LONDON: It might not have ended exactly how the self-proclaimed “Gypsy King” would have wanted, but Tyson Fury has won more fans in drawing with Deontay Wilder than he ever had in all his previous victories.
Like him, or loathe him — and he is a very divisive character — Fury’s story is one of overcoming adversity and personal demons. And tenfold.
He shocked the world in 2015 by beating Vladimir Klitschko to become a world heavyweight champion, but his decline in the aftermath was painful to watch for his fans.
Controversial comments, drug bans, a personal fight with substance abuse and a very public suicidal depression battle saw the charismatic champion fall from grace and seemingly toward oblivion. His destructive lifestyle led to Fury ballooning to 400lbs in weight, and his boxing career looked over.
So, his performance in Las Vegas this weekend against a formidable opponent in Deontay Wilder makes his story all the more incredible.
In beating his demons, getting back into top physical shape and even entering the ring again against Wilder, he had already won a monumental battle.
Once in the ring, Fury out-boxed his much-favored opponent for large parts of the fight and even picked himself up off the canvass twice — the second time when he it looked he had been knocked out cold — and went the distance with a man who had only once before been in a fight that had gone the distance.
Whether he gets a rematch with Wilder remains to be seen. But, in the eyes of boxing fans around the world, Fury etched his name into the pantheon of greats simply by entering the ring this weekend, an inspiration to millions.