By: Sean Crose
I had the hunger to beat Wladimir Klitscko,” Tyson Fury told Joe Rogan on Thursday, “but not to carry on and continue.” Fury, who is training to face WBC champ Deontay Wilder on December 1st at the Staples Center in Las Angeles, was a guest on Rogan’s popular podcast for over a full hour. During the lengthy conversation he discussed beating Klitschko, his battles with mental illness and addiction, and of course Deontay Wilder. Fury was the toast of the fight game after he stunned Kltischko to win the heavyweight title back in 2015. After that, however, the Englishman’s life spiraled out of control.
“I was depressed as depressed can be on a daily basis,” he said. “It just went from bad to worse.” Fans of the fight game are familiar with Fury’s spectacular fall from on high. Within a short time, he went from heavyweight king to former champ. What’s more, Fury’s emotional issues seemed to have clearly gotten the best of him after a certain point. “I hit the drink heavily on a daily basis,” he said. “I hit the drugs. I was out all night partying with women of the night, just coming home.” Things were so bad that Fury wanted out on life. “I just wanted to die, and I was going to have a good time doing it.”
After nearly intentionally killing himself in his vehicle and having a moment of realization, Tyson attempted to turn his life around. “You can only change your life if you want to change it,” he told Rogan. Crediting his faith in God, Fury is now engaged in prepping for what is surely a lucrative (and perhaps career defining) battle with Wilder, a fighter about as colorful as he is. Still quick with a wise crack, Fury joked about the WBC champions’ awkward style. “It reminds me of Bambi on ice,” he quipped. Still, he admitted to admiring Wilder for being willing to take on the big challenges.
“He could have picked much easier opponents and made similar money,” said Fury in his British accent. “I take me hat off to him.” Unlike many in the fight game, Fury was also quick to praise Widler’s team, which of course, includes the enigmatic and often maligned Al Haymon. “They were the most fairest most straight going people I ever worked with,” he said outright. “There was no hard negotiations. It was very, very simple.” Fury didn’t have such kind words for the team of heavyweight kingpin Anthony Joshua. According to Fury, Wilder’s camp offered “Joshuas team 80 million dollars for a 2 fight deal…and they declined that.” Fury then made it clear that his words were more than just gossip. “My lawyer, Robert Davis, he saw proof of funds from Al Haymon,” he told Rogan.
Although he was critical of both Joshua and Wilder, Fury showed on the podcast that he can be self critical, as well – or at least honest regarding himself. “My biggest fight in my whole career,” he said of his battle with Klitchko, “was a twelve round snooze fest. I’m man enough to say that.” Fury also credited Steve Cunningham, who he faced in his American debut, as being his most difficult opponent to date. “I’m not going to make any excuses,” he told Rogan. “Steven Cunningham was a better boxer than me.”
In the end, of course, Fury was able to rise to the occasion and defeat Cunningham. He plans to continue rising to the occasion. “The way to beat mental health is setting goals,” he said, “giving yourself short term and long term goals.”