This weekend I had the privilege to speak with current trainer to the heavyweight champion of the world Tyson Fury, who is also his uncle, Peter Fury.
Before we got into big talk about the Tyson Fury vs Klitschko rematch and as our international phone conversation commenced, Peter opened up the dialogue by telling me about how one of his other current fighters is getting on, his son Hughie:
“Everything’s going well. We are in camp with Hughie for his fight on March 26th, so we are very busy with that. We’re trying to get him a top fight, somebody who’s number five. We are trying to put him in big fights at the moment so we’ll just have to wait and see. We are waiting on contracts to be signed.”
Speaking on where he currently thought his son was in his career Peter said:
“He’s young, he’s 21 – but he’s heavy. He’s got a lot of skill and he’s ready for a lot of people in the top ten. He’s as good a fighter as anyone else out there. He’s nowhere near his potential yet, and won’t be until he’s about 25, but it shows the level he’s at already that we’re happy to let him mix with people in the top ten.”
Heavyweight Boxing Buzz
Our interview then moved to the heavyweight division as a whole, and how Peter views the current landscape at the moment:
“I do, I think it’s exciting. We’ve got an American champion who’s coming over against a highly talented one we’ve got in Joshua over here, so its very good. It’s good for boxing, it’s got the excitement back. Whoever wins or loses, it is a winner for boxing. Its all exciting times and its all going to be thanks to Tyson, because Tyson is the one who’s freed up all these belts. Its a change of the era I think.”
After mentioning Tyson, I wanted to ask Peter how he felt last November, the moment his nephew was announced as the new heavyweight champion of the world. It’s something that will live long into Peter’s memory:
“Words couldn’t put it into explanation. We’d worked so hard. Over four years we’d been working (me and Tyson) tirelessly to get it. All the naysayers saying he couldn’t do it, he’s no good, and to put all of it to one side and prove most of the world wrong, is an achievement that is never going to be equaled in my eyes. He went over to Germany and beat a guy who was undefeated for 11 years who had gone through everybody.”
Touching on proving the doubters wrong, a real sense of pride and satisfaction came across the end of the phone from Peter:
“He was a massive underdog going into the fight and nobody gave him a prayer. We knew what we had, and we knew what we had to do, and to have that self-belief and get in there in his (Klitschko) own backyard and carry it out exactly as we planned it, was a massive achievement.”
I then asked him did he think Tyson will ever be able to equal that same buzz and will he drive on again over the next couple of years to pursue moments like that once more, having already in a sense, reached the pinnacle of boxing by becoming the heavyweight champion of the world.
Peter was very confident that motivation will not be an issue for Tyson:
“I think he will. He’s climbed the mountain, he knows what he is and he knows what he can do. I think Tyson is a phenomenal champion that can be around a long time. I think he can be around for as long as he wants.”
Tyson Fury vs Klitschko Rematch
Peter then mentioned to me that there’s a couple of things they are currently looking at for Tyson’s next fight in 2016, with the UK being the most favourable country for a potential fight more than likely with Wladimir Klitschko:
“There is a couple of options, there is the UK or it could be in the Middle East, I know they are exhausting avenues out there so its a little bit up in the air. You have to say on past experiences with the Middle East there’s never been big fights that have happened really out there – so its favourable to be in England I think.”
There were some stories in recent times that emerged online where Tyson had been offered hundreds of millions of pounds by a wealthy businessman in the Middle East to fight on his private yacht. Speaking on this rumour, Peter said:
“It was mentioned at one time and obviously a lot of things get mentioned but nothing came of it, its just one of them things. That’s certainly not on the table now, we are not looking at that anyway.”
I asked Peter did he think the Klitschko rematch would be a big enough event for fans to sell a stadium fight in the UK, to which he enthused:
“Ya definitely. this is a stadium fight and if it happens in the UK it will be in a stadium. That’s what we are looking at and that’s what will happen.”
Conor McGregor and Dedication in Combat Sports
As our conversation came to an end we also briefly switched from boxing a little bit, to what Peter thought of the UFC’s current fighting star Conor McGregor, to which he spoke highly of:
“I’ve seen little clips of him here, there and everywhere. I think its fabulous what he’s doing. Full credit to the man. I like the way he speaks and I like the way he comes over. He’s big news. I think he can fight as well, he can back his words up. Again, you can look at fighters like this and say he’s absolutely a dedicated fighting man and that’s what you’ve got to be to be a world class fighter. He’s a good fighter and good character – he’s excellent for the UFC.”
After drawing parallels between the dedication required in both boxing and in the UFC, our chat then ended firmly on a positive boxing note.
Peter conveyed to me verbally that the drive to constantly improve is what keeps him and the team going everyday:
“You gotta live and breath boxing, simple as that. Boxing’s first, everything else is second. Long may it continue, lets just put the work in and enjoy the fights, because that’s what I want to see. I want to see good fights. I want to see skill in the ring and I want to see coming off the things we’ve practice in the gym. We work to perfection and we are still striving to achieve it. So we just keep going.”
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