TYSON FURY maintains Saturday’s fight against Dillian Whyte will be his last. Fury insists once he’s defended his world heavyweight title at London’s Wembley stadium he will get out of boxing.
It’s hard to believe given Fury’s current position in the sport and the lucrative opportunities that will still lie ahead of him after this next fight. But still he said, “This is it. The capital city, this is the pinnacle of it all. It used to be one of my big goals to fight at Old Trafford, to fight at Madison Square Garden, York Hall, the MGM in America and that was it. But this opportunity came to fight here. I was happy with my slippers on in Morecambe until Frank [Warren, his promoter] phoned me with a massive 40-odd million quid offer. I was like what? Wembley? 40-odd million? For sure, put me down. I was happy. I was happy walking around my house in a robe and slippers.”
He added, “It wasn’t just the $40 million [the total purse bid for the fight]. It was the opportunity to fight here at Wembley in front of 90,000.”
But the heavyweight champion denies he will be tempted out of retirement after this, not even for the winner of the prospective Anthony Joshua-Oleksandr Usyk rematch. “No, not interested,” he insists. “There’s no amount of money or belts that I haven’t already won or haven’t already got that would bring me back.”
However there’s little sign that any complacency has crept into Fury’s preparation for Whyte. He weighed in 264¾lbs on Friday, heavier than his opponent – Whyte was 253¼lbs – but lighter than his last two fights against Deontay Wilder. It could be an indication that Fury is primed to box and move for 12 rounds.
He certainly knows Whyte, having brought him as a sparring partner for training camps a few years past. “He’s definitely a fearless guy. I’ve sparred him in the past and he didn’t show any weaknesses at all. I’m not going to sit here and slate the fella because I’ve not got nothing to slate him on, just like he hasn’t got anything to slate me on. I’m anticipating a good fight, a good, strong tough fight and that’s what it will be,” Fury said. “I’ve been bounced off the canvas more times than a bouncy ball. So I’m not this untouchable boxer that everyone thinks that I might be. I’m just a normal boxing man who has got lucky 32 times in a row, I think. I’ve had a lot of luck, you’ve got to be in the right place at the right time. Obviously you’ve got to train hard as well, be dedicated and sacrifice as well.
“I’ve never ever been knocked off my feet with a pair of sparring gloves on and a headguard. I’ve only been put down in the boxing ring with 10 [ounce gloves] on. And we all know who they were: Neven Pajkic, Steve Cunningham and Deontay Wilder. That’s it. And if I had, I’d say it. I’ve been hurt loads of times, no denying it, I’m just a man. But I’ve never been put down in the gym. I pride myself on having a granite chin.”
If this is to be the end, Fury is determined to finish victorious. “I enjoy all these fights because they’re all massive fights to me,” he said. “There is no one I enjoy more because every one is just as important to win. This boxing isn’t a sport to me. I don’t look at boxing like ‘oh, it’s a sport’ or it’s my way of earning a living. This is everything to me.
“Boxing is my life and it’s been my life since being about 12 years old up to being a man of 33. There is nothing else. Boxing is everything to us.”