The heavyweight has a big career decision to make after defeating Deontay Wilder but first he wants to savour his momentous victory
Tyson Fury left the triumphalism of a celebratory pool party attended by thousands at MGM Grand’s Wet Republic in Las Vegas for the more prosaic return to the normality of “the school run and putting out the bins” in Morecambe, Lancashire. From the greatest of fights, to family life.
Following his thrilling heavyweight defeat of Deontay Wilder in a wild, roughhouse brawl containing five knock-downs and an emphatic finale in the 11th round, Fury, his family and backroom team joined in the outdoor fun in the blazing sun of the Mojave desert.
They danced to the beat of music icon DJ Steve Aoki, now a friend of the fighter. Drinks were poured and the heavy beat tunes played. It was a fat cigar moment, after a tumultuous Saturday fight night that will live long in the memory.
How Fury comes down from such a high can, as he has revealed, heavily influence his mental state. Speaking poolside, Fury explained: “It feels good. I’m basking in the glory. I couldn’t be in a better place, right here in Las Vegas, in my home town [as a licensed boxer]. I’m really enjoying it. It’s a beautiful day. It was an epic fight. What more can be said? My beautiful wife Paris is here, my brothers are here, we’re enjoying ourselves. We couldn’t be in a better place. We’ll see what’s next.”
Fury recalled pivotal moments from the fight with Wilder. “It was a blood feud until the end when they counted him out in round 11. The non-puncher, as he called me, knocked him out with one last hit.” Indeed, the 150 recorded punches that landed on Wilder is the most ever landed by any foe in the Alabaman’s 45-fight career.
“It was definitely a good fight. One for the ages. In order to go down as a great fighter you need a great dance partner and, with me and Wilder, we’ve both had good dance partners there,” Fury said.
Fury was down twice in the fourth round. Although dazed, he was never confused, he said. “I remember the fourth round. I had a really good start, then walked on to a right hand. That’s boxing. I’ve seen many men go down before but I’ve never seen a heavyweight champion of the world go down like that and come back to knock the other guy out. I’ve seen me do that a few times now. What matters is that I knocked him down first and I knocked him down last. And in the middle of that, I got up.”
The plaudits for Fury – and, indeed, Wilder – have come from deep in the sport’s heartlands, with family of the late, great Joe Frazier even visiting Fury and his family at Wet Republic’s poolside cabana.
Frazier was involved in boxing’s most celebrated trilogy, with Muhammad Ali. “I also heard George Foreman speak this morning. It’s very humbling. Amazing,” Fury said.
But what now? “I’ll go straight back to my grass roots. Doing the bins, taking the kids to school, doing bits around the house. Normal stuff. I’m going to take a month off training and just enjoy myself,” he said.
The World Boxing Council champion was quick to post on social media about mental health awareness day on Sunday. He admits he suffers “the lowest lows after the highest highs” and this will be a time when he may want to consider his road map and fights with four potential opponents: Oleksandr Usyk, Anthony Joshua, Dillian Whyte or Otto Wallin.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’ve got one fight left on my contract with Top Rank and ESPN and we’ll see what that is. But I’m not thinking about boxing right now. I don’t know how many fights I’ve got left. I don’t know if I need to fight any more. I don’t know what the future holds.”
Home life will be structured, and there are visits to be made to his father, John, and his mother, Amber. John, a former professional heavyweight, played an influential part in the fight camp, but remarkably the boxer says that his mother does not watch him box.
“She has never been to one of my fights, amateur or pro, and never been in the public eye at all. My mam doesn’t care if I’m world champion or not, as long as I’m healthy and happy. You could give my mother that table full of £50 notes and diamonds and it wouldn’t change who she is, ever.”
Fury said that he may indulge in a Traveller custom and “do things that are a bit nomadic and of-the-past, we might get our old wagons out and go to a field, light a few fires and let the kids run around, but in reality, I don’t even really like leaving Lancashire. I like to stick in my own little county and that’s it. I like to stick in the bubble and my routine”.
There was nothing routine about Saturday night’s blockbuster at the T-Mobile Arena, which has confirmed him as the target for all-comers in the division, and continues to draw comparisons for the two-time undefeated heavyweight champion with some of the dominant figures from past eras.
“I don’t like comparing myself to other fighters in history, I can only beat who is in front of me – good, bad or indifferent,” he said.
Motivation, for Fury, also remains key. “It’s not money or a million title defences. I am motivated to get up in the morning, do a little bit of training and enjoy my day. I don’t have any goals in boxing, I have done everything and won everything, the only one to do it in my era. I will always have been the WBC, WBA, WBO, IBF, Ring magazine champion, that will not evaporate in history, but once it is done, it is done and you cannot get it back. Once you are done, it doesn’t matter how many belts you have, who you beat, what your record is. You are just another bare bum in the shower and I have always had that opinion. You have to enjoy it while it is here because when it is gone it is gone. Even the wins and the glory die down and sooner or later you just become another person and a has-been.”
Not a likely destiny for Fury any time yet.