By the time Tyson Fury steps into the ring against Anthony Joshua in June (we hope) it will be 16 months since he last fought, so will inactivity be an issue for ‘The Gypsy King’?
For the second time in recent weeks Fury has spoken publicly about the need for fighters to stay active, leading some experts to ask if he’s worried about it himself.
First Fury backed up UFC star Conor McGregor’s assertion that inactivity played a big part in his recent defeat by Dustin Poirier. And then he raised the topic again following Josh Warrington’s shock eclipse by Mauricio Lara last Saturday night.
Fury on inactivity
After McGregor’s loss, Fury had said: “Conor McGregor fought in 2016, then he had two years out and then he fought Khabib (in 2018). Then he had another two years out, and then he fought Cerrone [in early 2020].
“Then he had another year out, and then he fought this guy, [Dustin] Poirier.
“He did (use inactivity as an explanation for his defeat), and he’s bang on right.”
Then on Saturday night, after Warrington had been stopped by Lara in nine rounds at Wembley Arena, Fury took to Twitter.
He said: “Tonight, the fight world saw another victim of inactivity in Josh Warrington. Covid has destroyed a lot of careers. You can’t beat staying active.”
Wilder fight woe
Fury spent most of last year training for a fight that did not happen (the planned trilogy match against Deontay Wilder). Now he must wait at least another four months for his next bout. Which also happens to be the biggest of his career.
The mental health issues Tyson conquered after almost three years away from boxing were very real and almost took his career and his life. He has preached regularly during lockdown about the need to stay busy, active and fit.
Clearly he is desperate to get back in the ring, for that eagerly-awaited unification match with Joshua. A record purse of around $100million awaits, along with ring immortality should he emerge victorious.
But do those two public statements about inactivity hint that it’s an issue which is gnawing away at Fury himself? Only one man knows.