WHENEVER children declare they are taking a vow of silence in the name of competition, there is always one child who, despite wanting to win, has a crippling inability to stay silent for any length of time.
To seal their fate, this particular child might cough, or tut, or sigh, or simply blurt out whatever is on his or her mind. But two things are certain: one, this child finds it impossible to suppress the need to hear themselves talk and, two, it is more than likely Tyson Fury, the current heavyweight champion of the world, was this very child.
I assume this only because Fury, even at the relatively young age (for a heavyweight) of 33, has both retired and unretired more times than the likes of ‘Sugar’ Ray Leonard and, moreover, hates the idea of silence. That, to Fury, is akin to either defeat or death and indeed his capacity to make noise as one of the sport’s most charismatic and interesting personalities is precisely what has made him the rich and famous sports star he is today. Without this noise, Fury, 32-0-1 (23), would be just another world-class heavyweight, albeit an obscenely talented one. Without it, you would also know, once and for all, that Fury had left the building.
“We have some very exciting news coming,” Fury revealed in an interview with promoter Frank Warren, shown live on Queensbury Promotions’ YouTube channel on Tuesday evening (June 14). “I think the world has been waiting for a plan of action and last week we had a nice Italian (meal) down in London and a long conversation about lots of stuff.”
Now, for the sake of context, clarity, and perhaps even sanity, it is worth pointing out that a) the world had hardly been waiting for Fury’s “plan of action”, with all due respect, and b) it had been only 52 days since Fury’s last fight, a sublime sixth-round knockout of Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium.
In other words, although there will always remain intrigue regarding Fury and his movements, he was not exactly testing the patience of his audience by waiting less than two months to provide any sort of update. In fact, had Fury not voluntarily backed himself into a corner after the Whyte win by telling the world he had retired, no such “plan of action” would have even been required. He could have simply planned it, whatever it is, then acted on it.
“I will be back in the ring 100 per cent,” he announced, regardless, “just like in the movie (Jerry Maguire) when Jerry Maguire shouted, ‘Show me the money!’
“If anyone can show me the money, it’s Frank Warren. I call him the ‘Magic Man’ and we are going to make some big, big things happen.
“I am a prizefighter, but it’s going to cost if you want me to do a mission on this middleweight (Oleksandr Usyk, presumably). I’ll show you what a real heavyweight does.”
As good as it is to hear confirmation of Fury’s inevitable return, these are of course words we have heard before, seemingly rehashed from press releases or press conferences from years gone by. That is not to say the words no longer carry weight – with money involved, they certainly do – but more a reminder that Fury is a man and fighter whose actions are forever preferable to hearing whatever comes out of his mouth.
History, after all, suggests that there is, where Fury’s concerned, a motive behind every word he says and every move he makes. So, rather than get too excited about today’s ‘announcement’, what we must decipher now is a) why his so-called retirement lasted only 52 days, when one suspects there was even more money to be had if he had really tested the patience of his audience, and b) how he goes about getting the kind of money necessary to turn an unretirement video into an actual unretirement.