Former heavyweight king Tyson Fury returns to training at St Paul's ABC
TYSON Fury chose the St Paul's ABC gym in west Belfast to make a return to training, but the former heavyweight champion refused to confirm that he is on the comeback trail.
The ‘Gypsy King' hasn't fought since he dethroned Wladimir Klitschko in Germany to add the IBF, WBA and IBO titles to his WBO belt almost two years ago. That famous win proved to be the beginning of the end for the outspoken English colossus who became embroiled in controversy and anti-doping and medical issues and quit the sport before briefly returning, only to retire again in July.
Yesterday he did six rounds on the pads with Ralph McKay and Frank McCourt in the neat St Paul's gym and followed that up with four more on the bags before moving to the treadmill for a 30-minute run.
“That was my first session in a long time,” said Fury mid-workout with sweat cascading off his brow.
“I've not hit the pads in a minimum of six months.
“But you never lose your power or speed, especially when you're 29. I'm not 49, so the speed is still there.”
He added: “I thought I'd come to Belfast's fair city, where the girls are so pretty to do my first training session back.
“I've boxed in the King's Hall and the Odyssey twice and I might do a training camp here. If I decide to come back, I'll do my training camp here.
“I haven't decided I am coming back yet, I'm just doing a bit of training to get a bit of fat off. Well, five stone, so more than a bit, a lot.”
Fury weighed in at 18-stone the night he dethroned Klitschko, so he has a lot of work to do to get his body into the condition of 2015. The Mancunian claims he does not miss the sport and says he turned down “£10million” to face Klitschko in a rematch because of his distaste for boxing promoters.
“I achieved the utmost in boxing,” he said.
“I was undisputed heavyweight champion and Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year, so you can't really do any better than that. Oh yeah, and I beat an 11-year reigning world champion with 25 title defences when people said I had no prayer of doing it. So if that ain't enough in boxing, nothing is ever going to be enough.”
Since Fury bowed out, Anthony Joshua has taken centre stage and the former Team GB Olympic Games star sent Klitschko into retirement with a stunning KO win earlier this year. Fury is well aware that fans would flock to see him take on Joshua who will defend his titles against Kubrat Pulev next month.
“The punters would love to see me come back and fight Joshua,” he said.
“But I'm gonna make them groan for Achilles to come back.”
He added: “These promoters, they want to use boxers as pieces of meat to get as much money as they can out of them and then on to the next one but I don't crawl like that, I do business fairly, I'm the fairest businessman/sportsman on earth. I don't owe nobody £10 and if I did I'd pay it.
“I live by loyalty, honour and respect and if you break those barriers with me then we never do business again. Many people broke those rules and that's why I walked away from a minimum of £10million in the rematch with Klitschko.
“I told them to shove it where the sun don't shine because I don't lay with dogs and money ain't my God, God is.
“Jesus said: ‘What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?' Nothing. I'd rather have friendship, loyalty and family any day. Not many people in the world would because everyone wants to be rich and famous and have the glory and all the pats on the pack and people saying: ‘You're a top bloke'.
“Where are all those hangers-on today? I never had them at the beginning, in the middle or at the end because these size 14 boots (points to his feet) were inserted in their rear-end when they came around.
“I don't need anyone to tell me I'm a good boxer, or a generous bloke, or a bastard. Whatever they want to say, I already know.
“A lot of people out there need all that; they need 20 bodyguards taking them around everywhere but I ain't about all that. I'm a man of the people, why do I need protecting for the people if I fight for the people? Don't I want to be embraced by them?
“People want a champion they can relate to, someone they can find in the local pub having a drink, in the shopping centre or the local park with his wife and kids.”
At 29, it's not inconceivable that Fury could return to the top, but months of hard work will be required to shed the excess weight, then a tune-up fight or two to return before he can even think of taking on Joshua or Deontay Wilder.
“I achieved everything and then people started moving the goalposts, saying ‘Do this, do that' and I didn't want to do it,” he said.
“I became only the second heavyweight champion in history to retire unbeaten behind Rocky Marciano. There's a lot of politics involved with me because I tell the truth and people don't like to hear the truth, they like to be lied to.
“I'm a straight person, I say it as it is. Some people love it and some people hate it.”
SAUL 'Canelo' Alvarez has dismissed suggestions he only agreed to fight Gennady Golovkin after the Kazakh struggled to victory over Daniel Jacobs in March.
The Mexican, 27, finally faces WBC, WBA and IBF middleweight champion Golovkin on Saturday at Las Vegas' T-Mobile Arena in the most significant fight since Floyd Mayweather defeated Manny Pacquiao in 2015.
Golovkin, 35, went the 12-round distance for the first time in a lethargic defeat of Jacobs which some observers felt the American had won.
Alvarez's promoter Oscar De La Hoya has also spoken of the fact Saturday's fight took 18 months to negotiate, and at a time when Golovkin appeared the hungrier of the two fighters. The Mexican, however, insists that that is merely incidental, and denied that the agreement was only reached when the undefeated Golovkin showed signs of decline.
He is adamant that it was already in place before that unanimous decision, even though De La Hoya had long appeared to be allowing time for him to develop, and also does not agree that in that period he has become the physically bigger man.
"We basically had a deal done before the (Jacobs) fight," said Alvarez, who in May defeated Julio Cesar Chavez jnr at super-middleweight.
"He just had to be victorious and I had to win my fight, so no, it had nothing to do with it.
"This is the fight we'd always wanted and it was going to happen for September.
"I still think (Golovkin) fights at a very high level.
"He's actually a little bit bigger, but it doesn't mean that he's stronger than me. If you look at his knock-outs and my knock-outs, mine are a little better than his. It's not just about the power; it's about precision, and I've attained that."
The widespread belief that Saturday's match-up, which will be supported further down the bill by Britain's Nicola Adams against Hungary's Alexandra Vlajk, will prove as exciting as it will competitive has already led to talk of a potential trilogy.
Golovkin has long been considered one of the greatest middleweights in history but one in need of victory in a defining fight like this to truly prove that, but Alvarez is adamant he will win so convincingly that they will never fight again.
"I'm going to prove in the first fight that there's no reason for a second and third one," he said.
"Of course he's one of the best (of all time). He's demonstrated it: he's very strong, and I know it's going to be a difficult fight. I'm confident I'm going to win, but it doesn't mean it's not going to be a difficult fight."