It seems as though Tyson Fury’s days in heavyweight boxing may be numbered. In an interview with BT Sport he outlined his plans for the rest of his career: to fight Deontay Wilder in a rematch of their December 2018 clash, then to fight the same man a third time, and finish off his career by fighting either the winner of Anthony Joshua v Andy Ruiz Jr, or his old adversary Dereck Chisora.
Such a plan would make 2020 quite the year for the Gypsy King and for boxing as a whole. He’s currently favourite in the Tyson Fury latest odds to beat Wilder in their rematch. If he does win, it’s questionable whether the American would want to fight him for a third time. But assuming Fury’s plans come to fruition, and he does win all three of the fights he has planned, he would leave quite a legacy behind him.
A champion heavyweight
Given the controversy that has surrounded Fury’s career – being stripped of titles, vacating belts, doping controversies – it’s easy to forget that he is still unbeaten in his professional career. In 2015 he defeated Wladimir Klitschko, who was unbeaten for 11 years at the time, to win the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, The Ring Magazine, and the lineal heavyweight titles.
It was a remarkable feat, but Fury’s comeback after being out of the sport for almost three years is arguably more impressive. After the mental tribulations he endured and the weight he gained, to return to the heavyweight division and demonstrate the same unrivalled speed and power was a phenomenal achievement. Most expected Wilder to be a step too far for Fury last December, but the Gypsy King proved he was back to his best and was unfortunate not to win the fight on points.
Fury has said that he is “not interested” in regaining all his heavyweight belts – that the lineal title is enough for him. It’s a refreshing attitude to have. He has nothing left to prove in the ring having won all there is to win in the past. Regardless of how many titles he ends his career with, his legacy will always be that of a true champion.
Few boxers have offered as much entertainment value as Fury. From Batman costumes and post-fight singing to WWE brawls and potty-mouthed call-outs, Fury has never shied away from making a scene and causing a stir in the media.
His ability to entertain has extended into the ring as well. He has showboated against top heavyweights like Klitschko and Wilder, putting his hands behind his back to goad his opponents. His comeback fight against Sefer Seferi in June 2018 was one big jolly for Fury, with repeated goofy antics throughout the fight.
The most memorable boxers are interesting personalities as well as talented fighters. Fury has given plenty in the way of amusement throughout his career and will continue to do so until he retires.
More than a boxer
Fury’s most important lasting legacy may be the work he has done to shine a light on mental health discussion. He suffered from depression after defeating Klitschko, as a feeling of emptiness engulfed him once he had achieved all his goals in boxing. Fury fell into a pattern of bad habits which would take a lot to overcome.
But his recovery from these struggles is a shining inspiration to anyone suffering from mental health difficulties. He has spoken on TV and radio to help break the stigma surrounding mental health and encourage people to talk about their problems. Although Fury enjoys a bit of cheeky banter in his media appearances, he has used his fame and profile to raise awareness of an important issue. Many will remember him in years to come for his efforts to encourage those that suffer with bad mental health to speak out and seek help.
Love him or loathe him, Fury has been one of boxing’s greatest characters. No matter how his career ends, he will leave a lasting legacy as one of the sport’s greats.