Tyson Fury’s rags-to-riches and back again story is moving rapidly towards another seminal stage as his December 1 title fight with the WBC champion Deontay Wilder comes into focus.
The Gypsy King famously dethroned the long-reigning king of the Heavyweight division Wladimir Klitschko in 2015, but never defended his belts after coming the undisputed champion, losing each one by one outside of the ring.
A descent into addiction and a life-and-death battle with his mental health followed for the 30-year-old, something which he only just survived, by his own admission.
He spoke about his struggles during an appearance on The Joe Rogan Podcast, saying:
“I’d wake up and think, ‘Why did I wake up this morning?’ And this is coming from a man who won everything. Money, fame, glory, titles, a wife, family and kids – everything.”
Fury credits his remarkable recovery to his faith. “I prayed to God to help me. I’d never begged God to help me. I could feel tears running down my face,” he said during the same appearance. “
“I got up and felt the weight was lifted off my shoulders. For the first time in my life I thought I was going to be OK.”
An insight into the mind of the enigmatic fighter is given during the clip shown below, an excerpt from a promotional film building up to the fight, which shows Fury in his pre-Wilder training camp watching an old tape.
That tape shows Fury ringside at title defence by Wilder against the Polish fight Artur Szpilka. Visibly drunk, the 6ft 9 Fury entered the ring and faced off with the WBC champ.
“Tyson Fury there had a litre of vodka in him,” he says as he sips a coffee in his Californian base and reflects.