Tyson Fury opens up on THAT trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder

‘Epic fight will takes YEARS off our lives’: Tyson Fury opens up on THAT Vegas trilogy bout, inviting Deontay Wilder to his home in Florida and why he is snubbing BBC’s Sports Personality award once again

  • Tyson Fury’s trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder was one of the moments of 2021 
  • The Gypsy King believes the slugfests have taken years off both of their lives 
  • Fury is one of BBC Sports Personality of the Year nominees but is not interested 
  • He is in Orlando and is keen to meet with Wilder to reminisce about their fights 

Tyson Fury has invited Deontay Wilder to spend the weekend with him so they might reflect together on the night they contested the greatest and most brutal fight not only of this year but in recent boxing history.

Geographically, Britain’s world heavyweight champion is proposing that their reunion takes place as far away as feasible from the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year broadcast on Sunday night. To be precise, 4,223 miles away from Manchester in Orlando.

Culturally, there are sunlit years of separation from the Beeb’s ceremony, which will be so clouded by Covid that inevitable winner Emma Raducanu cannot pick up the trophy in person and even some A-list celebrities have been culled from the restricted audience.

Tyson Fury’s (right) trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder (left) was one of the events of the year

Fury has now recounted the night against Wilder in Las Vegas in October with Sportsmail 

Forget the award which Fury is convinced ‘the BBC would never let me win even if I knocked out King Kong’. Meet The Families.

Fury has taken up pre-Christmas residence in a rented house in Florida. ‘It’s a huge place,’ he says. ‘With an enormous swimming pool. Room for all and I’ve told Deontay we’re right handy for Disney World.’

Just as well since he and the lovely Paris now have six children, while Wilder is welcome with fiancée Telli Swift and his eight offspring.

The Gypsy King has been moved in part to make this gesture by a realisation of how much their violent trilogy is likely to have damaged the health of both in the long run. Especially that epic night this October 9 in the frenzied T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas when the violence of their hand-to-hand combat bore closer resemblance to a blood-curdling battle from Game Of Thrones than a WBC world title fight.

‘This will take years off our lives,’ says Fury. ‘We will feel the effects of this in our later days.’

At the forefront of that assessment is his memory of being rendered horizontal and semi-conscious by Wilder four times in their three meetings. Twice in the first, in Los Angeles in December 2018, when he rose like Lazarus in the final round to salvage a draw.

Twice more in the climactic third encounter from which he somehow climbed to his feet again and in which his third clubbing of Wilder to the canvas applied a dramatic exclamation mark to end this saga. In between, in February 2020, he put out the Vegas Strip lights for Wilder in the seventh.

One remarkable statistic somewhat lost amid all the blood, sweat and thunder is that none of the 41 other opponents flattened by those Bronze Bomber explosions were in a position to continue.

The Gypsy King, who was floored multiple times over three bouts, feels there is lasting damage

Fury thinks both fighters have had years taken off their lives because of the intense fights

150 PUNCHES LANDED

Tyson Fury landed 150 punches to Deontay Wilder’s 72 in their third bout, outlanding his opponent in all but the first round. 

Both fighters were knocked down twice before the contest was halted.

So was Fury not worried about going back into that high velocity firepower?

‘I fear only God,’ he says. ‘Never worried about fighting any man. And I always expect every heavyweight to carry a massive punch. So no. But I was aware that here was a champion with the special capacity to switch off any human with just one hit. Perhaps the heaviest puncher of all time.’

So just how did Tyson keep rising as if from the dead? ‘Some boxers have fantastic chins,’ he says. ‘But my powers of recovery are unique. Deontay’s not the first to put me down. But like the others he’s found out that I always get up. Always.’

So how have these two warring giants – who spent the days, weeks and in one case months before their three mighty collisions shoving and shouting abuse and insults at each other – come to their rapprochement?

Within 24 hours of his most horrifying defeat, Wilder thanked Fury for helping him find – not least by virtue of his unflinching courage – the public recognition and admiration which had eluded him previously not only around the world but in his own land.

He told his only conqueror: ‘We made history.’

Not long after, Fury began mellowing towards the man who, in his hour of deep disappointment, had falsely accused him of cheating in their second fight.

Now he puts his half of their rapport into these words: ‘I am proud to have shared a very special time with Deontay in the ring which has brought us both more fame and respect. Neither of us will ever forget being part of what people are calling one of the greatest of all heavyweight fights. Nor will the people who watched it.’

Fury, who is now relaxing out in Orlando, Florida, is keen to recount the trilogy with Wilder

Countless among that audience, whether they were transfixed in the arena or illuminated by television, recall Fury-Wilder III as the pinnacle sporting event of 2021. Me included. Above even Raducanu’s New York grand slam and the raging Max-Lewis climax to the most electrifying F1 season of all. Of greater impact than any of the Tokyo Olympic feats. Certainly more significant than England in the Euros. 

Fury has more to say about the hottest of Vegas nights: ‘Coming through that fire has been good for me as a person. And for Deontay. This was an educating journey for both of us. We survived and for that I thank God. As I do for everything in my life. My wife, my family, my mental health, my boxing.

‘I believe God told me to get up from those punches. But I’m always mindful that it is Man who must do God’s bidding. It is not a fluke that I did that. It is not a fluke that I overcame Wladimir Klitschko. It is not a fluke that I could come back from two years out of the ring. It is not a fluke that I found fame in America and have become king of Las Vegas.

‘It is not a fluke that I denied the most dangerous puncher of all, even though he tried something different in the third fight by going for jabs to my stomach at the start. I deliberately came in heavier that time. My size and weight neutralised those punches. And as he went in low I came in over the top and knocked him down first.

‘The bell interrupted me then but I decided in the interval before the fourth round to go for the quick finish I’d predicted. And I got caught. In the end, for Deontay, it is a shame for him that he is boxing during my time. I am the achilles’ heel in every heavyweight of our era. In fact, the achilles’ heel for every fighter right now – I am too big, too good.’

He is deeply religious but does not believe it was a fluke how he performed over the trilogy

Thoughts stray back to the dangers inherent in prize fighting and how alarmed Paris was when her man was dropped so heavily. She is asking him not to go on for too much longer.

‘Well,’ says Fury. ‘It looks like I’ll be having a busy 2022.’

First up is expected to be Dillian Whyte for his long-demanded title shot, perhaps as early as February unless the threat of more severe pandemic restrictions in the UK materialises. Says Fury: ‘If there’s a lockdown I won’t be going back. It will be the whole of January for me over here. Although I am training every day.’

After Whyte, Oleksandr Usyk to become the first undisputed heavyweight champion since Lennox Lewis. Of the Ukrainian who upset Anthony Joshua for the rest of the belts, he says: ‘He will beat Joshua again in their rematch. Probably knock him out this time.

‘He is a very good boxer but when we were in company over here the other day he looked like a middleweight next to me.’

Perhaps, finally, a Brit mega-bash to put an end to AJ’s career.

Meanwhile, he says: ‘I will be relaxing in the Florida sunshine while the BBC get on with their SPOTY in winter. Even if they want to give me another Special Award, which they did once, I won’t be making another speech for them.’

Semi-jocularly Fury threatened to sue the BBC if they included him in this year’s shortlist. Now he chuckles and adds: ‘Anyhow, I believe my four nominations are a record.

Fury (left) has no interest in recognition from BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year selectors

‘But much more important to me is that America have just given me their much bigger ESPY (boxing award).’

Important to him, also, is the future of the rival with whom he found his greatest glory. They have been in touch on social media and Fury says: ‘I hear he’s beginning to think about retiring. If so we need to spend time together. We didn’t take in the enormity of it all after our third fight. I still don’t think we realise everything it means. Maybe, in years to come, we will be sitting with our family and friends and reminisce quietly about the fight of our lives.’

Both men are religious. Fury a Catholic. Wilder’s father and grandmother both preachers back in Tuscaloosa, his old Alabama home which is just a 90-minute flight from Orlando.

Perhaps, during this festive season, they will pray together. For their families. Perhaps, also, that the punishment they inflicted on each other is not as harmful to their future wellbeing as the long history of heroic prizefighters suggests it could be.




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