The strange heavyweight journey of Tyson Fury continues. After having opponents like David Haye and then Dereck Chisora drop out of scheduled bouts, Fury himself abruptly dropped out of Saturday’s quickly arranged fight with Belarus’ Alexander Ustinov at the last minute.
The reason? Fury’s former trainer Hughie Fury, who’s also the fighter’s uncle, suddenly fell seriously ill and had to be taken to the hospital. According to England’s Daily Mail, Fury’s reason for canceling Saturday’s event is because “his mind is not focused.”
That, of course, is completely understandable. After all, Fury and his uncle/trainer are undoubtedly close. Still, it’s somewhat ironic that it’s now Fury, rather than one of his opponents, who’s walking away at the last minute.
For Fury himself has a history of not taking kindly to those who beg off fighting him in the ring – no matter what the reason may be. In fact, he has nothing but pretty harsh things to say about men like Haye and Chisora, who have begged off an opportunity to get it on with the Englishman.
Then again, those men both claimed that physical injuries were the reason they weren’t fighting. One would think that if a close relative and trainer for either man were rushed to the hospital that Fury would be a bit less harsh in his reactions. It’s hard to blame an individual for a relative falling seriously ill, after all.
Still, this latest bit of Fury news must undoubtedly come as a disappointment to Ustinov. Just days ago the man was given the opportunity of a lifetime when he went from sparring partner to top of the card opponent. For he was Chisora’s sparring partner for the Fury fight when Chisora suddenly dropped out. Knowing people were desperate for a Fury opponent, he stepped into the slot, hoping to shock the world.
Now the man must return to relative obscurity where he will try slugging his way back into the spotlight. That’s not a bad scenario for an up and coming boxer to find himself in, but it’s a sad one when that same fighter was so close to having a “Rocky” moment.
Others who are clearly disappointed in this weekend’s developments are the British fans who purchased tickets to see the Fury-Chisora bout go down in Britain. First they were denied a Fury-Chisora fight, and now they’re being denied a main event.
These fans are being offered a refund – although the undercard is still happening – but being offered a refund on the day of a major fight is nothing if not disappointing. One doesn’t buy tickets to a sporting even for the small comfort of getting one’s money back.
Of course one has to wonder how Fury himself is handling the situation. The enormous British heavyweight is nothing if not a volatile man and questions of his emotional stability have been circulating due to his sometimes wild – and wildly inappropriate – behavior.
Yet it’s worth noting that Fury is as well known for his outlandish personality as he is for his skill as a fighter. In fact, big questions remain regarding Fury’s talent and dedication. He’s shown he has a weak chin, for instance. He’s also known to go up and down in weight. His bad behavior, in short, has been good for business.
No one, however – at least not anyone with an ounce of decency – wants to see someone break down emotionally, especially not because of a family crisis. All fans can do, at least for the time being, is wait and see what happens next – and, of course, hope that Hughie Fury comes out of this medical emergency no worse for wear.