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Exclusive: Tyson Fury Opens Up About Boxing, Mental Health Struggles And Faith In Riyadh

The heavyweight champion reflects on his journey, rehabilitation, and upcoming Usyk fight in Saudi Arabia

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — When it comes to talking about mental health, Tyson Fury(34-0-1, 24 KOs) has never shied away from the subject and frequently shares candidly about his own struggles with depression. 

Fans of the WBC Heavyweight Champion have gained more insight than ever into Tyson’s personal troubles outside of the ring since Netflix broadcast ‘At Home With The Furys’ earlier this year.

Before his fight with Francis Ngannou(17-3-0), Tyson gave a speech from Saudi Arabia where he reflected on his life, in light of his experiences with ups and downs throughout the years.

After defeating Wladimir Klitschko(64-5, 53 KO wins, 4 KO losses) in 2015, Fury’s physical and mental health deteriorated with his life taking a turn for the worst even after the victory. He took a three-year hiatus from the sport he adores because of his struggles with addiction, despair, and suicidal thoughts.

Since then, Fury has defeated Deontay Wilder(43-2-1, 42 KO wins, 2 KO losses) to win the WBC Heavyweight title in an amazing comeback. 

Even with all of his previous victories—the most recent being a split decision victory over Francis Ngannou—Tyson is painfully aware that material prosperity does not equate to contentment.

“It’s nice to have everything going right for you, but if everything’s going wrong, all the diamonds and jewellery and rubies can’t put it right again. When I was at my lowest, I was at my highest in my career. Unified world champion, I had just beat Klitschko, I had everything, a wife, family, a few quid, fame, glory but I was at my lowest at that time,” said Tyson Fury.

He highlights the prevailing Saudi Arabian culture towards faith and credits religion as the reason for his own rehabilitation and victory over hardship.

“I’m much more appreciative than I’ve ever been. I really appreciate every day gifted by God. Over here, everyone puts God first. It’s a fantastic, beautiful thing to see. I think we should incorporate religion more in our lives. If I didn’t have faith, I would have killed myself years ago,” added Fury.

Ahead of the fight in Saudi Arabia between Fury and Ngannou, Deontay Wilder addressed Anthony Joshua’s(26-3, 23 KO wins, 1 KO loss) suggestion that the two former world heavyweight champions might square off. Though fans were excited by the two’s remarks, Tyson seemed uninterested in the possibility.

“It’s not a fight I would want to see, neither of them have got anything to offer at the moment. Might get the IBF to do a belt, Battle of the Biggest Loser because that’s all it would be. It would be a crossroad fight for either fighter- a win against each other puts them back in as a contender to win a title,” he said.

In response to the question of whether he would face Wilder once again, he expressed no interest in ‘giving him a paycheck,’ presumably thinking that there wasn’t much left to see after three victories and two knockouts. He thought the same of Joshua, with whom he was supposed to fight the previous year, but Joshua withdrew when talks broke down.

Right now, Tyson’s attention is focused on his upcoming bout with Oleksandr Usyk(21-0, 14 KOs), which is scheduled to happen in Riyadh once more in December. 

“There’s nothing better than after training, getting a freezing cold WOW HYDRATE out of the fridge and smashing it there and then, especially the electrolyte one,” said Tyson Fury the WOW HYDRATE ambassador in reference to training and surviving the heat in the Middle East.

(Additional reporting provided by Joseph Hammond)

Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager

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