“It would be like putting a piece of meat in front of a butcher’s axe.” — Twittering Tyson Fury Visits Leave it in the Ring Radio
by Esteban Walters
The mercurial and undefeated 24-year-old British heavyweight Tyson Fury (20-0, 16KOs) has received his share of publicity lately due to the words he slings as weapons, and there doesn’t seem to be a safety button on the mouth of the Wilmslow, Chesire resident. If controversy is what you want, Fury doesn’t disappoint.
On Wednesday, Jan. 16, the 6-foot-9 – 250 pound Fury visited Leave it in the RinG Radio to discuss an array of topics with hosts David Duenez and Gabriel Montoya, and Tyson was par for the course in terms of his entertaining vernacular.
Fury is on the cusp of a world title shot against one of the Klitschko brothers, and the late great Emmanuel Steward — who trained Wladimir Klitschko — once described Fury as a man with the potential to rule the heavyweight division once the brothers Klits have moved on from the sport. Fury has four knockouts in his last six bouts, which include points victories over Kevin Johnson and Derek Chisora.
Fury doesn’t have any upcoming scheduled bouts, but he’s hoping to get back in the ring in March, before a possible showdown with WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko later in the year. Fury even called out Vitali’s brother IBO/IBF/WBA/WBO heavyweight boss Wladimir Klitschko — who is searching for an opponent for a voluntary defense in April — and let it known that he’d be ready to fight the undisputed champion.
When Fury isn’t fighting with his fist, he’s fighting foes on Twitter with his furiously fast Phalanges, which have placed the young heavyweight in controversy’s spotlight.
As I said earlier, Fury is looking for a March opponent before a clash with Vitali Klitschko several months later, but Fury had been trying to get Vitali as his March opponent instead of waiting until later in 2013 for the championship fight to happen. Fury recently made headlines when he said that if he can’t secure Vitali in the beginning of the year, then he’s willing to challenge [mixed martial arts] UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez.
Fury stated that he’s the real baddest man on the planet – as opposed to the UFC heavyweight champion, often described as just that — and is willing to fight the Mexican-American at his own MMA rules.
If it was publicity Fury was trying to get, consider it done.
Fury tweeted to Velasquez: “I challenge you to a fight in a cage or a ring! It could be billed as the man vs midget. Let’s get it on! You small stiff idiot.”
Fury also took aim at fellow countryman and British UFC middleweight contender Michael Bisping, after Bisping made vocal observations about Fury’s challenge to Velasquez. Tyson didn’t appreciate the mixed martial artists’ analysis and had even harsher words for him in rebuttal.
“To be honest with you, I don’t know much about Bisping (personally), but I think he’s a first-class prick. I think he’s a wanker,” said Fury.
The public put Fury’s feet to the fire after he sent homophobic tweets to undefeated British heavyweight boxer and number one nemesis David Price.
One of his tweets said, “dont like gays shoul all b shot dead.”
Fury didn’t take responsibility for the Twitter comments, saying he gets a lot of Twitter abuse aimed his way, and that it was his cousins that got a hold of his phone and made those tweets, on his phone, under his Twitter account, without his knowledge.
Fury was already facing possible disciplinary action from the British Boxing Board of Control for a Twitter video he posted saying, “David Price, I’m going to put you in intensive care, that’s for sure mate. And you know your gay lover [British light heavyweight] Tony Bellew? He’s got to fight me in between rounds as well. I want the two of you, you pair of tossers.”
David Price and Fury have been circling one another and launching verbal fusillades at each other for years. It’s only a matter of time before these two are forced to fight.
Some have accused Fury of vacating titles to avoid facing mandatory challengers. That’s can’t be proved but Fury did opt to vacate the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles instead of facing Price. There could be a number of reasons Fury made that decision, like a possible showdown with Vitali Klitschko, money, venue, or TV rights, but it’s a highly demanded British clash and after all Fury’s tough-talk towards Price, it makes people wonder if he really wants to fight him. There is no doubt these two will meet in the future, and in my opinion, a year or two from now would be bigger and better anyway. I don’t think a loss from either man in the meantime wouldn’t derail their date. They’re destined for bloodshed, and with time, the enmity will only amplify.
Fury certainly doesn’t lack confidence and seems to be well schooled in boxing’s present and past, as well as being very familiar with his heavyweight counterparts.
Here are some quotes from Fury’s visit to Leave it in the RinG.
WHETHER HIS TWEETS DIRECTED TOWARDS CAIN VELAZQUEZ & [K-1 FIGHTER] BOBB SAPP WERE SERIOUS, OR JUST WISECRACKS
Fury: No seriously, I’m considering [some] fights with MMA fighters and things like that. Because it seems to me that the boxers of today, they don’t really want to go toe-to-toe with me. Maybe these MMA fighters will, they’re a bit braver, and a bit gamer.
Obviously I’m going to pursue my boxing career first, but if I was offered a big [MMA] fight, then I’ll take the fight.
WHAT HE THINKS ABOUT CAIN VELASQUEZ’S COMMENTS THAT, EVEN IF THE FIGHT WAS MENTIONED TO HIM, [FURY] WOULD HAVE TO WORK HIS WAY UP UP THE LADDER IN THE UFC
Fury: I think that’s just an excuse. He doesn’t know, maybe he does… I don’t think there’s a fighting man on the planet that doesn’t know Tyson Fury.
Why would I have to work my way up [when] I’m knocking on the door of a world title in boxing. And I know, in the past, fighters from all different backgrounds, at high levels, just cross over and fight straight away. There’s no need to build up for fights like that. If the fight’s been made, then it’s been made, you know what I mean!?!
TALKING OF VELASQUEZ’S HEIGHT, VERSUS HIS
Fury: You could bill it as the man vs. the midget.
HOW AND WHY HE GOT STARTED IN BOXING
Fury: My dad was a professional boxer before me, and I always remember going to the professional gyms with him. Maybe from the age of five, six, seven, eight, nine, I used to just go over there, and not do anything, just play around in the gym.
I decided to get into boxing myself at the age of about fourteen, fifteen. I didn’t have my first fight until I was about sixteen, seventeen. And I just went on from there really, and I loved it.
WHY HE LOVES IT
Fury: You know, fighting one-on-one with another man, who’s trained as well as you have, it’s a test you know. It’s the biggest test of all.
I love it so much because it’s something that I love to do, and it’s what I’ve been bred to do.
That’s all I’ve ever known is fighting.
When I’m in there [gym] it’s just like a home to me. I can be stressed out, I can be anything, [and] when I hit the road, I hit the gym, I forget about all those worries until I’m out again. No matter what’s on my mind, as soon as I get in the gym, and start working out, and training, and sparring and stuff, it doesn’t matter what’s going on outside, I’m a whole different person inside. And if any sport can do that to a person, it’s worth doing isn’t it!?!
HE BEAT KEVIN JOHNSON IN A WBC TITLE-ELIMINATOR AND STILL DIDN’T GET THE FIGHT WITH VITALI. WHAT HE THINKS HE NEEDS TO DO, TO SECURE A FIGHT AGAINST EITHER KLITSCHKO
Fury: To be honest with you, I think they know what’s coming for them.
When you have a young dangerous fighter coming up, who’s like number two, number three, and you’re the world champion and your 41 or 42, gettin’ on a bit, you don’t really want to have a test like fighting Tyson Fury. You want easy tests, people you’ve already beaten before. People, who haven’t got a chance, people who have padded records, people who have paper records. They don’t want to fight a proper contender.
And this is the thing with the Klitschko’s, this is why no kids grow up wanting to be a Klitschko. Kids grow up wanting to be Mike Tyson, Muhammad Ali, wanting to be Lennox Lewis, all the great fighters. Kids don’t grow up wanting to be a Klitschko. For one, they can’t even say the name of them, and for two, they’re not entertaining, they’re very robotic, very boring, they do the same thing over and over again. They’re very educated men but in the other sense, you can’t relate to them.
WHAT HE THINKS ABOUT A DAVID PRICE FIGHT
Fury: To be honest, it’s a good fight you know. Its two big heavyweights, both of them Britain, both undefeated. I think it’s got all the right makings for a brilliant super-fight.
But he’s still only the British champion. He’s not on the world scene; he’s taking his first step on the world’s stage against Tony Thompson. If he keeps winning, and I keep winning, I’m sure somewhere down the line we’ll have to cross roads.
But right now I’m just focusing on a world title fight, and I’m not going to jump back down. I gave up the British title about sixteen, seventeen months ago, to go and pursue a world title, and that’s what I’ve been doing, I’ve had to fight my way there.
But I’m sure he’s going to do really well, and I’m sure he’s going to keep winning because he has a good management team behind him.
He’s got a lot of learning to do. To beat a guy like me, a one-dimensional fighter is never going to do it.
David Price is going to talk a lot of nonsense in the newspapers to try and get himself a big fight with me, which, I don’t blame him because, how many times have I been in the newspaper and calling people out? The Klitschko’s, everybody, and they don’t fight me, do they!?! There’s a big line, I think [Price] needs to get in it.
WHICH OF HIS FIGHTS HE LOOKS AT, AND THINKS HE MADE A LEAP IN, IN TERMS OF WHAT IMPROVEMENTS
Fury: I think [I've] got one of the best groundings [as] a heavyweight contender out there at the moment. I’ve had a lot of undefeated fighters, a whole lot of different styles, southpaws, tall, fat, short, skinny.
I think today, [if you're] a top fighter, you need to fight good opposition. And if you go on Boxrec and check my record, and look at the fighters that I’ve fought, [they've] all been tough durable fighters, and they come to fight.
The Chisora fight was a good fight for me because everybody thought I was going to lose. There wasn’t a British reporter, or writer, that didn’t write me off against Derek Chisora. Derek Chisora was going to be too tough, too strong, too experienced. That was one of my best wins because I was supposed to lose. And when I am supposed to lose, I always never do.
I think Kevin Johnson was the biggest leap so far. It was my first proper step up to world class [opposition], because I think Chisora is a journeyman fighter, he’s not a contender, for a higher level boxer. [Chisora] will give a good test, he’s not too dangerous, and he’s going to entertain people with his attitude. But he’s nothing more than a high level journeyman. Kevin Johnson on the other hand, is one of them fighters where if you make a couple mistakes, you’re in trouble.
The difference in fighting somebody like Derek Chisora and Kevin Johnson is leagues. If I would have fought Kevin Johnson on the same [par] as I fought Derek Chisora, I would have definitely lost. It’s only this past year or so, where I’ve really doubled-down and got my training proper.
To go out there and out-box him [Johnson] every round, give him a boxing lesson like I did, I beat him at his own game. And that’s why I say I have so many tools in the shed, because if you look at the Chisora fight, I beat him at his own game on the inside. And Johnson’s a defensive fighter, he likes to keep it long, and I did exactly what Johnson wanted to do to me, to him. So I can adapt to different styles, which is another good thing about me.
The biggest step up was definitely Kevin Johnson.
Me, personally, I’d rather get the experience of fighting a world-class fighter, than fight somebody that I’m just going to knock out in a couple rounds, that’s not going to help me. Maybe it might help my bank balance, or it might help me pad [my] record. But considering I want to be the heavyweight champion of the world, I need to be taking tougher fights. Fighting ten guys that I could knock out in the first round, it doesn’t equate to one 12-round contest where you have to think all the way through the fight.
I can’t wait for my next fight because I know I’ve worked a lot. I’ll have come on a lot from the last fight, and from this camp as well, I’ll be in camp for ten weeks by the time the fight comes [in] mid-March [or] the end of March. So I’m really looking forward to whoever it may be.
WHAT HEAVYWEIGHT HE THINKS POSES A THREAT TO HIM
Fury: Well, personally, I know boxing. I’m an encyclopedia on heavyweights for the past 100 years. I’ve got a great knowledge on heavyweights. When it comes to heavyweights, I’m the man, especially being a heavyweight boxer; I know what I’m talking about. And I don’t see [Deontay] Wilder, or Seth Mitchell, or any of them guys, Jonathan Banks, they wouldn’t beat Kevin Johnson. If Kevin Johnson trained and prepared as fit as he was when he fought me, these guys wouldn’t beat Johnson, he’s just too evasive and too skillful for them. You have to out-think a man like him, rather than just go in and try to hit him.
He’ll [Johnson] will give anybody an awkward night. I don’t think any of those guys you [David Duenez] just mentioned [Steve Cunningham, Jonathan Banks, Chris Arreola and Tomasz Adamek] are any better than Kevin Johnson. Cunningham, Adamek, any of them. We’ve offered Adamek a fight twenty-five times. He keeps refusing to take the fight. One moment he’s not ready, and then he’s taking on Cunningham, Chambers, now he’s taking on Kubrat Pulev. We actually sat down with his promoter, and they said, ‘ah, nah, we’d rather take Pulev instead.’ So now he’s going to take on Pulev in Poland, and I can’t say I blame Tomasz Adamek because, again, right off it would be… it would be a write-off job because, again, he’s too small for me, and I’m too quick, and I have too many things in the shed for a man like Tomasz Adamek, another one-dimensional fighter tailor-made for me.
Looking at the American heavyweights, I don’t see anything that troubles me, or endangers me, or puts me in a position where I think, ‘all right, I better stay clear of him.’ There’s nothing out there. I’m not being disrespectful to anybody listening, or anybody in the studio who thinks different. But I don’t see Deontay Wilder as, going to be heavyweight champion of the world. I just see him as a padded paper record. [He has a big punch], but he’s just been fed people who can’t fight back basically. Untested, is the word we’re looking for.
We just saw what happened to Seth Mitchell when he stepped up against JB [Jonathan Banks].
Jonathan Banks is not a top heavyweight, he wouldn’t last with the likes of me, or Klitschko, or even… any of these guys really.
[Steve Cunningham] is coming up from cruiserweight. He’s lost controversial losses in two of his last three [fights].
You’ve got Bryan Jennings, he seems to be a decent mover, pretty small though. Again, can he mix it [up] with the big guys? We don’t know.
And that’s about it really, isn’t it!?!
WHAT ABOUT CHRIS ARREOLA
Fury: That fight, I’ll tell what it would be like. It would be like giving me a nice Mars bar or something like that, some candy.
Chris Arreola is tailor-made for Tyson Fury. It would be like putting a piece of meat in front of a butcher’s axe, that’s what it would be like.
Chris Arreola, okay he’s got a decent punch against mediocre fighters, but looked what happened to him when he stepped up, he couldn’t get anywhere near [Vitali] Klitschko. Tomasz Adamek beat him.
[Chris Arreola] is not all what he’s cracked up to be.
Hopefully [Chris] beats [Bermane] Stiverne, which I don’t think he will. If Stiverne comes up and in shape, I think [Chris] has a real handful in Stiverne, because a lot of people don’t know much about Bermane Stiverne, but he’s a well-skilled amateur, he had a lot of fights as an amateur I believe, he’s got a good pro style, he’s a big fighter, a bit like Mike Tyson, he’s got a good punch, but he can blow hot or cold.
Back to Arreola, I think he’s definitely a tailor-made fighter for me.
WHAT HE THINKS IS HIS BIGGEST IMPROVEMENT SINCE THE DEREK CHISORA VICTORY, IN TEMRS OF HIS TOOLS
Fury: I’m going to let you in on a little secret. For my first seventeen fights I was training, basically, by myself. I was eating what I wanted, didn’t have a dietician, and didn’t have a strength program. Just a big kid with talent that was willing to fight. To get in there and give everything. I won, basically, on talent and heart alone in a lot of my fights. Even the Chisora fight, I wasn’t properly conditioned, or properly fit. It’s only been my last three fights, where I’ve been properly trained. I’ve eaten correct food, I’ve done whatever is necessary to go in there and have a fight.
Basically I was winning on raw talent, and will to win, heart and determination, and never-say-never. If you go and look at some of my fights in the past, I’ve come in at like 270, 280 [lbs.]. I was out of breath after a round, and sometimes I had to go eight or nine rounds. I was sick to death of going to the well all the time. I had to go to the well, get a shovel out, and start digging when I was at the bottom of the well. I was running out of steam in every single fight, and I had come to a stage where I wasn’t interested in boxing anymore, I’m just going in there to pay the bills and have a fight basically. I wasn’t bothered whether I won or lost. And it wasn’t until [my] uncle Peter got a hold of me and said, ‘listen, we need to speak, you’re ruining your career, you’re coming in like a fat slob.
But I didn’t listen. I then took another fight, and another fight, two more fights, [in] which I was hurt in one of them, [and] I was put down in another one. Just going in there totally unconditioned, out of shape, a fat pig again. It wasn’t until then, where I had a debate with my uncle, and [we decided that] he was going to be the best trainer if I was to knuckle down.
I truly believe that if it wasn’t for my uncle Peter getting involved, I wouldn’t be on the way to getting a heavyweight title. Not for the fact that I couldn’t do it, just for the fact that I didn’t have the discipline and I didn’t believe that I could ever get in proper shape. I just wasn’t really dedicated to boxing, if you know what I mean? I took it as a play thing. It wasn’t a serious thing to me, just something I did being a kid, and carried on doing, and it seemed that I was good at winning, I knew how to win. But ever since I fought Martin Rogan, Vinny Maddalone and Kevin Johnson, I’ve been in proper shape, properly dedicated. We took a year out, nearly, to get in proper shape, and we’ve come back in 2012, and in 2013, we’re taking over the show.