Tyson Luke Fury (born 12 August 1988) is a British professional boxer. In 2015, he won the unified WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, The Ring magazine, and lineal heavyweight titles by defeating long-reigning world champion Wladimir Klitschko in Germany. The victory earned him Fighter of the Year and Upset of the Year awards by The Ring. As of December 2019, Fury is ranked as the world's best active heavyweight by The Ring, second by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and fourth by BoxRec.
As an amateur, Fury represented both England and Ireland, as he was born in Manchester to an Irish Traveller family and traced his family lineage to relatives in Belfast and Galway. He won the ABA super-heavyweight title in 2008 before turning professional later that year at 20 years of age. After winning the English heavyweight title twice, he became the British and Commonwealth champion in 2011 by defeating the 14–0 Dereck Chisora. He then won the Irish and WBO Inter-Continental titles, before defeating Chisora again in a 2014 rematch for the European and WBO International heavyweight titles. This success, along with his 24–0 record, set up a match with Klitschko, which Fury won by unanimous decision.
Fury was stripped of his IBF title 10 days after the Klitschko bout as he was unable to grant a fight with the IBF's mandatory challenger, Vyacheslav Glazkov, due to a rematch clause in his contract with Klitschko. The Klitschko rematch did not materialise as Fury suffered from mental health issues leading to alcoholism, extreme weight gain, and recreational drug use, and was charged with anti-doping violations. In 2016, he vacated the WBA, WBO, and IBO titles; The Ring stripped him of his last remaining title in early 2018. Later in 2018, following more than two years of inactivity, Fury challenged for the WBC heavyweight title against Deontay Wilder. The fight was controversially scored as a draw, with many believing Fury won. Fury's strong performance against Wilder (including recovering from a heavy knockdown in the final round) earned him Comeback of the Year from The Ring and numerous other awards.
Tyson Luke Fury was born on 12 August 1988 in the Wythenshawe area of Manchester, where he was raised. He was born three months premature and weighed 1 pound (450 g). His father, John, named him Tyson after the then-undefeated undisputed heavyweight world champion Mike Tyson. John said, "The doctors told me there was not much chance of him living. I had lost two daughters in the same way who had been born prematurely." He named him Tyson as he was a fighter and survived the premature birth.
Fury is of Irish Traveller descent. His paternal grandfather was from Tuam, which is also the birthplace of his father. The Furys are ultimately of Gaelic origin, deriving their present surname from Ó Fiodhabhra. Fury's maternal grandmother is from County Tipperary and his mother was born in Belfast. Despite strongly identifying with his Irish heritage, Fury has had problems in gaining dual citizenship because his father's birth in County Galway was not recorded civilly in the 1960s, as Irish Travellers at the time only recorded births through baptism with the church rather than officially with the state.
Fury left school when he was 11, and joined his father and three brothers tarmacking roads. His mother Amber had 14 pregnancies in total, but only four of the children survived. A daughter, Ramona, was born in December 1997 but died within days. This experience has stayed with Fury, who was just nine years old at the time. Fury began boxing at the age of 10. His father acted as his trainer until 2011, when his father was jailed for gouging out the eye of another Traveller due to a long-standing feud; Fury himself was raised to keep the fighting within the ring and has not had trouble with the law.
The Fury family has a long history in boxing. Fury's father competed in the 1980s as "Gypsy" John Fury, initially as a bare-knuckle and unlicensed boxer, and then as a professional boxer. John had a professional record of 8–4–1, with one of his losses being to Henry Akinwande. Fury is also a cousin of several professional boxers, including heavyweights Hughie Fury and Nathan Gorman, retired WBO middleweight world champion Andy Lee and light heavyweight contender Hosea Burton. His half-brother Tommy made his professional debut on 22 December 2018 under the tutelage of two-weight world champion Ricky Hatton. Fury is also a distant relative of the bare-knuckle boxers Uriah Burton and Bartley Gorman, both considered "King of the Gypsies", hence Fury's own nickname of "Gypsy King". He has also styled himself as "The Furious One" and "2 Fast" Fury.
Amateur boxing career
As an amateur, Fury represented both Ireland and England. Fury represented Ireland three times at international level. He was based at of the Holy Family Boxing Club in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and later switched to the Smithboro Club in County Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland. In a double international match against an experienced Polish team in 2007, the Irish team lost 12–6 overall; Fury, however, was victorious in both his fights in Rzeszów and Białystok. In another Irish match against the US, Fury won his bout by knockout. He won bronze at the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in 2006.
In England, whilst representing Jimmy Egan's Boxing Academy in Wythenshawe, Manchester, he participated in the senior national championships in 2006 but was beaten by David Price 22–8. In May 2007, he won the EU Junior Championship, defeating Istvan Bernath in the final. In July 2007 he won silver at the European Junior Championship, losing to Maxim Babanin in the final.
As a junior, Fury was ranked number three in the world behind the Russians Maxim Babanin and Andrey Volkov, but did not get the chance to represent Great Britain at the 2008 Olympics because each country is restricted to one boxer per weight division and David Price was selected. Price came up through the amateur Olympic programme. Fury also unsuccessfully tried to qualify for Ireland. He was also forced to withdraw from the Irish national championships after officials from the Holy Trinity Boxing Club in West Belfast, the club of the then Irish amateur heavyweight champion, submitted a protest regarding his eligibility as he was not born in Ireland.
Fury won the ABA super-heavyweight title in 2008 before turning professional later that year. Feeling disillusioned with amateur boxing, he decided not to wait for the 2012 Olympics. He finished with an amateur record of 31–4 (26 KOs).
Professional boxing career
Fury made his professional debut at the age of 20 on 6 December 2008 in Nottingham, on the undercard of Carl Froch vs. Jean Pascal against Hungarian fighter Bela Gyongyosi, who Fury defeated via TKO in the first round with a combination to head and body. He then had six more fights in the space of seven months, defeating Marcel Zeller, Daniil Peratyakto, Lee Swaby, Matthew Ellis, Scott Belshaw and Aleksandrs Selezens all via knockout within 4 rounds.
On 11 September 2009, Fury fought John McDermott for the English heavyweight title, and won via a points decision. Fury came in as a 1–6 favourite but produced a poor display, and the 98–92 decision by the referee Terry O'Connor was criticised. The decision led the British Boxing Board of Control to mandate three judges for all English titles, and the board ordered a rematch.
Fury scored two more victories against Tomas Mrazek and Hans-Joerg Blasko before facing McDermott in a rematch on 25 June 2010. Fury settled the controversy of the first fight, as he knocked down McDermott three times, first in the 8th round then twice in the 9th round to win by TKO. Up to this point, McDermott had not been knocked down in his 32-fight career. Fury won the English heavyweight title for a second time in the process. Another three wins followed: a points decisions over American fighters Rich Power and Zack Page in two 8-round matches, and a knockout of the Brazilian Marcelo Luis Nacimento in the 5th round.
On 23 July 2011, Fury faced undefeated heavyweight Dereck Chisora for the British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles at Wembley Arena in London. Although Chisora was aged 27 and Fury just 22 years old, both men went into the fight with a record of 14–0. Despite Fury's superior size and reach, Chisora was the favourite. After 12 hard-fought rounds Fury won via unanimous decision 117–112, 117–112, and 118–111, with the fight shown live on free-to-air Channel 5. Promoter Mick Hennessy said the fight peaked at around 3 million viewers.
On 17 September 2011, Fury fought 32-year-old fringe contender Nicolai Firtha (20–8–1, 8 KO) in a non-title bout at the King's Hall, Belfast. Firtha took the fight on two weeks' notice. The opening two rounds were dominated by Fury. In round 3, Firtha landed a big punch which looked to trouble Fury. Fury regained control of the fight by the next round and forced the referee to stop the fight at 2 minutes, 19 seconds on round 5. Fury admitted he got caught flush, "He caught me with a good punch and I had to come back from it." The fight averaged 1.03 million viewers on Channel 5.
Fury returned to the ring on 12 November at the Event City in Trafford Park, Manchester to defend his Commonwealth heavyweight title against undefeated Canadian heavyweight champion Neven Pajkic. Fury suffered an early scare after being knocked down in round 2 following a big right hand. Although Pajkic hobbled Fury again at the outset of round 3, Fury came back to knock down Pajkic twice during that round. The referee stopped the fight after the last knockdown, much to the protest of Pajkic, who declared himself ready to fight on. Many at ringside thought the stoppage premature. The fight averaged 1.72 million viewers on Channel 5.
Fury vacated his British and Commonwealth belts in order to pursue a future world title match. On 14 April 2012, Fury traveled to Belfast to fight at the Odyssey Arena for the vacant Irish heavyweight title. His opponent was veteran Martin Rogan (14–2, 7 KOs). Rogan had not fought in 18 months and had not beaten an opponent with a winning record since 2009. At 245 ⁄4 pounds (111.5 kg), Fury was fighting at the lightest weight of his professional career to date. Fury put Rogan on the canvas with a left hook in the third round. Rogan went down again in round 5 from a body shot. Rogan made it to his feet, but the bout was stopped at the request of his corner. The fight averaged 1.33 million viewers on Channel 5.
On 7 July, Fury fought for the vacant WBO Inter-continental heavyweight title against American boxer Vinny Maddalone (35–7, 26 KOs) at the Hand Arena in Clevedon, Somerset. Fury weighed 245.5 pounds (111.4 kg), marginally lighter than the Rogan fight. Maddalone entered with a record of 4–3 in his previous seven bouts. Fury improved his record to 19–0 with 14 stoppage wins, with a fifth-round technical knockout over Maddalone. Fury controlled the fight from the onset and stunned Maddalone with a combination in the opening round. Fury continued to land heavy punches and opened a cut under his opponent's left eye in the fourth. In round 5, with Maddalone taking punches, the referee stepped in and called an end to the bout with blood streaming out of the cut under the veteran's left eye. It was the fifth knockout loss of Maddalone's professional career. In the post-fight interviews, Fury said, "I knew it was a matter of time. I actually called the referee over, he was taking some big shots. I'm still undefeated. I would like to say I'm ready for anyone in the world. Klitschkos, bring them on. Americans, bring them on. Bring on Tomasz Adamek. He's too small for me and I see an early win for me." Promoter Mick Hennessy also stated a world title fight was "two or three fights away", targeting Adamek next. The fight averaged 1.05 million viewers on Channel 5.
Rise through the ranks
On 12 November 2012, it was announced that Fury would fight American world title contender Kevin Johnson (28–3–1, 13 KOs) in a WBC title eliminator at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast on 1 December. Fury said, "Johnson is just the kind of opponent that I want at this stage of my career. We needed a world class fighter and we have got one." Fury won via unanimous decision over Johnson. After 12 rounds, the judges scored it 119–110, 119–108, and 119–108 in favour of Fury. Many media outlets including the BBC and ESPN dubbed the fight as a poor showing. Fury claimed he would score a good win, just as rival David Price did when he stopped Matt Skelton a night earlier, but instead eased to a decision victory. Fury, with the win, was in line to challenge for the WBC title, held at the time by Vitali Klitschko. The fight averaged 1.37 million viewers on Channel 5.
On 20 February 2013, it was reported that Fury would fight highly ranked American former cruiserweight world champion Steve Cunningham (25–5, 12 KOs) in his United States debut at Madison Square Garden Theater on 20 April. The bout was an IBF title eliminator to determine the number 2 world ranking, with the winner then needing to fight unbeaten Bulgarian heavyweight Kubrat Pulev for the mandatory position for a shot at the long reigning world champion Wladimir Klitschko. Cunningham came into the fight on the rebound from a controversial split decision loss to Tomasz Adamek. At the weigh in, Cunningham was 44 pounds (20 kg) lighter, at 210 pounds (95 kg) to Fury's 254 pounds (115 kg).
Fury fought wildly in the first two rounds of the bout, and was floored by Cunningham in the 2nd round. However, Fury rebounded and handed Cunningham the first knockout defeat of his career with a right hand in the seventh round. Fury was also docked a point in round 5 following a headbutt. A week after the fight, Cunningham spoke to ATG Radio, claiming that Fury used an illegal manoeuvre to knock him out, "He held me with his forearm. He pushed me in the corner twice – which is illegal – and then he pushed me with his forearm, cocked my head to the left and threw a right hook." The fight card aired on NBC in the late afternoon and averaged 1.2 million viewers, peaking at 1.7 million. In the UK, the fight aired on Channel 5 and averaged 1.54 million viewers. The win over Cunningham gave Fury a world ranking of 7 according to BoxRec, a number 2 ranking according to the IBF, 6th with the WBC, and 5th with the WBO.
Fury was due to fight David Haye (26–2, 24 KOs) on 28 September 2013, in a fight which would have seen Fury fight on a pay-per-view platform for the first time. However, Haye pulled out of the fight on 21 September, after sustaining a cut, which required six stitches, above the eye during training. The fight was originally postponed to 8 February 2014. Haye pulled out of the fight a second time on 17 November, stating that he had a career-threatening shoulder injury which required surgery, and hinted at his retirement. Fury believed that Haye was making excuses because he did not want the fight, saying "I'm absolutely furious but in all honesty this is exactly what I expected. Everyone knows I was very suspicious when he pulled out the first time and this confirms to me that he's always been afraid of me and never wanted this fight." Aside from training camp expenses, Haye also cost Fury his positions in the world rankings including an IBF final eliminator bout which would have made him mandatory for a shot at the world title.
On 24 January 2014 it was announced that Fury would fight at the Copper Box Arena against Argentine veteran Gonzalo Omar Basile (61–8, 27KO) on 15 February. On 5 February, Basile pulled out of the fight due to a lung infection. He was replaced by American journeyman Joey Abell (29–7, 28 KOs). Fury won the fight via 4th-round TKO, which set up a rematch with Chisora in the summer. Ring rust showed in the opening two rounds with Abell connecting with left hands, which had Fury against the ropes. But Fury managed to compose himself and get behind the jab. In the third round, Fury floored Abell with a right hand. Abell beat the count but was floored again, this time being saved by the bell. Two more knockdowns followed in round 4 ending the fight. After the fight, Fury took to the microphone, "Tyson too fast Fury, that's the name, fighting's the game and these are bums compared to me. I want Wladimir Klitschko, he's avoiding me, let's get it on Wlad."
European heavyweight champion
Fury was due to fight rival and heavyweight contender Dereck Chisora for the second time on 26 July 2014, for the European and once again the British heavyweight title. On 21 July, Chisora was forced to pull out after sustaining a fractured hand in training. Belarusian Alexander Ustinov was lined up as Chisora's replacement in the bout scheduled to take place at the Manchester Arena, Fury pulled out of the fight after his uncle and former trainer Hughie Fury was taken seriously ill. However, Fury and Chisora rescheduled the rematch for 29 November 2014 at ExCeL London. The bout was also a WBO title eliminator and shown live on BoxNation. Fury was victorious again after dominating the fight up until Chisora's corner pulled him out at the end of the 10th round. Fury also used a southpaw stance for the majority of the fight, despite the traditional right-handed orthodox stance being his preference. Fury used his jab to trouble Chisora and stayed on the outside with his longer reach to dominate the fight. Chisora failed to land any telling punches, and due to Fury's awkward fighting style, end up hitting him below the belt. Chisora was warned by referee Marcus McDonnell in the first round. After the fight, Fury said, "Wladimir Klitschko, I'm coming for you, baby. I'm coming. No retreat, no surrender." Promoter Mick Hennessy said Fury would likely fight once more before challenging for the world title.
On 26 December 2014, Sky Sports News announced that Fury would fight once more before challenging Klitschko for his world titles. His opponent was Christian Hammer (17–3, 10 KOs) and the fight took place on 28 February 2015 at the O2 Arena in London. Fury said he went for an opponent that would give him a challenge rather than an "easier" opponent, before challenging Klitschko. Fury went on to win the fight when it came to a halt in the 8th round via RTD. Fury dominated the fight from the opening bell and dropped Hammer in round 5 following a short right hook. Following the fight, Fury called out Wladimir Klitschko again, stating he was ready for his world title shot.
Unified heavyweight world champion
In July 2015, it was confirmed that Fury would fight Wladimir Klitschko in a world heavyweight title showdown, for the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, Lineal and The Ring heavyweight titles. Initially scheduled for 24 October 2015, the fight was postponed to 28 November 2015 after Klitschko sustained a calf injury. For this match, Fury trained with the highest ranked heavyweight kickboxers in GLORY, Rico Verhoeven and Benjamin Adegbuyi.
The fight took place at Esprit Arena in Düsseldorf, Germany. Prior to the fight taking place on the night, there was much controversy, first starting with the gloves, then there was a complaint about the ring canvas. Klitchsko reportedly had his hands wrapped without a representative of Fury, so had to do them again. Fury won after twelve rounds by a unanimous decision. The judges scored the fight 115–112, 115–112, and 116–111. Klitshko and Fury showed little offence during the 12 rounds, but Fury was more active and did enough each round to take the decision. Klitschko landed 52 of 231 punches thrown (23%) and Fury landed 86 of 371 thrown (23%).
In the post-fight interview, an emotional Fury said, "This is a dream come true. We worked so hard for this. I've done it. It's hard to come to foreign countries and get decisions. It just means so much to me to come here and get the decision." He then took the microphone and thanked Klitschko, "I'd like to say to Wladimir, you're a great champion. And thanks very much for having me. It was all fun and games during the buildup." Klitschko failed to throw his well-known right hand, mostly due to Fury's constant movement and mocking. He said, "Tyson was the faster and better man tonight. I felt quite comfortable in the first six rounds, but I was astonished that Tyson was so fast in the second half as well. I couldn't throw my right hand because the advantage was the longer distance he had." Klitschko had a rematch clause in place.
On 8 December 2015, the IBF stripped Fury of its title, as the contract for the fight against Klitschko included a rematch clause, precluding Fury from facing the IBF's mandatory challenger Vyacheslav Glazkov. Fury had held the IBF belt for only 10 days.
Relinquishing world titles
Following months of negotiation, the rematch with Klitschko was announced on 8 April 2016, this time with the fight scheduled to take place in Fury's hometown of Manchester at the Manchester Arena on 9 July 2016. Despite agreeing terms for the rematch, Fury said he had "no motivation" and had gained an extreme amount of weight after the first fight, as he weighed over 330 pounds (150 kg) by April 2016. On 24 June 2016, it was announced that this fight would be postponed to a later date due to Fury sustaining a sprained ankle in training. On the same day, Fury and his cousin, Hughie Fury, were charged by UK Anti-Doping "with presence of a prohibited substance", namely nandrolone, from a sample taken 16 months previously in February 2015. Tyson and Hughie said that they "strenuously deny" the charge. On 23 September, Fury again postponed the fight after being declared "medically unfit". ESPN reported that Fury had failed a drug test for cocaine a day before the second postponement. Fury cited problems with depression after the positive test for cocaine.
Fury's mental health deteriorated after winning the world titles. On 4 October 2016, in an interview with Rolling Stone, Fury said “I’m going through a lot of personal demons, trying to shake them off, this has got nothing to do with my fighting – what I’m going through right now is my personal life. I've not been in a gym for months. I've been going through depression. I just don't want to live anymore, if you know what I’m saying. I've had total enough of it. Never mind cocaine. I just didn't care. I don't want to live anymore. So cocaine is a little minor thing compared to not wanting to live anymore. I am seeing help, but they can't do nothing for me. What I've got is incurable. I don't want to live. All the money in the world, fame and glory, means nothing if you're not happy. I'm seeing psychiatrists. They say I've got a version of bipolar. I'm a manic depressive. I don't even want to wake up. I hope I die every day. And that's a bad thing to say when I've got three children and a lovely wife isn't it? But I don't want to live anymore. And if I could take me own life – and I wasn't a Christian – I'd take it in a second. I just hope someone kills me before I kill me self. I'll have to spend eternity in hell. I’ve been out drinking, Monday to Friday to Sunday, and taking cocaine. I can’t deal with it and the only thing that helps me is when I get drunk out of mind."
On 12 October 2016, pending investigation on an anti-doping case about his cocaine use, nandrolone findings, and being deemed medically unfit to fight, Fury decided to vacate the WBA (Unified), WBO, IBO heavyweight titles. He said "I won the titles in the ring and I believe that they should be lost in the ring, but I'm unable to defend at this time and I have taken the hard and emotional decision to now officially vacate my treasured world titles and wish the next in-line contenders all the very best as I now enter another big challenge in my life which I know, like against Klitschko, I will conquer." Fury's promoter Mick Hennessy added: "Tyson will still be the lineal world heavyweight champion in everyone's eyes. He beat the most dominant champion in the modern era of boxing on an amazing night in Germany to earn that accolade and that will never change. Whilst it's heartbreaking to see Tyson vacate the world titles that he worked so long and hard for all his life, what's paramount now is that he receives the medical treatment along with the love of his family and friends and the support of the boxing world to make a full recovery." Fury's decision was based on not having to put himself under constant media pressure, allowing him time to recover and receive professional medical help for his mental health problems, and spend time with his family. On 13 October, the British Boxing Board of Control decided to suspend Fury's boxing licence. On 1 February 2018, Fury was stripped of his last remaining title, The Ring magazine's heavyweight championship.
Issues with UKAD and BBBofC
In December 2016, Fury's uncle Peter announced that Fury would be returning around spring in 2017 and would aim for a fight against WBC champion Deontay Wilder. On 23 December, Fury tweeted that he was back in training ahead of a ring return around April or May 2017. His tweet read, "I've had a nightmare 2016, done a lot of stuff I'm not proud of, but my promise to you is I'll return in 2017." On 6 March 2017, Fury tweeted that his return fight would take place on 13 May 2017 and he was speaking to promoter Frank Warren about possible opponents. Warren had become Fury's promoter after Fury dropped his long-time promoter Mick Hennessy. The date set for the return would mean Fury would be fighting on the undercard of Josh Warrington defending his WBC International featherweight title against Kiko Martinez at the First Direct Arena in Leeds. Hours after Fury announced a comeback date, the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) publicly announced that Fury was still suspended and would not be fighting in May. This was confirmed by their general secretary Robert Smith. He also mentioned that there had been no contact from Fury or his representatives since the ban started in October 2016. Warren told Reuters on 7 March, "I want to see him back in the ring as soon as possible but before that happens he's got a couple of issues to sort out." Warren said that along with the dispute with the BBBofC there would need to be a court hearing with UK Anti-Doping (UKAD).
Robert Smith, general secretary of the BBBofC, said in May 2017 that Fury's case was "complex" and it had been adjourned. In September 2017, Fury challenged UKAD to give him a reply, and either ban him or reinstate his boxing licence. He believed he was being treated unfairly as it had taken over a year for them to reply, stating that usually the problem would be dealt with within a matter of months. Fury tweeted, "How long must I be held up and kept out of action? It's been 15 months since I've been under investigation, you're keeping an innocent man from fulfilling his destiny and from providing for his family." UKAD stated there was no particular timescale involved, but denied claims that they were prolonging the hearing. Instead they said they were trying to resolve the matter as soon as possible.
On 8 November 2017, BBC Sport reported that a National Anti-Doping Panel hearing was due to take place in December. Due to the legal battle between Fury and UKAD, it was believed that UKAD could potentially become insolvent or would need a government bail out. UKAD reportedly have an annual budget of £8 million, and the fact that Fury had not fought for two years would have caused potential loss of earnings, possibly over £10 million. UKAD asked the government if they could underwrite the case. On 23 November, according to Robert Smith of the BBBofC, a hearing was set for a date in December 2017. On 25 November 2017, Fury announced his comeback after signing with managerial group MTK Global. A hearing start date of 11 December was set, with a potential outcome being Fury facing a four-year ban. Fury did not attend the hearing and had reporters waiting outside the location for six hours before leaving. Mick Hennessy later stated that Fury was not required at the hearing. On 7 February 2018, UKAD revealed they spent £585,659 on the Fury case. £576,587 was paid to London law firm Bird & Bird, barrister fees came to £1,130 and around £8,000 was paid for laboratory work. UKAD believed they could regain £250,000 through legal insurance.
On 12 December, UKAD announced they had agreed with the Furys and the BBBoC to resolve the charges. "Taking into account the delays in results management that meant charges were not brought in respect of the nandrolone findings until June 2016, and the provisional suspensions that Tyson and Hughie Fury have already effectively served, the two year period of ineligibility is backdated to 13 December 2015, and therefore expires at midnight on 12 December 2017." Tyson's February 2015 win over Christian Hammer was disqualified but his Klitschko triumph was not. Tyson blamed the elevated nandrolone levels on eating uncastrated wild boar and declared his and Hughie's innocence, "Hughie and I have maintained our innocence from day one and we're now happy that it has finally been settled with UKAD and that we can move forward knowing that we'll not be labelled drug cheats." The BBBofC said they would consider the renewal of Fury's boxing licence in January 2018. In relation to the news, Fury wrote on Twitter, "Guess who's back?"
On 10 January 2018, Fury announced he would be re-applying for his boxing licence through the BBBofC. An interview took place between Fury and BBBofC on 19 January, where the latter agreed to re-instate Fury as long as he sent them up-to-date medical records after visiting a psychologist. Fury said a motivation on his return was Deontay Wilder. "He said I couldn't do it, he said definitely not Tyson Fury. He's done." At a press conference in London on 12 April 2018, Fury announced he had signed a multi-fight deal with Frank Warren's Queensberry Promotions. He stated that he intended to fight at least three times before 2019, starting on 9 June at the Manchester Arena. After weeks of speculation, it was confirmed the fight would be shown exclusively on BT Sport. On 20 May, 39-year-old Albanian Sefer Seferi (23–1, 21 KOs) was announced as Fury's opponent in a 10-round bout. Seferi was a career cruiserweight, having fought once at heavyweight, when he lost to Manuel Charr in 2016. Fury weighed 276 pounds (125 kg) at the weigh-in, 66 pounds (30 kg) heavier than Seferi. Fury had lost 112 pounds (51 kg) for the fight, having experienced extreme weight gain due to his mental health problems. Fury won the fight after Seferi quit on his stool after round 4. The opening couple of rounds had little to no action as Fury was showboating, which referee Phil Edwards warned him for in round 2. A brawl also broke out in the crowd during the fight, but order was restored before the fight came to an end. Fury began to unload heavy shots in round 4 and it appeared many of the shots landed and hurt Seferi, hence he retired on his stool. After the fight, Warren confirmed Fury would next return on the Carl Frampton undercard on 18 August at Windsor Park in Belfast. It was revealed the fight, which aired exclusively on BT Sport 1, peaked at 814,000 live viewers.
On 12 July 2018, it was announced that Fury would fight former two-time world title challenger Francesco Pianeta (35–4–1, 21 KOs) on 18 August. Fury weighed in at 258 pounds (117 kg), 18 pounds (8.2 kg) lighter than he weighed against Seferi. Pianeta came in at 254.7 pounds (115.5 kg). On 30 July, it was reported that there was ongoing negotiations for a fight to take place in either November or December 2018 between Fury and Wilder (40–0, 39 KOs). On 31 July, Fury stated the fight against Wilder was 99% a done deal, with only a location and date to be confirmed. Fury also had to come through in his bout against Pianeta. Wilder was scheduled to be in Belfast to further promote the fight. Fury went the full 10 rounds, defeating Pianeta via a points decision. Referee Steve Gray scored the fight 100–90 in favour or Fury. Fury later revealed he had no intention of trying to end the fight early. He said, "I think it was a calculated boxing performance. I got 10 rounds with a very tough man under my belt. I was working on my jab, slipping his punches. I thought that was a step up with the opponent and display. I needed the rounds, and I had plenty left in the tank." According to CompuBox, Fury landed 107 of 620 punches thrown (17%). This included 100 power punches landed of 226 thrown (44%). Pianeta landed only 37 of his 228 punches thrown (16%).
During the post-fight interviews, promoter Warren confirmed the Fury vs. Wilder fight was on. The fight would take place in either Las Vegas or New York in November 2018. The fight would be aired on PPV in the United States on Showtime and in the UK on BT Sports Box Office. Talking about how the fight came together, Fury said, "We have two men who will fight anyone. This man has been trying to make a fight with another chump. They called, I answered. I said: 'Send me the contract.' They sent it. I said 'yes'." Warren later told BBC Radio 5 live, "[It's a] 50–50 [purse split], quick and smooth negotiations. He was the world heavyweight champion. He's undefeated. [Wilder and his team] understand that. All of the terms are agreed." By the end of August, contracts for the fight to take place had been signed.
WBC heavyweight championship
On 22 September, both Fury and Wilder confirmed they had signed the contract and the fight would take place on 1 December 2018. According to the California State Athletic Commission, Wllder would earn a guaranteed base purse of $4 million and Fury would take home a guaranteed purse of $3 million. Despite Frank Warren's original claim that the revenue would be split 50–50, it was revealed that Wilder could make $14 million (£11 million) and Fury would earn around $10.25 million (£8 million). Both boxers would see this increase to their base purses after receiving their percentages from pay-per-view revenue. The weigh-in took place on November 30, outside the Los Angeles Convention Center. Fury stepped on the scale first and weighed in at 256 ⁄2 pounds (116.3 kg). This was only 2 pounds (0.91 kg) lighter than his weigh-in against Francisco Pianeta in August 2018, but he looked leaner. Wilder was next to step on and came in at 212 ⁄2 pounds (96.4 kg), his lowest since his debut in 2008 when he weighed 207 ⁄4 pounds (94.0 kg). For his last bout, Wilder weighed 214 pounds (97 kg), however, it was cited that Wilder suffered from an illness during his training camp.
In front of a crowd of 17,698 at the Staples Center, Wilder and Fury fought a 12-round split decision draw, meaning Wilder retained his WBC title. Mexican judge Alejandro Rochin scored the fight 115–111 for Wilder, Canadian judge Robert Tapper had it 114–112 for Fury and British judge Phil Edwards scored it a 113–113 draw. The crowd booed at the decision with many believing Fury did enough to dethrone Wilder. Fury, using his unorthodox stance, spent much of the fight using upper and lower-body movement to avoid Wilder big shots and stay out of range. There was not much action in round 1 as both boxers used the round to feel each other out. Wilder tried to trap Fury into the corner, but Fury made Wilder miss most of his big swings. In round 4, Wilder bloodied Fury's nose with his stiff jabs, but was unable to follow up on the attacks. In round 6, Fury switched to southpaw stance and had success backing Wilder against the ropes and at the same time stayed cautious of Wilder's power. In round 7, after trading jabs, which saw Fury come out on top, Fury landed a counter right hand, then quickly tied Wilder up before he could throw anything back. Round 8 saw back and forth action with both trying to land. Wilder threw a lot of power shots which Fury mostly evaded. In round 9, Wilder finally dropped Fury with a short left hook followed by an overhand right. Fury beat referee Jack Reiss’ count and survived the round. Having expended a lot of energy trying to finish Fury in round 9, Wilder looked fatigued in round 10. This came to as an advantage for Fury as he landed two right hands. Fury also took advantage in round 11, landing enough shots and avoided anything Wilder could throw. In round 12, Wilder landed a right-left combination which put Fury down hard on his back. The crowd, commentary team and Wilder believed the fight was over. Reiss looked at Fury on the canvas and began giving him a count. To everyone's surprise, Fury beat the count. Reiss made Fury walk towards him and called for the action to continue. Wilder, fatigued again, was unable to land another power shot and Fury landed some right hands to finish the round and the fight on his feet. Both boxers embraced in a hug after the final bell sounded.
According to CompuBox statistics, Wilder landed 71 punches of 430 thrown (17%), and Fury landed 84 of his 327 thrown (26%). Wilder was much less accurate in this fight than he usually had been in previous fights. Fury out-landed Wilder in 9 out of the 12 rounds. Both Wilder and Fury only landed double digits in 4 separate rounds. After the fight, both men gave in-ring interviews. Wilder stated, "I think with the two knockdowns, I definitely won the fight. We poured our hearts out tonight. We're both warriors. I rushed my punches. I didn't sit still. I was too hesitant. I started overthrowing the right hand, and I just couldn't adjust. I was rushing my punches. That's something I usually don't do." Fury said, "We're on away soil. I got knocked down twice, but I still believe I won that fight. I'm being a total professional here. God bless America. The 'Gypsy King' has returned. That man is a fearsome puncher, and I was able to avoid that. The world knows I won the fight. I hope I did you all proud after nearly three years out of the ring. I showed good heart to get up. I came here tonight, and I fought my heart out." Wilder and Fury both claimed to be the best heavyweights in the world and both called out unified world champion Anthony Joshua. Fury shouted, “Chicken! Chicken! Joshua, where are you?” Wilder then agreed to state the two best heavyweights got into the ring and fought.
The event was both a critical and a commercial success. The fight sold approximately 325,000 pay-per-view buys on Showtime in the United States, grossing around $24 million, making it the most lucrative heavyweight fight in the country since 2003. Showtime's delayed broadcast a week later drew an average 488,000 viewers and peaked at 590,000 viewers. Despite the commercial success of the fight, promoter Bob Arum believes it was meagre in comparison to the bout's potential. Arum said Fury vs. Wilder II could surpass Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao, which grossed over $600 million, saying: "They were the little guys, here we have the biggest men in the sport."
After the fight with Wilder, Fury secured a five-fight contract with ESPN and Top Rank worth £80 million ($100 million). He made his return to the ring at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas against the WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight champion Tom Schwarz (24–0, 16 KOs) on 15 June 2019. This was Fury's first fight in Las Vegas. Fury weighed 263 pounds (119 kg), compared to Schwarz's 235 ⁄2 pounds (106.8 kg). He was in complete control of the fight, peppering the undefeated Schwarz in round one before finishing him in the second round by TKO, to take Schwarz's WBO Inter-Continental title. During the fight, Fury purposely backed up against the ropes and let Schwarz unload, using head movement to evade the strikes and generating applause from the 9,000 people in attendance.
Fury fought again in Las Vegas against former WBA Continental heavyweight champion Otto Wallin (20–0, 13 KOs) on 14 September, at the T-Mobile Arena. Promoter Frank Warren said: "It is another undefeated boxer he is facing and a contest where a victory will set up the Deontay Wilder rematch." Fury scaled at 254.4 pounds (115.4 kg), his lightest since facing Klitschko in 2015, when he weighed 247 pounds (112 kg). The Swedish southpaw Wallin came in at exactly 236 pounds (107 kg). Fury won by unanimous decision 116–112, 117–111, and 118–110. Fury suffered a serious cut above his right eye in the third round from a short left hook, as well as a cut over his right eyelid from an accidental clash of heads in the fifth which affected his vision for the rest of the fight and prompted a ringside doctor to be consulted in the sixth. After a brief examination, Fury insisted he was able to continue and the doctor agreed. In the second half of the fight, Fury repeatedly hit Wallin with solid shots. Wallin came back in the twelfth with his best punch of the fight, a clean left hand which momentarily troubled Fury. After tying Wallin up in a clinch, Fury recuperated and saw out the round, receiving the decision victory and the WBC Mayan belt, a commemorative title awarded to the winner of a high-profile fight held during Mexican national holidays. According to CompuBox, Fury landed 179 of 651 total punches (27%) while Wallin connected with 127 of 334 total punches (38%). Of these total punches, Fury landed 127 power punches to Wallin's 84. In his in-ring interview, Fury praised the performance of Wallin, who was a more than 10–1 underdog, and expressed condolences as Wallin's father had recently died. Fury then called out Wilder for a rematch in February 2020.
On 27 November 2019, ESPN announced that Fury will face Deontay Wilder on 22 February 2020, in a rematch of their bout in 2018, which resulted in a controversial draw. In the build-up to the rematch, Fury split with trainer Ben Davison, who had coached Fury since late 2017 and helped him lose the large amount of weight he had gained during his hiatus and restore him to fighting condition. Davison was nominated for 2018 Trainer of the Year due to his role in Fury's successful return to the ring. The split was described as amicable and Davison wished Fury good luck in the rematch against Wilder. Fury then announced he had partnered with Javan "SugarHill" Steward, nephew of Hall-of-Fame trainer Emanuel Steward, and that he would return to Kronk Gym, where he briefly trained in 2010. The rematch was officially announced on 27 December 2019, and the venue was set as the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The fight contract includes a clause in which the loser can invoke a trilogy fight if he chooses.
Professional wrestling career
Fury made an appearance in an angle on WWE's debut of SmackDown on Fox on 4 October 2019. He stared down Braun Strowman during his match, and Strowman later threw one of his opponents, Dolph Ziggler, at Fury. After the match, Fury jumped the barricade, but was stopped by security. The WWE announced that Fury would be given an open mic for the following episode of Raw. Fury appeared in the last segment of the 7 October 2019 episode of Raw and demanded an apology from Strowman as the two traded insults. They then had a "brawl" which was separated by some of Strowman's fellow professional wrestlers.
On 11 October 2019, it was confirmed that Fury and Strowman would have a match at WWE Crown Jewel, with the contract having been signed on the 15 October episode of Monday Night Raw. Fury defeated Strowman by Countout at Crown Jewel. Fury reportedly earned £11.9 million ($15 million) for his participation.
In September 2019, Penguin Random House imprint Century secured the publishing rights to Fury's autobiography, titled Behind the Mask: My Autobiography. It was released on 14 November 2019 and was preceded by a four-part ITV documentary named Meet the Furys, which was a series about Fury's life with his wife Paris and children while preparing to headline for the first time in Vegas. Behind the Mask reached the number-one bestseller position on Amazon with 24 hours of its release.
Known for his habit of impromptu singing, Fury regularly gained media attention for singing songs in the boxing ring after matches and during promotional events.. In 2019, Fury appeared as a guest vocalist on British singer-songwriter Robbie Williams' studio album The Christmas Present, for the song "Bad Sharon".
Fury has expressed an interest in competing in mixed martial arts. In November 2019, he had a training session with Darren Till, who said there is a 70% chance that Fury will compete in MMA. Fury also mentioned that Conor McGregor has offered to train him should he crossover to MMA.
After becoming world champion, the British media began to scrutinise what Fury had said in the past. He received criticism for having said that he would "hang" his sister if she was promiscuous, as well as comments made in an interview before the Klitschko fight in which he denounced abortion, paedophilia, and homosexuality, saying that the legalisation of these behaviours would bring forth a Biblical reckoning. He was nominated for the 2015 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award but around 140,000 people signed a petition claiming that his equation of homosexuality with paedophilia should disqualify him. He ultimately came fourth in the SPOTY award and said at the ceremony, "I've said a lot of stuff in the past and none of it is with intentions to hurt anybody. I apologise to anyone that's been hurt by it." He also was criticised for comments on bestiality, transgender people, and "Jewish people who own all the banks, all the papers, all the TV stations" in a May 2016 interview. The interview was later deleted and Fury apologised: "I said some things which may have hurt some people, which as a Christian man is not something I would ever want to do. Though it is not an excuse, sometimes the heightened media scrutiny has caused me to act out in public and then my words can get taken out of context. I mean no harm or disrespect to anyone and I know more is expected of me as an ambassador of British boxing and I promise in future to hold myself up to the highest possible standard."
Fury was formerly known for his attention-grabbing antics, such as arriving at a press conference in a Lamborghini and wearing a Batman costume. After his hiatus, he has said that he does not want to "play a character anymore". He stated in November 2017, "I feel I have a story to tell, a massive one. The stuff I've been through, depression, mental health problems. It can help and inspire others. From 18 stone to 27. From a clean living man to drugs and alcohol and back to the heavyweight world champion again. I hope the legacy and story I leave behind will help others in the future of what to do and not to do." Since his return to the ring and his strong performance against Wilder, Fury has been dubbed "The People's Champion" due to his open and honest discussion about his mental health struggles. He is currently an Ambassador for the former British world champion Frank Bruno's mental health charity, The Frank Bruno Foundation.
Fury met his wife Paris (née Mullroy) when she was 15 and he was 17. Like Fury, Paris is a practising Catholic and was raised in a Gypsy family. They began dating the year after they met, and married in 2008 at St. Peter in Chains Catholic Church in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. The couple have since had five children together.
Fury and his family reside in Morecambe, Lancashire. In September 2015, he expressed an interest in running as an independent candidate to be the UK Member of Parliament for Morecambe and Lunesdale, opining that the government was overly focused on providing services for immigrants and not enough on homeless people and those with drug and alcohol problems. He also suggested that Britain should leave the European Union.
In April 2016, Fury spoke about the racial abuse he receives as a Gypsy world champion, because "no one wants to see a Gypsy do well". He stated, "I am a Gypsy and that's it. I will always be a Gypsy, I'll never change. I will always be fat and white and that's it. I am the champion yet I am thought of as a bum."
Professional boxing record
|Professional record summary|
|30 fights||29 wins||0 losses|
|31||N/A||N/A||Deontay Wilder||N/A||– (12)||22 Feb 2020||MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, US||For WBC, vacant The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles|
|30||Win||29–0–1||Otto Wallin||UD||12||14 Sep 2019||T-Mobile Arena, Paradise, Nevada, US|
|29||Win||28–0–1||Tom Schwarz||TKO||2 (12), 2:54||15 Jun 2019||MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada, US||Won WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight title|
|28||Draw||27–0–1||Deontay Wilder||SD||12||1 Dec 2018||Staples Center, Los Angeles, California, US||For WBC heavyweight title|
|27||Win||27–0||Francesco Pianeta||PTS||10||18 Aug 2018||Windsor Park, Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|26||Win||26–0||Sefer Seferi||RTD||4 (10), 3:00||9 Jun 2018||Manchester Arena, Manchester, England|
|25||Win||25–0||Wladimir Klitschko||UD||12||28 Nov 2015||Esprit Arena, Düsseldorf, Germany||Won WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO, The Ring, and lineal heavyweight titles|
|24||Win||24–0||Christian Hammer||RTD||8 (12), 3:00||28 Feb 2015||The O2 Arena, London, England||Retained WBO International heavyweight title|
|23||Win||23–0||Dereck Chisora||RTD||10 (12), 3:00||29 Nov 2014||ExCeL, London, England||Won European, WBO International, and vacant British heavyweight titles|
|22||Win||22–0||Joey Abell||TKO||4 (10), 1:48||15 Feb 2014||Copper Box Arena, London, England|
|21||Win||21–0||Steve Cunningham||KO||7 (12), 2:55||20 Apr 2013||The Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, US|
|20||Win||20–0||Kevin Johnson||UD||12||1 Dec 2012||Odyssey Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|19||Win||19–0||Vinny Maddalone||TKO||5 (12), 1:35||7 Jul 2012||Hand Arena, Clevedon, England||Won vacant WBO Inter-Continental heavyweight title|
|18||Win||18–0||Martin Rogan||TKO||5 (12), 3:00||14 Apr 2012||Odyssey Arena, Belfast, Northern Ireland||Won vacant Irish heavyweight title|
|17||Win||17–0||Neven Pajkic||TKO||3 (12), 2:44||12 Nov 2011||EventCity, Manchester, England||Retained Commonwealth heavyweight title|
|16||Win||16–0||Nicolai Firtha||TKO||5 (12), 2:19||18 Sep 2011||King's Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland|
|15||Win||15–0||Dereck Chisora||UD||12||23 Jul 2011||Wembley Arena, London, England||Won British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles|
|14||Win||14–0||Marcelo Luiz Nascimento||KO||5 (10), 2:48||19 Feb 2011||Wembley Arena, London, England|
|13||Win||13–0||Zack Page||UD||8||19 Dec 2010||Colisée Pepsi, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada|
|12||Win||12–0||Rich Power||PTS||8||10 Sep 2010||York Hall, London, England|
|11||Win||11–0||John McDermott||TKO||9 (12), 1:08||25 Jun 2010||Brentwood Centre Arena, Brentwood, England||Won vacant English heavyweight title|
|10||Win||10–0||Hans-Joerg Blasko||TKO||1 (8), 2:14||5 Mar 2010||Leisure Centre, Huddersfield, England|
|9||Win||9–0||Tomas Mrazek||PTS||6||26 Sep 2009||The O2, Dublin, Ireland|
|8||Win||8–0||John McDermott||PTS||10||11 Sep 2009||Brentwood Centre Arena, Brentwood, England||Won English heavyweight title|
|7||Win||7–0||Aleksandrs Selezens||TKO||3 (6), 0:48||18 Jul 2009||York Hall, London, England|
|6||Win||6–0||Scott Belshaw||TKO||2 (8), 0:52||23 May 2009||Colosseum, Watford, England|
|5||Win||5–0||Matthew Ellis||KO||1 (6), 0:48||11 Apr 2009||York Hall, London, England|
|4||Win||4–0||Lee Swaby||TKO||4 (6), 3:00||14 Mar 2009||Aston Events Centre, Birmingham, England|
|3||Win||3–0||Daniil Peretyatko||TKO||2 (6), 3:00||28 Feb 2009||Showground, Norwich, England|
|2||Win||2–0||Marcel Zeller||TKO||3 (6), 2:50||17 Jan 2009||DW Stadium, Wigan, England|
|1||Win||1–0||Béla Gyöngyösi||TKO||1 (6), 2:14||6 Dec 2008||National Ice Centre, Nottingham, England|