Wednesday, May 4, 2022

From Love Island to Wembley fight, Tommy Fury says ‘nobody takes me seriously’

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Fury is struggling on Tyson’s undercard on Saturday but is determined to show he’s more than a reality TV star with an old brother of the world champion

On Thursday, the 22-year-old sat between fellow undercards Karol Itauma, Royston Barney-Smith and David Adeleye, reeling off lines straight out of the Tyson playbook — “I’ve got a lion’s heart and balls like King Kong.” — but accepted that he has something to prove.

For the first time, Tommy Fury meets an opponent with a positive record in Daniel Bocianski on Saturday evening. Even after his father John’s admission, he’s “lucky to have a brother like Tyson”, but his fight on the Fury-Whyte undercard in front of 94,000 fans and a pay-per-view audience has the potential to shed light on his credentials confirm -heavyweight.

“Throughout my career, I’ve boxed my whole life, and because I did something outside of boxing, Love Island, for six months, I feel like no one takes me seriously,” he said. “I really want to prove that on all these occasions it means nothing to me, I’m not new to being in front of a camera, it doesn’t bother me.

“It’s a good step up for me. I really think every Saturday night will walk away thinking, ‘Where did Tommy Fury go, who’s this new guy?'”

Bocianski may not have set the world on fire with a record 10-1 beaten by a brutal Patryk Szymanski uppercut in his last bout, but he still represents an improvement over previous Fury opponents. He made his debut against Jevgenijs Andrejevs, a man who had lost more than 100 fights.

His most impressive performance to date, a KO win over Callum Ide, has to be taken in the rounds; Ide’s record stands at 0-30-2.

Claiming that his past, his bragging rights on reality TV and the resulting hiatus from boxing should determine his future in the sport has been a problem for his team, his family and has fueled criticism that has become all too familiar.

“Tyson made everything possible, but Tommy can actually fight,” says father John Fury I. “I know people do him a lot of favors and say he’s an influencer, he’s a YouTuber, but the boy can fight.

“If I didn’t think he could make me proud I would say you don’t need boxing. You have a good platform, a reality TV star, he makes good money, he doesn’t need a fighting game, but the kid loves it. He lives and breathes it.”

As he prepared for his Wembley clash, the younger Fury spoke of his lifelong dream of becoming world champion but without reference to his older siblings.

“As a little boy, I never said I wanted to be on Love Island or be a social media star or influencer,” he added. “I said I wanted to be a world boxing champion and until I did that, I achieved nothing.”

His father compared him to Gennady Golovkin based on what he saw of him sparring. No one has seen him in action since last August when he defeated Anthony Taylor – predominantly a mixed martial artist – by unanimous decision.

Meanwhile, he was supposed to fight YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul but had to pull out with a broken rib and a bacterial infection. Had the fight happened, Fury insists, “You would never hear his name again because it’s useless.

“He can’t fight. There’s no way he can beat me, and I don’t even need to train for it. If I’m on the couch eating pizza, burgers, and donuts, let him call me and I’ll be there the next day. He can’t fight, so he fights 60-year-old UFC fighters.”

John Fury says he took Tommy to four different specialists – “everyone said no to the fight, they said a rib could go in the lungs and probably kill him” – but the fact he didn’t face Paul has if anyway, its reinforced credibility.

Whether it’s his extracurricular life or just his last name, the fact remains that to the casual observer he’s one of the more familiar names on an undercard that was only announced on April 5th.

“I get a lot of opportunities from [being Tyson’s brother], but ringboxing is just me,” says Fury. “On Saturday night Tyson won’t be able to fight for me, he has his own fight.”

As he walks through the ropes he will start the pay-per-view segment of BT Sport’s coverage and hopes that in doing so he will start a shift in perception among boxing fans as well.

“I don’t understand why Tommy doesn’t win titles [in the future]’ adds John. “Whether he will end up like Tyson is another matter, he has a long way to go.

“The jury is still out on him but I know what he’s got, he’s got heart, he’s got punch, he can box. He’s busy, but he’s a blank canvas, a raw novice.

“He still has a long way to go in his career but he’s doing everything right and I’m sure he’ll win a title because he wants it so badly. And if you want something badly enough, you will get it in the end if you just try hard enough and believe in yourself.”

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