Boxing

Tyson Fury’s father John warns against Deontay Wilder trilogy fight: ‘It’s a mistake’

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Tyson Fury’s decision to walk away from an all-British heavyweight title clash to face Deontay Wilder in a WBC-ordered trilogy fight has been strongly criticised by Fury’s own father.

John Fury has been a prominent figure in Tyson’s rise to the top of heavyweight boxing, but while Fury was out in Las Vegas signing a fight contract to face Wilder for a third time, his father was back home in Withenshaw in disbelief at how things had changed.

“While I’m alive and while I’m fit and able, I want to do the best I can for Tommy, and Tyson,” he told BT Sport in a candid interview.

“But Tyson, obviously, is in a different league now. Twenty-thousand ‘yes men’ round him. 

“This is what happens when you get to the top. There’s lot of leeches out there, a lot of hangers on. 

“You can see what’s happening out there in America with him. Appalling work, to be honest with you. 

“That’s just my opinion. But I’m straightforward. That’s Tyson’s business, he’s over 21. It’s up to him.”

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Fatherly advice: John Fury told Tyson Fury to ditch his WBC title and fight Anthony Joshua (Image: @BTSPORTBOXING / GETTY)

Fury Sr. then went on to explain that he was far from comfortable with the way his son’s affairs have been handled during the last few weeks, when an arbitration court ruled that Wilder was contractually due a third fight with WBC champ Fury.

And with the WBC ordering the bout as a result of the verdict, failure to comply would likely have resulted in his WBC world title being stripped.

But “Big John” said the sequence of events that led to Tyson signing on for a third bout and in the process walking away from potentially the biggest heavyweight title fight in history left him feeling cold.

“It’s diabolical, isn’t it?” he said. 

“You’re geared up to fight one man and all of a sudden, on the 11th hour, it’s all sorted in 24 hours. 

“He’s signing contracts in the hall of a boxing venue. They’re around him like locusts. 

“I think to myself, ‘How can you think straight with all that around you?’

“For my money, it’s a mistake. It’s a mistake, but he can blame his team, can’t he? No one else.”

The major issue for Fury Sr. was the speed at which everything seemed to happen, as he revealed that his implored his son to relinquish the WBC title and walk away from the Wilder fight to continue on his path to face Joshua in Saudi Arabia on August 14.

“Anything rushed is no good, and that’s been rushed,” he stated. 

“He was fighting AJ. I wanted him to fight AJ. I’ve no interest in Deontay Wilder, so why has he got to fight Wilder? 

“I told him on a phone conversation, ‘Chuck the belt in the bin. Let ’em have it. Come back and fight AJ on the 14th of August, like was planned.’

“But who am I? I’m nobody, unfortunately. A voice that only a certain amount of people hear. 

“And because you don’t drive a Rolls Royce or live in a castle, it falls on deaf ears, doesn’t it?

“You can be an idiot and an imbecile, and come out with a big setup and they listen to you, don’t they? That’s unfortunately the case.”

Fury Sr. said that suggestions from Joshua’s camp that Fury was never interested in the fight were “rubbish,” and went on to reveal major misgivings over the trilogy fight with Wilder.

“I’m just concerned whether Tyson can raise his game for Wilder,” he said. 

“Whether he gets complacent, makes a mistake, I dunno. It’s got every chance of going wrong out there.

“Because I don’t like how it’s been handled. It’s been badly handled and that’s just my opinion, no-one else’s. “Tyson knows what he’s doing. But I said, ‘Get back on a plane. Let’s have a look at the situation proper. Let’s assess it.’ 

“But there’s no bright lights and glitz here. Withenshaw. 

“What would you do? Wanna be in Vegas or Withenshaw? 

“But let me tell you, if you want to keep your WBC belt, you’re better in Withenshaw.

“I just feel like they’ve done it all wrong. 

“On the 11th hour, and everybody knew about the arbitration. 

“I was told the arbitration was under control – it’s not a problem. All of a sudden at the 11th hour, it is a problem.

“It’s madness, but the only problem is, it’s madness, and my son’s caught up in the middle of it. 

“And I’m not a happy man, about any of it.”

Fury Sr. also warned those who simply think the latest goings-on will delay the inevitable title clash between the two Brits as he revealed his assessment of the two new matchups that are likely to take place this summer.

“Both men could get beat,” he stated. 

“AJ could get beat, so could Tyson. “Because both men could get complacent thinking about one another, and all of a sudden you’re doing something else. 

“You’re geared up to fight one another in the biggest fight in history. And, all of a sudden, what have we got? Two warm-up fights in between. 

“I’ve said a lot. I’ve said this, I’ve said that. But it’s all business, it’s all building a fight. But now this is serious. 

“You know, I’d say, ‘Keep your WBC belt, I’m out of here. I’m fighting AJ, with the belt or without it.’ 

“And I’m sure people still want it.”


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