Tyson Fury has told of the “stupid” comment made by Wladimir Klitschko in the run up to their heavyweight clash back in November 2015.
Three years ago, the Gypsy King astounded the boxing world to beat Klitschko to win WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO belts.
Although Klitschko was the bookie’s favourite with the Mancunian as underdog at about 4/1, Fury went on to win by unanimous decision.
But this was before a prolonged bout of depression, drug, and alcohol abuse, in which the now 30-year-old was absent from the sport for three years.
During this period the rematch was mooted a number of times, but cancelled in July of 2016, and again in October 2016, with Fury being declared medically unfit.
The same month the dethroned King vacated the WBA “Super”, WBO and IBO titles citing depression following positive testing for an illegal substance.
This period is now well known and much discussed, not least of which by the Gypsy King himself, who - as always - has been brutally honest during his comeback.
About his Dusseldorf win back in 2015 – billed as Kollisionskurs; German for Collision Course – speaking to BT Sport Fury has said: “When I was 14, I was watching Wladimir on TV.
“I was thinking ‘I can beat that guy and I will beat that guy’.
“When we were face-to-face, he said a stupid comment.
“It was: ‘You want what I have, everything I have you want."
The Gypsy King was typically ruthless in response.
“So I said ‘What do you have that I want?
“You have some money and some belts.’
“I only wanted to beat Klitschko, that was it. I wasn’t interested in the next 25 men behind him.
“He was the man for so long.”
In his comeback as lineal heavyweight champion, Fury will fight Deontay Wilder at the Staples Center, Los Angeles, this Saturday, following which he has promised £8m of his purse to the homeless.
Respect for Wilder in the Fury camp is well documented, with trainer Ben Davison acknowledging: “He’s the most dangerous fighter in world boxing. He’s a freak of nature.”