In his recent interview with Rolling Stone, Tyson Fury came clean about the delays in the fight with Klitschko, and provided some insight into his state of mind. This was just after having tweeted an announcement that he was retiring, and then retracting the statement, also on twitter. Actually, words like “statement” and “announcement” are somewhat overly generous terms for the incoherent regurgitation he posted online:
Boxing is the saddest thing I ever took part in, all a pile of shit, I’m the greatest, & I’m also retired, so go suck a dick, happy days. 🙂 🙂 🙂
Then, just hours later…
Hahahaha u think you will get rid of the GYPSYKING that easy!!! I’m here to stay. #TheGreatest just shows u what the Medea are all about. Tut tut
So, ignoring the incomprehensibility of this thoroughly unsettling rant, tweeting something so strange and then hysterically retracting it hours later, especially when it concerns his career, ought to be enough indication that he’s in no condition to fight. It’s almost redundant when, during the interview, Fury admits that the doctors diagnosed him with “…a version of bipolar.” His followup, however, was far from redundant: “I’m a manic depressive. I just hope someone kills me before I kill myself.” Whatever that is, it’s not redundant. These disturbing, semi-lucid comments only confirm the kind of mental instability we’ve speculated about in the past. Klitschko has made statements to the effect that Fury’s mental health issues account for his behavior since long before their fight in November of last year. It was around that time, when Fury managed to defeat Klitschko, that even Fury’s own family made comments indicating that he was suffering from psychological issues.
The Fury camp claimed two setbacks that have delayed the rematch with Klitschko as being due to injury, but this interview reveals otherwise. As if by some mysterious intervention of fate, the potential disaster of the rematch has been avoided, as after repeatedly testing positive for cocaine, and refusing to defend his championship, he’s likely to be stripped of his titles. Most boxers probably sit somewhere below the threshold of ideal mental composure, but putting someone with serious issues in a ring with Wladimir Klitschko would be criminal. With shades of the infamous Lennox Lewis-Oliver McCall rematch, Fury, in his current condition, against Klitschko, would be even more catastrophic. Fortunately for McCall, he was in decent physical condition for the rematch against Lewis, and his immediate collapse signaled his opponent early enough not to use full force. For Fury, it may not have turned out so well.
If, by some miracle, these events lead to the eventual signing of a legitimate opponent for Klitschko, then this embarrassment of the sport may serve some purpose. For example, rumors indicate that a fight between Klitschko and American Anthony Joshua might be possible. That would not only mark the long-awaited return of Americans to the top of the heavyweight ranks, but also the first exciting Klitschko match in years. With Deontay Wilder also waiting in the wings, there is always potential for a rejuvenation of the heavies, but if Klitschko’s last 20 fights are any indication, the fights just won’t be made. In all likelihood, Fury’s stain on the sport will be merely a shameful episode people reference less and less as time goes on, but maybe a power vacuum in the sport’s glamor division could be the catalyst for something positive. We can always hope.