TYSON FURY’S new trainer, Ben Davison, says their alliance was born from a common strategy of how the Manchester giant would tactically approach bouts with the world’s leading heavyweights.
“We broke down a few fights, we were on the same wavelength and I gave him a few ideas he hadn’t thought of and he was impressed with that,” said the 25-year-old trainer.
“I’m not going to say how,” Ben continued of the Anthony Joshua tactics. “I’m not going to give anything away.”
He did, however, say he would like Fury to get some rust-shedding contests under his belt before facing stiffer challenges.
“It would be nice to give him the chance to have a few warm ups. Everyone wants him to jump in with this person and that person and I know he talked about fighting AJ for his first fight but they decided to go with the [Joseph] Parker fight but for me it would be nice, if I have it my way, I’d like him to have three or four warm up fights this year, get him active. I can’t remember the last time Tyson had the chance to be active – he’s been fighting once or twice a year. I know he’s a heavyweight but keep him active. That will help keep him in love with the sport, keep him in shape, keep him motivated and help bring the love back even more.”
But while there is much hype in the UK surrounding a future Joshua-Fury clash, Davison believes the most dangerous opponent for Fury is in the USA.
“I think Deontay Wilder, because with Wilder he fights well under pressure,” offered Davison. “If you watch him against [Johann] Duhaupas he doesn’t panic, he’s quite relaxed but he’s also got a very long reach, fast hands, he can box at distance and we know when he hurts you he gets wild. But there are certain things that, when people do a certain something to him, he has a bad habit. He’s only boxed one person who’s done that to him and I’m not going to say what that is, but it’s one thing that Tyson will definitely bring to the table.”
Of course, Davison realises critics will pour scorn at his appointment but he thinks it’s not only the relationship he has forged with Tyson over recent months but his attributes as a coach that brought him to Tyson’s attention.
Why did he choose the young coach?
“We did a bit of work in Marbella, he enjoyed the training and understood what I was saying and we carried on doing a bit more,” Davison explained. “Sometimes you can just gel and we have the same understanding. My main asset is the technical side of things and he’s a very technical boxer, as is Billy Joe [Saunders, who Ben has also worked with], so I’ve always done a lot of technical work with Billy Joe. And Tyson knows what needs to be done. He’s got himself in shape loads of times. For the comeback fight we’ve got a rough idea of what we’d like to achieve between us, but for the big fights it will depend on the opponents and the tactics we are going to use.”
He also says both Fury and Saunders are knuckling down after both seemed to take their focus off boxing.
“Yeah, it’s been said that they don’t live the life, I know that Billy Joe has blown up [in weight] but you won’t find two harder working athletes, not just boxers, athletes, in the gym, and when they go into camp they give everything 100 per cent and they’ve obviously reaped the rewards for it.
“They might like a bit of food or whatever outside of boxing, but the way things are being done now, Billy Joe obviously isn’t putting the same sort of weight on and Tyson has the love back for boxing.”
Tyson’s two years away from the sport ended after a joint agreement with UKAD following months of legal wrangling that, along with the life he was living, kept him from the ring.
“Obviously I cant really go in to too many details about that sort of stuff because there’s confidentiality so I cant say too much,” said Davison. “But it says itself that UKAD didn’t come out with the words ‘drug ban’ or ‘failed tests’. That alone explains to everybody that if it was a failed test and a drugs ban… But the fact they’ve used words like ‘ineligible period’ and ‘confusion’, I think that explains enough itself.”
Davison emerges with a high-profile client at a time when cynics say there are few ‘teachers’ left in the sport.
The young coach says that is partly down to the emergence of Instagram and social media which only allow snippets of a body of work to be shown.
“I think you get a lot of people that use all these flashy pad combinations and all the rest of it but you can’t assess someone’s knowledge on boxing by a video,” he continued. “You have to spend time around somebody to understand and not everybody has the same outlook on things. I think the general public are not in the gym with certain things to pass comment and assess what people know, but I think you get the general public seeing flashy trainers on the pads and then you had someone like Emanuel Steward whose padwork wasn’t flashy but he had substantial knowledge of the game. You can’t judge without being around and knowing and it takes time to be able to assess someone properly.”
One person Davison has assessed is modern great Floyd Mayweather, a boxer he admires for the way he morphed in style as he matured in the ring.
“I liked Floyd Mayweather,” he explained. “If you watch ‘Pretty Boy’ Floyd [before he became ‘Money’ Mayweather], he is very different and he adjusted, he was more offensive in his younger days and he adjusted as he got older, he became cuter, smarter and economical and I liked that. I enjoy the chess match side of boxing, the technical things – and he’s obviously one of the best in recent times.”