Tyson Fury still training despite retirement claim, says Sugarhill Steward

Fury has said that his knockout win against Dillian Whyte in April will go down as his final professional fight

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Friday 13 May 2022 09:38
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<p>Tyson Fury (top) with coach Sugarhill Steward after the heavyweight’s win against Dillian Whyte</p>

Tyson Fury (top) with coach Sugarhill Steward after the heavyweight’s win against Dillian Whyte

Tyson Fury’s coach Sugarhill Steward has said the “Gypsy King” continues to train despite his apparent retirement from boxing.

Fury knocked out Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium in April, retaining the WBC heavyweight title and remaining unbeaten with a sixth-round knockout.

Fury, 33, had suggested before and after the fight that the bout would be his last ever – exhibition contests aside – and Steward has told Sky Sports that he respects his fighter’s decision.

“For me it was very simple,” the American said. “It was like: ‘Okay, that’s what you want to do? That’s fine.’

“It’s just his choice. There’s something inside his brain, his head, telling him to retire. I have to respect that 100 per cent.

“Tyson came to me and wanted to win the Deontay Wilder rematch, I helped him do that, I was okay with that. Now his decision to retire, I’m happy to help him with that, too.

“We barbeque, we take trash out to the tip, we just live regular right now. He still trains, he still works out, it’s something he loves to do. I’m happy with his decision and for him to be able to be with his family and spend time with them.

“This man has been working his whole life, doing that to have his family be a part of that – being able to take care of them, do things and have adventures with them. I’m very happy for him.”

Fury stopped Dillian Whyte with an uppercut in front of 94,000 fans

Steward did acknowledge, however, that many fighters reverse their retirements, and that he would still respect Fury if the Briton went the same way.

“There are a lot of fighters that have been retired and come out of retirement; there are a lot of fighters that have been retired and stay retired,” Steward said. “It’s just up to Tyson Fury, I stand by his decision.”

Many fans wish to see Fury fight at least once more – to attempt to unify the WBC belt with the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO titles that Oleksandr Usyk will defend against Anthony Joshua this summer.

Fury, however, has said he is not interested in facing the unbeaten Ukrainian, who outpointed Joshua last September to win the gold. Similarly Fury has suggested that he does not need to prove himself against compatriot “AJ”.

“I know a lot of the retirement has to do with not getting the fights he wants,” Steward said. “It’s really mentally challenging to be offered fights and go through negotiations for fights and then for them to fall through at the end.

“These things happen to many fighters around the world. You wouldn’t expect it to happen on this big a stage, but it does happen, and it’s something fighters have to deal with.

Anthony Joshua (left) is out to avenge his title loss to Oleksandr Usyk

“We on the outside sometimes don’t understand that. We just say: ‘If he gets the fight, he’ll come back.’ It’s not as easy as being on the outside, going through what happens on the inside. But it’s the sport he loves so much, and it’s hurting him like that. Those things have to be taken into consideration and respected.”

Fury has said he could box again in a non-professional capacity, for example against UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou.

The Cameroonian entered the Wembley ring after Fury’s win against Whyte, discussing the prospect of a crossover bout with the “Gypsy King”.

“I would call it entertainment,” Steward said. “It’s entertainment, you have somebody from one sport having it with somebody from another sport. There’s a lot of ‘ooh’s and ‘ah’s and wondering who would [win] and who wouldn’t.

“It’s entertainment. There are fans out there that want to be entertained, and that’s part of it. You can bring these two guys who are top of different sports together, it’s exciting.”

Fury is due to hold talks with the WBC as the governing body attempts to find out for certain whether the 33-year-old will fight again.

If Fury confirms his retirement, he will be expected to relinquish the belt. The WBC will otherwise strip him of the title.

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