NOT content with defeating doctors in the boxing ring, Tyson Fury has today declared an interest in becoming one himself after he hangs up the gloves.
Back in November 2015, Fury outpointed ‘Dr. Steelhammer’ Wladimir Klitschko, a man with a PHD in Sports Science, but has since been inactive due to a failed performance-enhancing drug test (for nandrolone) and some personal issues.
Yesterday, however, he announced the name of his June 9 comeback opponent – the name is Sefer Seferi, by the way – and today has revealed what he plans on doing once he has beaten Seferi and, he hopes, eventually won back the world heavyweight titles he never lost in the ring.
“I had a choice and chose boxing first, but, after boxing, I am going to be a doctor,” he told The Sun.
“I made that decision a few years ago. I am going to be a doctor and I am going to help people. When I have finished in a few years, I’ll still only be in my early 30s. Then I’ll study for the next seven years to be a doctor.
“If I’m 40 and a qualified doctor, I’m still a young doctor. That is what I intend to do. I studied very hard at school, but I turned to sport because that was my calling — and I’ve got to the highest level in that.
“Whatever I put my mind to, I do well. I think doctors and nurses do a fantastic job. They’re underpaid and without them we’d be in a lot of trouble.”
There’s a rule of thumb that should be used whenever dealing with Tyson Fury: take everything he says with a handful of salt. A master of mind games, he likes to play with reporters as much as opponents and very little of what he says should be taken at face value.
But if he’s genuine with this one, and truly has designs on becoming a doctor when the fighting’s over, it’s certainly admirable. It’s about as admirable, in fact, as a win over Sefer Seferi is inevitable.
With Carl Frampton positioned at ringside, and Josh Warrington and Lee Selby battling it out for the IBF featherweight crown, everything seemed in its right place, ready to culminate in a (sort of) grand final at Windsor Park this summer.
But then two things happened that few saw coming: first, Selby was cut early, scuppering any plan to box in August, and then Selby lost the fight.
In the space of 45 minutes, a mooted super-fight between Frampton and Selby had fallen by the wayside and now it was Warrington, rather than Selby, eyeing up a clash with Belfast’s favourite son. That’s okay, of course, fine under normal circumstances, but something changed as a result of Warrington’s victory – something that has everything to do with popularity and fan base – and this may have changed the schedule somewhat.
Warrington, you see, unlike Selby, draws the crowds and has transformed Leeds, his home city, into a bit of a boxing hotbed in recent years. Selby, in stark contrast, has forever been a road warrior, someone who has rarely headlined a card and often had to box on other promoters’ shows.
Selby beating Warrington – providing he was fit – would have no doubt led to a Frampton vs. Selby showdown this summer. After all, there’d be few better options for the low-key Welshman. But substitute Selby for Warrington and the whole picture changes.
Now promoter Frank Warren, the man with the final say, has a couple of sizeable featherweight attractions on his plate – one in Leeds, the other in Belfast – and rather than have them fight and knock one of them off, it might be wise to momentarily keep the two apart and encourage them to sell a few more tickets first.
“Carl Frampton keeps getting mentioned but Windsor Park might be a little bit too soon,” Warrington said after the fight. “We’ll have to see about that.
“I wouldn’t mind going back to the Leeds Arena, have another nutty night there, defend the title, and then possibly see about fighting Carl after that.
“About two weeks ago I passed Carl and I saw that he’d picked Selby to win, so I said, ‘Listen, Selby’s having it and after that we’ll have a chat and I wouldn’t mind coming to Windsor Park and fighting you.’
“The Leeds fans love an away day – a Leeds fan invasion into Belfast.”
Done right, a Warrington vs. Frampton fight could make for one hell of a double-header – the first in Belfast, the second in Leeds, or vice versa. Yet, as with anything in boxing, the danger is all in the delay. Get it right and you’re on to a winner. Get it wrong, however, and one or both could come unstuck before the really big bucks are made.
The defeated Lee Selby, meanwhile, no longer in possession of the IBF featherweight title, will look to move up in weight for his next fight.
The talented 31-year-old was making the fifth defence of his belt against Warrington on Saturday night but wasn’t at his best and seemed a step behind the Leeds favourite for much of the contest. Big at the weight, it has often been said Selby would benefit from a move up to super-featherweight.
“I was Britain’s longest reigning world champion but it came at a price,” Selby wrote on social media on Sunday.
“I’ve been making the featherweight limit for 10 years, but it was just one fight too many at that weight and my performance badly reflected that.”
— lee selby (@leeselby126) May 20, 2018
With options dwindling at nine stone, it would seem a wise move for Selby at this point. Not only that, he has often looked gaunt and weight-drained ahead of IBF title defences and the natural process of filling out in his late-20s and early-30s has obviously had an adverse effect on his ability to fight the way he once did.
That said, whether nine stone or nine stone four, he’d have likely had a tough time of it with Warrington, inspired and intelligent, on Saturday night at Elland Road.