FORMER heavyweight contender Gerry Cooney has warned Tyson Fury about entering into a big fight with Deontay Wilder so soon after his alcohol and drug problems.
Cooney, 62, struggled with alcoholism and recreational drug use for much of his boxing career. Following his 1981 knockout of Ken Norton, Cooney said he ‘started to drink too much and take too many drugs’.
He did not kick his habits until 1990, shortly before he was knocked out in two rounds by George Foreman.
Fury launched his return in the summer after well-publicised depression problems that were heightened by substance abuse.
“I know has Tyson Fury has lost hundreds of pounds [in weight] and kicked drugs and alcohol,” said Cooney. “But is it long enough between using the booze and the drugs to have it catch up with his brain?
“The reason he picked up the drugs and the alcohol was because something was wrong, he couldn’t figure it out. So does he have enough time from then to now, to be the real Tyson Fury, and to take on Deontay Wilder?
“I took a fight early into my recuperation [from drug and alcohol use] against George Foreman and I lost the fight. I was knocked out. It helped me to move on but it’s big deal when you use alcohol and drugs to get out of your pain and your fear. That type of recovery can take years.
“I think Fury is a great man for doing this. Maybe he knows something that we don’t know.”