into a traveling family in Wythenshawe, a tough suburb of Manchester, he comes from a long line of bare pedestals that have settled their differences in the traditional way, in fields, on yards and in fairground cabins; his father completed a prison sentence a few years ago for protruding the eye of an opponent in a fight.
It is clear that almost from the moment the camera starts rolling that 5 ft 7in Mrs Fury is able to deliver a few jabs and upper cuts (metaphorically seen) of herself
Nothing, in other words, in the life and times of Tyson Fury can be described as ‘normal’ – like anyone who has tuned in to the first two episodes of the colorful documentary about his home life on ITV (Tyson Fury: The Gypsy King ) will already be collected.
We meet Mrs. Paris Fury and their five – yes, five – children named exotic – Venezuela, ten, Prince John James, eight, Prince Tyson II, three, Valencia Amber, two, and Prince Adonis Amaziah, one.
“I want my children to be raised as travelers,” Mrs. Fury, 30, who also comes from the traveling community, reveals.
“They will probably leave school at 11 am and from that moment on they will be trained at home.”
(It has to be said, Tyson does not agree with this and wants them to follow training.)
The couple were sweethearts from childhood and even after they got engaged, he would stay in the caravan in the yard of her parents’ house while she slept indoors.
They married in 2008 (when he was 19 and she 17) at a “Big Fat Gypsy Wedding,” with 400 odd guests, in Doncaster’s hometown. Fury’s house is now a mansion in Morecambe – complete with bespoke bed, 7ft in width and length.
It is clear from the moment the camera starts rolling that 5 ft 7in Mrs. Fury is able to deliver a few jabs and upper cuts (metaphorically) of herself.
As they prepare for a night out, the looks of her husband (he likes insane suits and jackets) ask her to say, “You stand out above your weight.”
On another, Tyson sees the diapers removed and taken to the skip. “I’ll refuse,” says Mrs. F, who insists that Tyson split the chores when he gets home.
The two of them keep a box of souvenirs from their relationship, including heart-shaped lollipops and the (first) plastic engagement ring that he gave her when he laid asphalt between boxes. She earned more than he did as a beautician.
Even before his last triumph, Tyson was reportedly worth more than £ 100 million. Behind the showmanship, behind the eccentric outfits, behind all the hype, Tyson Fury has emerged as thoughtful, sensitive and intelligent with ambitions to once be an MP for Morecambe.
Could this really be the same man who outraged public opinion not so long ago?
His downfall began less than a year after the historic defeat, in 2015, of the then undisputed heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko who put the Gypsy King in the spotlight. Within days of claiming the title, Fury, 31, a born-again Christian, was in trouble.
“There are only three things that must be accomplished before the Devil comes home,” he announced. “One is that homosexuality is legal in countries, one is abortion and the other is pedophilia.” He added: “When I say that pedophiles can be made legally, it sounds like crazy talk, doesn’t it? But in the 1950s and early 1960s, the first two that would be legally made would again be considered insane. “
In the following weeks, more than 120,000 people signed a petition in which he was disqualified for BBC Sports Personality of the Year. He apologized and insisted that his comments were “in the cheek.”
But later he caused even more offense when he posted an interview on YouTube in which he spoke out against “Zionist, Jewish people” who “own all banks, all newspapers, all TV stations.”
He gave up the training and soon photos appeared of a man who, to quote a boxer, had gone ‘from an athlete with the world at his feet to a thick, blown, 27-language stone slob, boasting and thriving on social media ‘.
The suicidal man in the Ferrari that day shows no resemblance to the warrior who defeated Deontay Wilder for thousands of British fans (and countless others who stayed up all night to watch the spectacle on pay-per-view TV) in the MGM Grand Garden Arena
His reaction now, when he was challenged about his behavior, was “the action of a very sick man who needed help.”
But Tyson Fury had to fall even further. He tested positive for the steroid nandrolone, and although he denied taking the banned substance – claiming that eating meat from an uncastrated bear was to blame – he agreed to a two-year suspension that he had effectively served against the time the UK Doping Agency had made the decision.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine in 2016, he admitted that he had sniffed cocaine, had a daily drink, and became “as fat as a pig.”
The damage to his reputation seemed terminal. Few believed he could drag himself off the canvas. They were wrong, as everyone now knows.
His rehabilitation began with the search for psychiatric help for bipolar disorder. He stopped taking cocaine and got it under control.
But above all, he received applause for emphasizing the scourge of mental illness by talking openly and honestly about his own problems – and his own traumatic childhood.
Take this for example: ‘One moment I am in the clouds, the next I have the feeling of getting into my car and running into a wall at a speed of 100 miles per hour. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I am confused … I really believe that I am mentally disturbed in some way.
“Maybe it was the fact that when I was a kid we didn’t have family life. My mother and father always shouted and screamed at each other.
“My father had different women and different children on the road. My mother had 14 pregnancies, but only four of us survived. “
It is not surprising that his descent into the abyss put his own marriage under pressure. He temporarily divorced his wife when he was associated with another woman.
“I wanted to leave every day,” Paris said in a recent interview. “If you really love someone, you won’t let them crash and burn.”
Without her support, it is doubtful whether this story would have had such a good ending.
And everyone likes a comeback, right?