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Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko 2016

OPINION: Tyson Fury, quit boxing

Earlier in the week, Tyson Fury went on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani to discuss his upcoming fight with Derek Chisora. During the interview, Helwani mentioned it was the seven-year anniversary of Fury beating Wladimir Klitschko and asked about his life since then. Normally upbeat about these things, Helwani was surprised when Fury called it a “shit night” since then that it’s been a “shitty seven years since.”

Tyson Fury and Mental Health

Since his return to boxing in 2018, Tyson Fury has been all about the mental health side of things. He overcame a lot, in all fairness. He was on the brink of suicide and clawed his way back to a good mental spot. I even wrote an article about how overcoming his mental health issues made Fury become a better boxer. He was positive, and although he was a bit brash at times, you could always tell that Tyson Fury was in a decent spot.

His fight against Dillian Whyte was his farewell tour. After defeating Deontay Wilder a second time, this was Fury’s return to his homeland of the UK and his send off after an amazing comeback. Tyson Fury won that fight and then promptly retired to become a family man. Until he booked a fight with Derek Chisora.

In the recent media appearances, Fury has been more bold, more brash and increasingly erratic in his behavior. I am of the opinion that Tyson Fury is, once again, struggling with mental health and it’s the sport of boxing that is hurting him.

Quit Boxing

This isn’t a call for Fury to quit boxing because he’s not good anymore. It’s quite the opposite. Tyson Fury is probably still very good. But boxing seems to have an unrelenting grip on Fury. He’s conflated himself with the sport and without it, he could be struggling for a sense of identity. He can’t let go because what else is there?

But here’s the issue: Tyson Fury hates the sport of boxing now. He wants to be let go or in charge of his own career. But with the politics involved in the sport he cannot get the fights he wants (i.e. Anthony Joshua). This makes him resent the sport that provided for his family.

Now Tyson Fury has a foot out the door but can’t seem to fully escape. That’s a dangerous thought for a fighter not struggling with any sort of mental health issue. Anyone in this mindset, no matter how invincible they’ve been in the past, end up losing and it wrecks them. For Fury, this will be compounded. Who is he now that he’s not the lineal heavyweight champion of the world?

It could motivate him, light a fire under him and give him something to work to. Or it could destroy him. If Tyson Fury hates the fame and fortune holding the greatest title in all of combat sports, he should quit and quit before something disastrous happens. If he hates the fame and fortune, he needs to let it go, fade off into obscurity over time and live a simple life. It’s scary and will need to find a strong support system. But a loss to anyone could destroy Tyson Fury the man.

Tyson Fury, quit boxing.

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