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Tyson Fury opens up on ‘downward spiral’ after beating Wladimir Klitschko

The British heavyweight said he never thought he would return to boxing during the ‘dark and lonely’ time

Jamie Braidwood
Wednesday 15 September 2021 16:41 BST
Tyson Fury has been open about his battles with mental health
Tyson Fury has been open about his battles with mental health (Getty Images)

Tyson Fury has said he “didn’t want to live anymore” after beating Wladimir Klitschko to become world heavyweight champion in 2015.

Fury has been open about his battles with mental health in the time that followed his shock victory over the Ukrainian and said that he was in a “downward spiral”.

The ‘Gypsy King’ also struggled with alcohol abuse and ballooned to 28 stone during his two-and-a-half year spell out of the ring.

He returned to boxing in 2018 and got up off the canvas to secure a sensational draw against WBC champion Deontay Wilder, just months after making his comeback to the sport.

Fury then defeated Wilder in February 2020 to reclaim the heavyweight crown. He has not fought since but is set to take on Wilder for a third time in Las Vegas on 9 October.

In an interview with Gary Neville on his Overlap show, Fury, 33, said he is now in a better place to deal with his victories after admitting that his victory over Klitschko and becoming world champion left him with the sense of having little else to accomplish.

“Before it was like I had conquered the world and there was nothing else that I wanted to do,” Fury said.

“My dream when I was a kid was to beat Klitschko. When I was only young, Klitschko was a world champion, so I was always looking at him and when I’d completed it, it was game over for me.

“I didn’t want to continue, plus I was mentally unstable. Going into that fight, I was very depressed and down and anxious. I always had that goal of beating Klitschko that kept me on the straight and narrow path, but after that goal was taken away from me, I had nothing else that I could focus on to give me that drive.

“It was like a total downward spiral and I didn’t want to live anymore. I was happy to die at 27. I was happy to finish, that was it. Nothing or nobody could bring me back.

“Not my wife and kids. I didn’t care. Every day I woke up, I just wanted to die. It was a crazy way to be but only people who have been through depression and all that sort of stuff will understand what I’m saying.

“I never thought I would return to boxing. It wasn’t a good time in my life. It was a dark, lonely place that I don’t want to go back to.”

Fury remains adamant that his next fight will be the long-awaited unification bout against British rival Anthony Joshua, who faces Oleksandr Usyk on 25 September.

A deal for the fight looked close to being agreed earlier this year before Fury was ordered to face Wilder for a third time.

Fury also told Neville: "I have never been optimistic about this fight happening. Even when the deal was done, I was never optimistic it and guess what? It never happened.

“I do think, sooner or later, it has to happen. Even if we go AWOL, throw all the belts in the bin, to fight each other? I would do that, if that makes sense. But I’m not sure he would be willing to do that.”

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