Former unified heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has revealed the demons he battled whilst preparing for his aborted rematch with Wladimir Klitschko.
The ‘Gypsy King’ has admitted to taking a colossal beating from fellow heavyweight Robert Helenius while sparring in the hope of being knocked out and injured.
The giant Mancunian spent nearly three years out of the ring, amid battles with depression and drug addiction, with the British fighter only returning to action with victories over the farcical Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta over the summer.
Fight fans must appreciate the devastating affect depression had on Fury’s mental health and many forget that the 30-year-old was initially obliged to face ex-rival Klitschko in a rematch back in 2016, a fight that was cancelled twice due to the former champion’s psychological issues.
“In that Klitschko rematch, I was guaranteed a lot of money — in excess of £10 million,” Fury stated when on the Fighting Spirits Podcast.
“I worked all my life to get to that stage, and when I had the winning lottery ticket in my hand, I didn’t want it. I knew I couldn’t go into that Klitschko fight with no desire and no will to win.
“I wasn’t about to get laid out on the canvas by Klitschko for money. That’s what would’ve happened.
“I was suffering with depression and I had no will to win, I didn’t even want to fight anymore.”
Fury went on to discuss his split from former trainer and uncle Peter Fury, who ultimately couldn’t help his nephew see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The lineal champion of the world is now trained by his good friend Ben Davison, who has aided the ‘Gypsy King’ from both a mental and physical stand point.
Fury has gone through a dramatic transformation over the past 18 months, losing nearly 10 stone as he prepares for the biggest fight of his career against WBC kingpin Deontay Wilder, on December 1 in Los Angeles.
“Peter knew I was struggling and he knew what I was going through. He decided that we were going to go to Holland and train because we’d had a good time there,” Fury continued.
“I was there and I felt so down on a daily basis. There wasn’t one day that went past where I didn’t go to bed at night saying, ‘I’m gonna go home in the morning, this isn’t for me anymore.’
“Peter could see in my eyes that I didn’t have it anymore. I just didn’t want to be there. In the sparring I would stand there and have big heavyweights tee off on me and not defend myself.
“We had Robert Helenius over and he can testify to this, I was just standing there and letting Robert hit me bang in the face with right hands.
“I’d be head-butting the ring corners and stuff. I wanted him to knock me out. I wanted to be knocked out on the floor.
“No matter how much money was on the table I just couldn’t motivate myself anymore.”