At the age of 30, Tyson is a 10-year pro. The lineal heavyweight world champion – “the man who beat the man, who beat the man” – and a former WBA-IBF-WBO heavyweight world champion, he won the lineal and unified titles in November, 2015, against defending champion Wladimir Klitschko. It was one of the biggest upsets in recent years. Klitschko was a dominant heavyweight champion who held the world title continuously for almost 10 years – second only to the legendary Joe Louis’ run of almost 12 years – and made 18 consecutive successful title defenses.
At 6’9” tall and usually weighing around 250 to 260 pounds, Tyson is a huge man even in this era of “super heavyweights,” but relies on skill and strategy in the ring as well as his size and strength.
And his considerable talents in the ring are matched, if not surpassed, by his gregarious and outspoken personality. He is nothing if not a showman – one of the most entertaining interviews in the sport today, and can trash-talk with the best of them.
Tyson is a descendant of the “Irish Travellers,” a nomadic ethnic group in Great Britain and Ireland also known as “gypsies.”
He returned to the ring on June 9, 2018, and fought three times in the next six months.
In his last fight on December 1, 2018, in Los Angeles, Tyson had a 12-round draw in a world title challenge against defending WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
ESPN.com’s Steve Kim reported [excerpts]: In a decision that will forever be debated, WBC heavyweight titlist Deontay Wilder retained his belt with a controversial draw versus the crafty Tyson Fury at the Staples Center.
While many analysts ringside believed Fury should have had his hands raised in victory, Alejandro Rochin had Wilder up by the score of 115-111, while Robert Tapper tabbed Fury by the tally of 115-111 and Phil Edwards had it dead even at 113-113.
This pairing of heavyweights, whose size was only dwarfed by their colorful personalities, was one that for the most part was controlled by the strategic boxing of Fury, who for long stretches put on a masterclass exhibition of boxing.
But while he won the overwhelming majority of rounds in my scorecard and dominated large segments of this fight with his deft movement and feints that threw Wilder off his rhythm, he was struck down to the canvas in Round 9 and (most dramatically) Round 12, when the prevailing sense was that Wilder needed a miraculous finish to retain his title.
While Fury was significantly hurt after both knockdowns, in both rounds he rallied back to actually stun Wilder before those rounds ended.
Getting a draw in a foreign land while hitting the deck twice has to feel like a win for Fury. His stock is raised – if not his hand.
He showed that despite his long layoff from the ring and his well-documented personal trials and tribulations, he absolutely remains a premiere heavyweight – one that doesn’t win so much with power and strength but with tactics and guile. He is an adroit ring tactician who possesses a high boxing IQ. [End Kim item]
In his post-fight interview, Tyson 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. I went to Germany to fight Klitschko, and I went to America to fight Deontay Wilder. 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 was never going to be knocked out tonight. I showed good heart to get up. I came here tonight, and I fought my heart out.
“100 percent we’ll do the rematch. We are two great champions. Me and this man are the two best heavyweights on the planet.”
In an earlier interview, Tyson said, “My own style – I’m quite aggressive. I can box at range, I can box in close. I like to fight inside, which is not a good point, but I like to do it anyway. I can punch with both hands. I can switch from southpaw to orthodox and fight effectively both ways. And I’m bad not moving, either – I can dance around a bit, like Ali, but in a heavier-man version.”
AMATEUR, PERSONAL BACKGROUND: Tyson said, “I was born and raised in Manchester, U.K., although I travel back and forth to Ireland quite a bit. My ancestors are from Galway, Ireland. I don’t have any sisters, but I have three brothers. I’ve two brothers who boxed, but they’re not boxing anymore. My family’s like a boxing family. Most of me cousins box. Andy Lee is a relation of mine. [note: 24-year-old cousin Hughie Fury is a former super heavyweight gold medalist at the Youth World Amateur Championships; 6’6” tall, he is now 21-2, 11 KOs as a pro]
“My father is Gypsy John Fury, a professional fighter, a heavyweight, from, I’d say, ‘round about ’87 to about ’95. I think he had a record of 8-3-1, something like that. He’s got two brothers and they were professional fighters, as well. My mom stayed at home – she had her hands full with all of those boys. My parents named me after Mike Tyson.
“I grew up around boxing. My grandfather was also a fighter. He was a bareknuckle champion of the U.K. There are fighters on both sides of my family – my mother’s side and my father’s side. My mother’s father was a fighter, his brother was a fighter. Most of me cousins, they’re all boxers, as well. If I can’t fight, nobody can. There’s not much I ever wanted to be except heavyweight champion of the world.
“I first started boxing when I was about 15. I didn’t have my first fight until I was 16. I had 36 amateur fights – I lost four and I knocked out 26. I won the bronze medal at the Junior World Championships in 2006, and the 2008 ABA super heavyweight gold medalist. I was also European silver medalist in ’07 – I got robbed in the final. I was also the European Union gold medalist in ’08.
“I’m naturally right-handed, but I switch a lot, as well.”…
Tyson and his wife, Paris, have four children – daughters Venezuela and Valencia Amber, and sons and Prince John James and Prince Tyson II…
The day before Tyson defeated Klitschko, The Telegraph’s Gareth A. Davies wrote [Nov. 27, 2015 – excerpts]: Many of boxing’s champions have emerged from adversity or the obscurity of ghettos, but Tyson Fury was “bred to fight” from a blood line which boasts generations of bare-knuckle fighters. The Fury family have been fighting for 200 years…
Fury’s rise [was] masterminded by his uncle, Peter, and his father, who fought professionally as ‘Gypsy’ John Fury. The family links have always been there. [John’s] late brother, Hughie Fury, trained Tyson to his British and Commonwealth heavyweight crowns.
“It’s in the DNA,” John Fury, a man wider than a barn door, tells The Telegraph. “Tyson was born to fight.”
For the Furys, the roots were laid more than 200 years ago. “There are more than 10 generations of bare-knuckle fighters in his family,” John explains. “Yet Tyson has never had a fight in the street.”
John, too, provides unshakeable self-belief. In the 1980s, he built a home in Wilmslow on the back of working in boxing, bare-knuckle fighting, roofing, tarmacking, building and the scrap metal trade. Today, his neighbours are footballers from Manchester’s Premier League teams.
“I bought land, built a home for my family, and even today, with footballers living all around us, I still sleep in a caravan outside the house,” he explained.
The fighter’s father often refers to his pride in the family’s fighting prowess. “We are a breed of fighting men,” he explained. “I’m an old school travelling man. I was born in a caravan and raised there until I was 20. I’ve never lived in a house. I was fetched up by a father who looked into you and expected a lot of you as a child. When we were growing up, we were always fighting. My dad used to say, ‘If you lose to them, I will kill you myself. If they cause it, you finish it.’ ”
There are stories of fights down the ages. One relative, Bartley Gorman, was known as the King of Gypsies because he reigned supreme among the travellers’ fighting community for two decades.
He fought a contingent of men who set on him at Doncaster racecourse “while the Queen was in the box watching the St. Leger half a mile away.” When Gorman came out of intensive care six months later, John said, “he went over Doncaster with an airplane and dropped leaflets all over challenging them all [his assailants] – no one turned up.”
Fury Snr. was allowed out of prison in February, having served five years of an 11-year sentence for his part in a long-standing dispute with man from another traveller family, in which the rival had his eye gouged out during a fight. John worked in the library during his time inside….
Tyson learns more about his family history all the time. The Furys were horse dealers from Ireland, and keen businessmen. But always fighters, prepared to challenge champions.
While Fury Jnr. was growing up, old videos played of greats such as Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. There was always a heavy bag hanging in the garage. John would pound the bag, lift weights and run. Peter always trained, too. When they saw Tyson’s potential, they believed in him.
Fury Snr. named his son after Mike Tyson when he was born three months premature and weighing just a pound, given little chance of survival. [End Davies item]
2008 ABA CHAMPIONSHIPS (English National Championships) – Sheffield & London, England, 201+ pounds – GOLD MEDALIST: in the quarterfinals (his first fight) on 4-25-08 in Sheffield he won a 3-1 decision against Mark Smith; in the semifinals in Sheffield on 4-26-08 he won a 22-0 decision against Shane McPhilbin; in the finals in London on 5-16-08 he won a 19-1 decision against Damien Campbell…
2007 EUROPEAN JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS – Sombor, Serbia, 201+ pounds – SILVER MEDALIST: in the quarterfinals (his first fight) on 7-12-07 he stopped Andrija Kekovic of Serbia in the 3rd round; in the semifinals on 7-13-07 he stopped Ivan Bezverkhiy of Ukraine in the 4th round; in the finals on 7-14-07 he lost a 24-11 decision against Maxim Babanin of Russia…
2007 EUROPEAN UNION JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS – Warsaw, Poland, 201+ pounds – GOLD MEDALIST: in the semifinals (his first fight) on 5-24-07 he stopped Danil Vlassov of Estonia in the 1st round; in the finals on 5-26-07 he stopped Istvan Bernath of Hungary in the 3rd round…
2007 DONBASS JUNIOR CUP – Donetsk, Ukraine, 201+ pounds – SILVER MEDALIST: in the semifinals (his first fight) on 3-30-07 he stopped Vladimir Bandura of Ukraine in the 2nd round; in the finals on 3-31-07 he lost a 23-10 decision against Ivan Bezverkhiy of Ukraine…
2006 ENGLAND-USA DUALS – London, England, 201+ pounds: on 11-20-06 he won a 2-1 decision against Michael Hunter of the U.S….
2006 JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS – Agadir, Morocco, 201+ pounds – BRONZE MEDALIST: in his first fight on 9-12-06 he won a 21-11 decision against Ilham Khatamov of Azerbajian; in the quarterfinals on 9-14-06 he stopped Istvan Bernath of Hungary; in the semifinals on 9-16-06 he lost a 36-31 decision against Sardor Abdullayev of Uzbekistan…
2006 CHEMNITZ CITY CUP – Chemnitz, Germany, 201+ pounds-junior division – GOLD MEDALIST: in the finals (his only fight) on 6-25-06 he stopped Paul Mueller of Germany in the 3rd round…
STRENGTHS: At 6’9” tall, is big and physically strong…has good skills and movement, and great athletic ability…has good punching power…can switch effectively to the left-handed stance…is experienced against top opposition…had a strong amateur background…has a strong family boxing background…
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: 28 fights…172 total rounds…24 world championship rounds…
AVERAGE LENGTH OF BOUTS: 6.1 rounds…
KNOCKOUT PERCENTAGE: of total fights – 68 %…of wins – 70 %…
DISTANCE FIGHTS: 12 rounds – 4 (3-0-1)…10 rounds – 3 (3-0)…