The road back to the ring has been a long one for Tyson Fury. Three scrapped fights and the death of his first boxing mentor have taken their toll on the heavyweight in the lengthy build-up to his fight with Dereck Chisora at the ExCeL Arena tomorrow.
The occasional enfant terrible of British boxing - renowned for his TV and Twitter rants in the past - insists he has reached a zen-like state as the clock ticks to the lead fight of a night billed ‘Bad Blood’.
“I still have moments of craziness but I’m a new man now, I’ve got God in my life,” he said.
Fury’s only Twitter outburst these days are of a Biblical nature and the 26-year-old believes he will have a supreme being on his side when he steps into the ring.
“Over the last couple of years I went AWOL with God,” said Fury. “But I’m back on the right path now, on the road to glory. Without him, I felt lonely. I did everything I could to fill that - getting drunk every day, partying, whatever. But I’m back with God and that gap is filled.”
Fury is adamant his faith was never questioned despite two scrapped fights with David Haye, the original bout with Chisora being postponed when his opponent got injured nor when his uncle Hughie died at the age of 50. All of those conspired to him walking away from boxing, albeit temporarily.
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“I know that everything happens for a reason but it was hard,” said Fury. “Hughie’s death was a difficult time for me. I was trained by him from when I was 13-14 years old - my granny used to take me there for training. We spent a lot of time together and talked about a lot of things. It was a sad loss - he was too young a man to die and he loved his boxing - that was his life. Hopefully, tomorrow night he will be looking down on me and I can do him proud.”
The fight is a repeat of the clash between the pair in 2011, which Fury won on a unanimous decision. This time, Chisora, also with his own demons, appears to have mellowed and is noticeably leaner than in the past.
But Fury warned: “This is not a fitness competition, this is about skill and technique, and on Saturday I’m going to bring a firestorm.”
The winner will supposedly get to fight for the WBO world title against Wladimir Klitschko, who has dominated the heavyweight division in recent years.
“If anyone can beat Klitschko, I can,” said Fury. “I don’t fear anyone in boxing, I feel equipped.
“If a 6ft 5in robotic fighter can rule the division for 10 years then a 6ft 9in fighter can rule it for more than 20 years. I have faith in my ability. Saturday night is just the start.”
Fury vs Chisora is live on BoxNation (Sky 437/490 HD, Virgin 546 and TalkTalk 525) tomorrow. Visit boxnation.com to subscribeReuse content