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Tyson Fury: “I can get a world title shot now if I want one”

Tyson Fury
Tyson Fury

By Anson Wainwright

At a whopping 6’9” and over 250 pounds, Tyson Fury is an impressive specimen. Over the summer, he won a highly-anticipated clash with Dereck Chisora for the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles in a battle of unbeatens, pushing his record to 15-0 (10) and snapping Chisora’s winning streak. Not one to stand on ceremony, Fury opted to get right back into the ring to face American Nicolai Firtha tomorrow. He’s 23 and one of the young guns on the scene who intends to bring boxing’s glamour division back to its glory days. The Firtha fight takes place on terrestrial TV in Britain, just like the Chisora bout which drew 3,000,000 viewers. Never one to be short of a word or two, here’s what Fury had to say on various subjects.
Anson Wainwright - You’ll be fighting Nicolai Firtha on September 17 in Belfast. What are your thoughts on this fight and what do you think of Firtha?

Tyson Fury - Well I think I’m going to win and I think Firtha is just another American bum like the rest of them.
AW - Last time out, you took Dereck Chisora’s unbeaten record. It was built up as a 50-50 fight. What are your thoughts looking back on that fight?
TF - Yeah, to be honest with you, I like it when I’m supposed to lose a tough fight and all that. Like you said, it was 50-50 but to be honest with you, it wasn’t 90-10 really on the night. It was an easy fight for me. I knew it was going to be an easy fight all the way through and it was just one of those things. I beat him quite comfortably and I’m on to bigger and better things now.
AW - How happy were you with your performance? Chisora appeared to shake you up a couple of times; however, you managed to ride them out and regain control. Would you say that was fair?
TF - I would say it was a decent performance on my behalf but I’ve got a lot to learn. Chisora isn’t what he’s cracked up to be. Back to the drawing board for him and forward for me. 
AW - Could you tell us about the team behind you? Who are your manager, trainer and promoter? Also where do you train?
TF - My trainer is my uncle, Huey. I don’t have a manager. I’m self-managed and my promoter is Mick Hennessy. I train in a backstreet gym in Lancaster in the North West of England. It’s my uncle’s gym. It’s a Fury gym and a family-run business.
AW - You have travelled to train with Emanuel Steward and Wladimir Klitschko. Could you tell us how it went? What was it like sparring and training with them?
TF – Yeah, it was a good experience going over there in the Klitschko camp. I got to show how I can beat him over there. Training with Emanuel Steward was good; he’s obviously an experienced trainer. It was a good opportunity but to be honest with you, I like to be home with my family. I’m probably not going to go to America and live and train out there. 

AW - How did the opportunity to work with Klitschko and Steward come about?

TF - Andy Lee trains out there and Andy Lee’s my cousin. So I got the opportunity through that and me dad called Emanuel up. I just booked up on a plane and went there.
AW - Having had that experience, how far in your opinion do you think you are from fighting at the highest level?
TF – Hmm, I think I’m not far if I’m honest. I’m young, ambitious; I’ve got a big heart and I’ll keep going. That’s probably the best thing about me. I’ll keep going, keep punching and hopefully, I’ll win something sooner or later. To be honest, I think if I fought Klitschko, I’d just get stuck into him like I do everybody else and I’d give him hell and high water and knock him out or have him on points. Why not?
AW - You have said you aren’t going to rush into fighting for a world title and will continue to develop. With that mind, after your September 17th fight, are you looking for a European title fight with Alexander Dimitrenko?
TF – Well, you can’t look past your next opponent but if I get through this Firtha fight, I don’t know whoever’s the easiest opponent, really. I’m looking for someone about 60 years old to get a quick-fire win. (laughs) Yeah, If Dimitrenko’s still the champion but I’m not interested in the European title. If it doesn’t come to me, I’m not bothered about it. European title means nothing anymore anyway because I can get a world title shot now if I want one. I’m just holding out for the bigger payday.
AW - Back in the summer, David Haye met Wladimir Klitschko in a heavyweight unification. What are your thoughts on that fight?
TF – Yeah, well [Haye] didn’t really try, in my opinion. I’ve said what he is a million times. He is what he is. He doesn’t like to come and fight. He’s a bit of a tip-tap fighter. He likes to hit some old people and has-beens and never-have-beens. He gets a shot at the champion, gets a lot of money and doesn’t perform. He said he was going to do what he was going to do and he didn’t, so he’s not a man of honour. He is what he is. He’s David Haye, isn’t he?! 
AW - You had a brief but successful amateur career. Can you tell us about your time in the unpaid ranks, what tournaments you won and your final record?
TF - I had 36 fights, 31 wins, 26 by knockout. I was European Junior Champion, European Union Junior Champion, bronze medal at the [Youth] World Championship. I was ABA champion and had lots of international fights as well, like England vs. USA, England vs. Poland, Ireland. Quite a few in such a short fight record but I was successful, so I turned pro and here I am today.
AW - During that time, you had a rivalry with David Price who ultimately went on to win bronze at the last Olympics. If he beats John McDermott in November, he’ll be your mandatory challenger for the British title. What are your thoughts on that?
TF – Yeah, I hope he does well and hope he gets his success while he can because it’s one of those things: he knows he can’t beat me so it’s a sh*t fight, really. He can’t beat Chisora, never mind me, so I’m not too worried about that. You can’t go swimming and not get wet. In 12 three-minute rounds, he’s definitely going to get tagged and when he does, he’ll get knocked out. Simple.
AW - Could you tell us about your life away from boxing? What are you hobbies and interests?
TF – Well, when I’m out of boxing, its sex, drugs and rock-and-roll! (laughs) But apart from that, everything’s easy-going. I’m a chilled-out kind of person, spend time with the family, child, wife, go for meals, movies, shooting, take the baby to the Fayre and stuff. I go to Blackpool (a Seaside resort nearby), things like that. I’m a Manchester United fan but I never really get chance to go down there anymore, so I watch it on TV.
AW – Finally, do you have a message for your fans ahead of your return to action?
TF - Keep focused on me because I’m coming, very sharp and I’m learning every day. I’m not the finished article but soon to be one.


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