Tyson Fury’s life changed forever after beating Wladimir Klitschko, but it hasn’t been all wine and roses according to “The Gypsy King.”
This past Monday marked the seven-year anniversary of Fury’s momentous victory over Klitschko, one of the greatest heavyweight boxing champions of all time and a fighter who hadn’t taken a loss in 11 years before dropping a unanimous decision to Fury at a sold-out show in Dusseldorf, Germany. The win made Fury the undisputed heavyweight king and pushed him into another level of stardom, a change that he says was for the worse in the long run.
“I think it was a s*** night, to be honest,” Fury said on The MMA Hour. “I think it was a curse. It’s been a pretty s***** seven years since. It was a fantastic 27 years leading to it, but a s***** years since. It’s almost been a curse beating Wladimir Klitschko. It was obviously an Everest climbed and a heavyweight champion taken out, but it has its pros and cons, for sure.”
Fury fights Derek Chisora in a trilogy bout Saturday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, a bout that marks his return to competition after announcing a retirement this past August.
Since defeating Klitschko in November 2015, Fury has had his ups and downs with continued success inside the ring including a thrilling three-fight series against Deontay Wilder and issues outside of the ring such as the mental health struggles that he has spoke openly about. Fury attributes much of those struggles to his high-stress career, which was only made more so by the fame and glory that has come his way since his historic victory.
“You say I got everything I ever wanted, I never really wanted all the fame and all the s*** that comes with being a champion,” Fury said. “That wasn’t what I was about. I got everything I ever wanted by beating Klitschko, just getting that victory over him. … It takes over your life. You don’t own your own life anymore. You can’t go anywhere. You can’t live a normal life. So it’s not what I wanted and it’s not a great life. It sucks d***. It’s not good because you don’t have your own life anymore. I’m stuck where I have to be taunted by people wherever I go. I can’t go out with my family, I can’t just be a normal guy no more. I’ve got to be this heavyweight champion, heavyweight boxer who gets hassled by everyone else.
“So yeah, it’s not all what I wanted. I didn’t really know what I was getting myself in for, to be fair. I wanted the victory over Klitschko, but I didn’t want what came with it. I just wanted to fight to win. That’s what I wanted. So yeah, there was a lot of turmoil and struggle within that seven years. Three of those seven years were s*****, horrible, suicidal, and two of them were out to COVID and then the other two were activity and God.”
None of that is to say that Fury regrets defeating Klitschko as the achievement marked a major milestone in his illustrious career. However, it’s not just what the win meant to Fury that makes the fight so special, it’s the effect that Fury believes it had on Klitschko, who fought once more before retiring in 2017 (an immediate rematch between Fury and Klitschko scheduled for July 2016 was postponed due to a Fury injury and eventually canceled as Fury dealt with an anti-doping violation and various health concerns).
Fury is happy to shovel dirt on his former foe as he feels Klitschko has long disrespected him.
“He’s just a piece of s***,” Fury said. “All these years later, he don’t like me and I don’t like him, and that’s a fact. I didn’t do f*** all to him ever. Nothing. I just tried to build a fight with him and all the time since he’s just been bitter towards me. All the time.
“He’s never given me credit for beating him. Never. It wasn’t how good I was or anything or what I did right, it was what he didn’t do. That’s what will haunt Klitschko forever.”
Had Fury lost to Klitschko, it’s anyone’s guess where his path may have gone instead. But it’s a possibility that Fury hasn’t and never will entertain, whether talking about Klitschko or anyone else.
“I can’t really think about losing fights ever,” Fury said. “I’ve never thought about losing a fight. Even when I’m on my back in the middle of the ring, looking up at the stars, I still don’t think about losing. I think about f****** people up when I’m down there. That’s the crazy thing.
“Because even when I got put down twice in Round 4 against Wilder, the biggest puncher in history, I was thinking, ‘Right, you’re f***** now m***********. You’re getting it.’ That’s what I do.”