Tyson Fury and that epic comeback to become world heavyweight champion for a second time are now the stuff of legends.
But this week ‘The Gypsy King’ has not really revealed the moment that he knew he would make that epic return to the sport.
Fury spent more than two years out of the ring after defeating Wladimir Klitschko to become world champion in 2015.
He suffered terribly with mental health issues, and even contemplated suicide. He also ballooned in weight to more than 400lbs.
Now Fury has recounted the very moment when he knew he would come back – the moment he describes as “epiphany”.
Tyson Fury comeback: Halloween 2017
It was Halloween 2017 and Fury was celebrating. He weighed some 28 stones and was dressed in a skeleton suit. The former heavyweight champion was stood in a bar drinking beer through a mask, surrounded by partying students.
He told talkSPORT: “I was out on Halloween 2017. I was dressed in a big glow-in-the-dark skeleton suit. A 28-stone one, I had a mask on and a pair of wellies on, and I was embarrassed with the way I looked, I was drinking this beer through a mask. I had a moment, like an epiphany, a moment of sanity.
“I looked around me and all I could see was young people going to university, and starting their lives off, where they all wanted to be, what they all wanted to do.
“I thought ‘you know what, I’ve been a world heavyweight champion, I’m in the middle of my career, these are all starting their careers, about to. What am I doing here? I need to get back, I need to get back fit again, and get well again’.”
“I was out for Halloween in 2017, dressed in a skeleton suit, a 28 stone version.” 👻
“I was embarrassed. I was around young people going to uni – I had an epiphany.”@Tyson_Fury tells the story of the exact moment he knew he’d return to boxing. pic.twitter.com/1ggIR6f9Tw
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) November 12, 2020
Fury left the bar, went home, and then came the moment he knew. The comeback, this time, was well and truly on.
“I left the bar, went home, took my suit off, went upstairs. Got on my knees in the bedroom praying to God for help. I didn’t know what to do, I was crying me eyes out, I was like a child. At this point the only place I thought I’d end up was like a padded room or something. I thought I’d definitely lost me marbles.
This time was it for real?
“For the first time in like two years, I really knew that I was gonna make a comeback. I screamed out to Paris, I felt like a new person when I got up off the floor.
“I said: ‘Tomorrow I start training again for a regain mission’. Of course she was used to this behaviour because every time I’ve had a few beers I’d be coming back and I was gonna be the heavyweight champion of the world again. I was the boy who cried wolf, but it never happened.
“I said: ‘trust me on this one, I’m not drunk, I’ve had half a beer and I’ve come out the place’.
Fury true to his word
“I got up the next morning and put me sweatsuit on and I started training. And I haven’t stopped training from that day to this day, October 31st, 2017 to now, November 2020.”
Eight months after that moment, Fury did indeed return to the ring against Sefer Seferi at Manchester Arena. Six months after that he was back at world level, drawing with WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder.
The comeback was completed in February 2020 when Fury destroyed Wilder in their Las Vegas rematch. The seventh-round TKO made him WBC, Ring magazine and lineal heavyweight champion. And put an exclamation point on an incredible story of redemption.
The next big milestone in Fury’s life and career appears likely to be a mega showdown with Anthony Joshua. As ever it promises to be entertaining and fascinating in equal measures.