WHEN you talk as fast and as freely as Tyson Fury there can be no guarantee that every said is factually accurate.
He talks to sell and to distract and to goad. He talks because it is something he does better than anyone else in the sport.
But that’s not to say ‘The Gypsy King’ is always telling the truth.
Indeed, in the case of a reported link-up with Conor McGregor, the former UFC champion, we now know that when Fury says they have discussed training together with a view to Fury competing in the UFC, it’s a white lie, a fib. We know, too, thanks to McGregor, that the pair have never even met or spoken before.
“We might see Tyson Fury have his MMA debut this year (in 2020). Tyson Fury is taking over,” Fury said in an interview in October. “I have been speaking to Conor about it. He’s willing to train me. It’s gonna be good.
“He’s just said any time that you are ready come over to Dublin and let’s go. I can’t wait, I’m going to take him up on the offer. Who knows we might be on a double-header. I come from a long line of bare-knuckle boxing champions.”
McGregor, though, while amused at Fury’s storytelling abilities and, moreover, his ability to manipulate the media into reporting whatever comes out of his mouth, can’t let the fantasy go on much longer.
“I know Tyson’s been talking about it a lot, [how] me and him spoke and I said that I would train him,” McGregor told BT Sport. “I’d never spoken to Tyson in my life, but it’s not a bad little story so I let it roll.
“Tyson’s a good man, I like Tyson. He’s a great boxer, a phenomenal boxer, probably the best natural boxer in the heavyweight division at this time. So, you know, who knows. I don’t think he’s just saying he would do it, then not do it like a lot of them do. I say Tyson probably would do it in time.
“Maybe we could set something up. I’m not going to be holding mitts for him or anything, but certainly if he wanted to be trained by me or even educated by me, I’d need to see him in certain positions and certain situations. I’d need to see him spar a heavyweight. I’d need to see him deal with leg kicks. I’d need to see him in the bottom position and then I’d assess that, send him off, tell him what work he needs to do and off he goes. That would probably be something I could do for Tyson.
“I found it funny that he was saying we talked and all this. He’s a mad man, Tyson. I’ve never spoken to Tyson in my life. It’ll be cool that he’s going to be there (at UFC 246).”
This Saturday (January 19) at UFC 246 McGregor fights Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in what will be his first fight since a punishing September 2018 defeat against Khabib Nurmagomedov. Fury, meanwhile, is currently in Las Vegas preparing for a highly anticipated rematch against WBC heavyweight Deontay Wilder, now confirmed for February 22.
They may not have spoken but, rest assured, Fury and McGregor will be watching one another go about their business.
David Price recently took a fight on someone else’s terms – albeit for a lot of money – and would now like to take one on his terms.
An October defeat to Dereck Chisora was a fight Price agreed to at short notice, filling in for original opponent Joseph Parker, and his subsequent defeat, a fourth-round stoppage, came as no surprise to anyone.
Now, though, with added importance placed on avoiding defeat, Price has every intention of making his next fight one that suits his needs rather than those of his opponent.
To this end, he would like to fight in March or April and seemingly has his heart set on boxing Lucas Browne, a former WBA heavyweight champion from Australia whose career is in a similar hole.
“End of March, early April, that would be right,” Price told Sky Sports. “You get judged on your last fight obviously, but the reality of it is, I did come in at short notice and it wasn’t ideal preparation and everything else.
“Michael Hunter (who recently called Price out) isn’t the ideal opponent for me. He’s small and nimble and they’re not the type of opponents I’ll be looking to get straight back in with.
“I’m thinking more along the lines of Lucas Browne. That’s a fight I’m really interested in. I think it’s a good fight for both of us. Whether that’s the fight that I have to come back, or not, I don’t know.”
Regardless of who he ends up facing, one senses Price is gearing up for his final run at glory, whatever that may constitute at this point, and that he is at peace with both his career and his limitations. He knows what he can and can’t do and is now looking to manoeuvre himself into a fight that best showcases the former.
“I’ve come this far and it’s obvious that I’ve got my own vulnerabilities,” he said. “Lucas Browne is the wrong side of 40, he’s had a couple of high-profile defeats, but, that being said, he’s still only lost twice. In reality, he’s the favourite, a big puncher, wide open himself to big shots. It’s what the fans would call a fun fight.”
Most David Price fights are fun. It’s why he keeps being offered them. Yet the key now for the giant Liverpudlian is to make them fun for him, not his opponents, and not for the thousands of fans who attend them knowing drama is guaranteed.