Why characters like Tyson Fury are essential in Boxing

By Liam McInerney

“I don’t care about going down in history, I don’t care about being a role model and I couldn’t give a f*** what anyone thinks of me, I care about beating you, that’s all.”

These pertinent words were aimed at Wladmir Klitschko at Tuesday’s press conference in Dusseldorf. PR is non-existent in Team Fury.

This should be what all fight fans demand- frank honesty from a top level sportsman. Do we want trained robots who say what’s expected like a TD toeing the party line? Do we wish for a situation similar to football where players like Jack Wilshere get fined for innocuous behaviour? No, we want athletes to speak their minds and be themselves.

Tyson Fury is unpredictable but also intelligent. This combination makes for excellent viewing. Most of Fury’s comical comments were what received the greatest attention on Tuesday. Example being when he told Klitschko– “I’m not surprised if you haven’t had Botox as well.”

But the former Irish champion also delved into boxing history to give him confidence of his task of becoming world champion. He asked Klitschko: “Are you better than Larry Holmes, Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Joe Frazier? All the great champions from the past showed decline from you age.” (39)

In an instant Fury became serious and fired a difficult question to his opponent. And to be able to combine this with quips about Klitschko’s charisma contrasting to Fury’s underpants is undeniably entertaining.

Because a Tyson Fury press conference attracts lots of coverage, casual fans suddenly become interested. They hear such bizarre statements and think, ‘I wouldn’t mind seeing how this plays out.’ So in an unconventional way Fury is promoting boxing. Consider the large amount of people who will watch this bout and travel to Dusseldorf because of Fury’s involvement.

A personality like Tyson Fury is needed in sport. And the media are right to expose it. The UFC are doing it superbly with Conor McGregor and boxing too should celebrate the games characters. Because without them, build-ups would be tedious and potential spectators would not be as enthused.

Of course, the fight is what counts. But with Fury, it’s not all hype. As he mentioned before, he doesn’t care what people think of him, he just wants to win.

Whether or not Fury succeeds in becoming the heavyweight champion of the world, at least he genuinely believes he can achieve his goal.

We will have to wait and see if he gets crowned in Germany, but for now, sit back and enjoy the insane ride of a Tyson Fury event.

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Integral part of the Irish boxing community for over 13 years