Tyson Fury has revealed that Mike Tyson was a key influence behind his decision to challenge Deontay Wilder for the WBC heavyweight title.
The Gypsy King will clash with the American on December 1 at the Staples Centre in Los Angeles, in an attempt to achieve heavyweight champion status for the first time since winning a unified world title by beating Wladimir Klitschko back in 2015.
Fury ended a two-and-a-half-year hiatus from boxing this summer to return with comfortable victories against Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta.
It was widely speculated that he would fight the top names in his division, and with a bout against Wilder mooted, the 30-year-old revealed what motivated him to challenge the Bronze Bomber.
The Mancunian admitted it was Wilder's comments on his break from the sport and his weight, as well as the 33-year old's claims over the ease of knocking out Mike Tyson that drove him to arrange the fight.
“While I was walking, I was flicking through Instagram on my phone," Fury revealed.
“He did this video after seeing this photo of me being fat and said: ‘He’s finally finished and even if I did fight him in his heyday I’d have knocked him out'.
“Before that, he was talking about Mike Tyson and how he’d knock him out in a round.
“And I thought to myself: ‘That’s very disrespectful to talk about someone who is not even in your era and all that sort of stuff’.
“So I thought to myself: ‘If I ever do fight you I’m going to give it to you for that reason.'
“And then when I saw the other video of him saying I can’t come back he gave me that much more motivation to return just so I can beat Deontay Wilder.”
Wilder can certainly claim to be one of the most talented in his weight class, having held his WBC title for almost four years.
His remarks about Tyson, one of the sport's true legends, have created a huge amount of controversy, however.
The clash was officially arranged in late September, with Fury directing an Instagram video at his opponent after the announcement, warning, "You [Wilder] can't beat me. I will out-heart you."
The Gypsy King has spoken openly about his struggles with mental illness in recent years and expressed relief at being back in the ring again.
Fury's intense training schedule has also been a hot topic, with the 30-year-old making headlines in August after revealing that he thought he killed his sparring partner Ben Davison after knocking him out cold in his first session.
The Gypsy King is currently based at Big Bear Lake, California, where he is training at a 7,000 ft altitude.
The area previously proved too difficult for Lennox Lewis, who moved locations after a week.
Fury admits that he is only lasting 3-4 rounds, despite being fully fit and 12 rounds ready at sea level.
It is believed that he will remain in the United States until the clash on December 1, in nearby Los Angeles.
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