Tyson Fury finally comments on walking away from Wladimir Klitschko rematch

Ah, Tyson Fury.

The Irish traveller who defied the odds, the pundits, and the doubters by ending the Wladimir Klitschko era in November 2015.

For a few months, things looked good for Fury: he made an estimated £5 million, won the unified WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO titles, his wife Paris was expecting the couple’s third child, and, to top that all off, he was set for an even bigger payday when he fulfilled the rematch clause against Klitschko.

Then he spiralled into a pit of junk-food consumption. He turned up to the press conference for his rematch fatter than a declining Marlon Brando, he failed a drug test, he admitted to cocaine and alcohol abuse.

Not to mention his struggles with depression, and the fact he retired a couple of times too.

Now, for the first time in almost two years, Fury is looking healthy enough that we might believe him when he says he has returned to training.

Speaking last week to the Irish Times, the undefeated heavyweight revealed the reason he walked away from such a massive payday.

“I live by loyalty, honour and respect and if you break those barriers with me then we never do business again,” he said.

“Many people broke those rules and that’s why I walked away from a minimum of £10million in the rematch with Klitschko.”

Fury, who now trains in Belfast, Northern Ireland, told interviewers where his priorities lay.

“I’d rather have friendship, loyalty and family any day. Not many people in the world would because everyone wants to be rich and famous and have the glory and all the pats on the pack and people saying: ‘You’re a top bloke’.

“Where are all those hangers-on today? I never had them at the beginning, in the middle or at the end because these size 14 boots were inserted in their rear-end when they came around.

“I don’t need anyone to tell me I’m a good boxer, or a generous bloke, or a b******. Whatever they want to say, I already know.

“A lot of people out there need all that; they need 20 bodyguards taking them around everywhere but I ain’t about all that.”

The man they call The Gypsy King was taciturn about whether he would return and make the bout all British fight fans want to see – a match against heavyweight champ Anthony Joshua.

He seems comfortable about his achievements – he is one of only two heavyweight champions in boxing history to retire undefeated, the other being Rocky Marciano, and the man credited with ending Klitschko’s decade-long dominance in the division.

“I haven’t decided I am coming back yet, I’m just doing a bit of training to get a bit of fat off. Well, five stone, so more than a bit, a lot.

“I achieved the utmost in boxing.

“I was undisputed heavyweight champion and Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year, so you can’t really do any better than that.

“Oh yeah, and I beat an 11-year reigning world champion with 25 title defences when people said I had no prayer of doing it. So if that ain’t enough in boxing, nothing is ever going to be enough.”

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