Tyson Fury: Money, fame and glory doesn’t change a man unless he wants it to

Welcome to the big time.

Wednesday, 2nd December 2015, 1:43 pm
Tyson Fury arrives for a homecoming event at the Macron Stadium. Picture: Simon Cooper/PA Wire

Already a marquee name in boxing circles it is clear from Monday’s packed press conference that Tyson Fury’s triumph over Wladimir Klitschko on Saturday has now catapulted him towards crossover superstardom.

Traffic problems around Manchester meant the media were made to wait for the man of the moment, Fury arriving at Bolton’s Macron Stadium an hour later than scheduled having not yet returned to his Hest Bank home.

The unbeaten 27-year-old, who outboxed Klitschko to take victory on all three judges’ cards, could easily have chartered a private plane back from Dusseldorf as many of his peers would have done.

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Tyson Fury arrives for a homecoming event at the Macron Stadium. Picture: Simon Cooper/PA Wire

Instead, he had joined pregnant wife Paris in driving and taking a ferry back to the North West via Rotterdam and Hull.

It was one example, the new heavyweight ruler says, of how the money and fame that comes with lifting one of the richest prizes in sport won’t change who he is – one of the most colourful, controversial and outspoken figures in sport.

“It’s not going to change me,” Fury insisted.

“I am what I am. Money, fame and glory doesn’t change a man unless he wants it to.

Fury celebrates his victory under the bright lights in Dusseldorf. Picture: AP Photo/Martin Meissner

“That’s a fake person in my opinion. Anyone who can be changed by a few quid or some achievements is not a realist, they were unhappy with the person they used to be and they needed a few more things in life to make them a happier person.

“Alright, I’ve won four or five belts whatever they are, I’m the number one ranked heavyweight in the world and I’ve done a massive shock and all that but it is what it is.

“I’m a boxer. I was before I started and I’m still a boxer now.

“I don’t feel any different today than I did yesterday, the day before, the day before that and the day before that.

Tyson Fury (left) and trainer Peter Fury during a homecoming event at the Macron Stadium. Picture: Simon Cooper/PA Wire

“I’m still Tyson Fury and I’m still going to go home in an old Land Rover and go home and get to bed.”

While Fury may insist we won’t see a man overtaken by his new-found wealth and notoriety things are certainly going to change around him whether he likes it or not.

Mobbed as he entered The Whites Hotel attached to the home of Bolton Wanderers he then had media queueing for more than hour to grab five minutes with a man who was to be nominated for the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year later that day.

Relishing the big stage as he had done against Klitschko the quotable lines leapt from his lips at every turn.

“I outboxed him in his home town,” Fury explained.

“I feel like a mongoose going into a cobra’s nest and snatching them all out of there.

“That’s what I’ve done. We snuck in there like mongooses, got the cobra’s egg and left.

“Peter (Fury, trainer) took them all home with him just like I promised. Didn’t you Pete?”

The mongoose analogy drew plenty of laughs but while also regularly speaking with a smile, Fury is never far from the controversial.

The run up to the clash was beset by problems for Team Fury, issues with gloves and the ring canvas amongst other things threatening to derail the big Brit’s hopes.

He pulled no punches addressing what happened, even revealing he feared being drugged.

“These people are very good at cheating,” said Fury.

“They tried it with the gloves and they even gave me the wrong gloves in the end as well.

“Then they put six-inch thick of memory foam all over the ring, Peter sussed that out in about two seconds and there were big arguments and the fight was nearly off.

“They had to sort that out and then he had to redo his hand wraps because none of us were in the changing room.

“At the weigh in they said I was 17st8 when I was 18st4. He had platforms in his boots too, all psychological things.

“If you look at the weigh in he was the same size as me but he’s 6’5 and I’m 6’9. There’s a massive gap and we saw that in the ring on the night.

“There was all these things that they thought might affect me but not one of them did.

“I had good information off good sources not to touch anything in the dressing room because they might drug you.

“Someone tried to pass me water from all sorts but unless it was sealed and contained from my own baggage I wouldn’t have it.

“I went home dehydrated because I was so frightened of being drug tested and failing the drug test.

“You can’t be too careful can you? Prevention is better than cure I say.”

Many are questioning whether Fury should consider toning down his antics of the past.

The Morecambe giant has never been far from offending, his comments amount homophobia in the run up the fight causing a particular stir.

Fury was unmoved though insisting that the biggest victory of his life shouldn’t force him to change who he is.

“If people don’t like it they can change the channel, that’s all I’ve got to say,” he said.

“I will be dictated to by nobody.

“I’m the man and if anyone can prove me wrong then their chance is inside a boxing ring.

“You don’t like it? Change the station. You’ don’t like it? Don’t take photos. You don’t like it? Don’t print it in your newspaper.

“Do I care? Not really.”

Sporting figures of Fury’s stature are role models though, whether they chose to be or not.

The former British and Commonwealth champion, although unconventional, believes he can be someone to look up to.

“It depends what type of role model you are after,” said Fury.

“If you’re after a yes man them I ain’t that person.

“If you’re after a real person who wants to educate people on how the world really is then I’m that person.

“If you’re looking up to a realist or a cartoon character then I’m sure a realist is going to help you more in life.”

He does however believe the influence he can have over people is being overplayed.

“Are you saying that if I say something’s purple and it’s really green it’s purple?” Fury said with a smirk.

“Who’s going to argue with me? I’m the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.”

The final statement certainly isn’t up for debate.

And if Monday’s mass media gathering is anything to go by, Fury snatching those belts in Germany on Saturday night has set up an eventful period in heavyweight history.