Lose and I will probably quit: Fury

LONDON • Tyson Fury's sense of the dramatic continued in Cologne on Thursday. However, the world heavyweight champion did not sound as if he was joking when he said he would probably quit boxing if he lost his rematch with Wladimir Klitschko in Manchester on July 9.

Whether the Mancunian was serious when he claimed he was a "recovering heroin addict" who still took cocaine and ecstasy was impossible to know, given his innate capacity for irreverence and wind-up.

But he sounded convincing when he revealed that, after a few days on a natural high when he beat Klitschko last year, he was "rock bottom", adding: "What does it all really mean? Nothing, does it… I'm still trying to figure what life's all about. I'll be searching till the day I die."

Overweight by 25kg, and appearing bored and detached, Fury went into the Ukrainian's backyard and reiterated his distaste for boxing, which lit up their meeting the previous day in Manchester. He told the video interviewer Kugan Cassius: "I don't like it. I've done what I've got to do now and I want to get out of it. That's it. As soon as I can get out the better."

Asked if that meant he would walk away if he lost to the former champion, he said: "Probably, yeah… unless I can get some big money somewhere else."

That would send a minor shudder through his team, his promoter, TV backers - not to mention his chief rival, Anthony Joshua - but the unpredictable Fury has always been his own man. His uncompromising views on women and homosexuality have offended many - including Klitschko, who repeated his previous disapproval of them.

Fury cares little for the opinions of others - including the television personality Piers Morgan, who goaded him on Twitter.

"Piers tweeted a fat picture of me, saying he's fitter than the heavyweight champion of the world and inspirational. I tweeted back saying, 'If only you could talk like me you'd have your chat show in America back on TV.'"

He said he must be "doing something right" if he was attracting the interest of celebrities but added: "I'm not really interested... Just want to be left alone in peace, really, so I can have a chicken sandwich.

"After this fight I'll have enough money to retire and there'll be no motivation to carry on."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 30, 2016, with the headline 'Lose and I will probably quit: Fury'. Print Edition | Subscribe