Freebets.com sat down to talk with brand ambassador John Fury about the boxing world.
How’s Tommy getting on in training? Saw he’s looking big these days, is he going up a weight class?
No, he’s having time out after fighting in April and he’s enjoying life. He’s just started back with weight training and programmes here and there, but nothing serious. Until we get his next fight pencilled in and confirmed, that’s when his serious training will start. But at 23, you soon get fit.
Any names you’re looking at for the upcoming fight?
No particular names that we’re after, obviously we’re looking for a quality opponent. His last opponent was 10 and 1 and Tommy did the job on him with relative ease. That fight should have been stopped in my opinion, so we’re just looking for good opposition and somebody who can give him a contest and prove his skills. Anyone will do if they can do a job.
Any dates in mind for the next fight?
We’re looking at the Jake Paul situation but there’s a long way to go with it. That’s still in negotiation and up in the air, the lawyers are dealing with it as we speak. If not August for Tommy’s next fight, it’ll be September because we’re busy ourselves up until then.
Will you be watching Jake Paul’s fight in August?
I’m not interested in what Jake Paul does unless we’re fighting him, but he’s good for boxing. He’s bringing new eyes and he’s making a lot of noise.
We’re trying our best to get the fight with Tommy over the line, but there are a couple of major factors we’re trying to get ironed out and if we can, we’ll do it, and if we can’t it’ll be someone else.
Whoever’s out there and it’s sensible, we’ll get it on.
If they were to fight, would it be in America?
Well, he doesn’t come out of America Jake Paul does he? He doesn’t leave the states, he’s too frightened!
We’ll go anywhere, Tyson been on the road fighting all his life, we’ll go anywhere in the world to box. If it makes sense and the deal’s right, we’ll go anywhere. Travelling is no problem to a traveller!
How’s Tyson doing? Training regularly, I see?
To be honest with you, he’s never come out the gym. He’s obsessed with training at the moment, twice a day, every day. I’ve been participating in some of it myself!
He enjoys training, the pressure’s off and he loves the gym life. He’s turned into a gym rat basically. It’s funny to see but he is.
He’s super fit and he’s enjoying his time out the ring. Whether it’s going to be permanent or not, it’s up to him. He says he’s retired but you never know with Tyson.
He’s training very hard for a retired man in my book. But that’s up to him, we’ll see in the future.
Usyk vs Joshua in August, will you be watching that?
Oh yeah, I’ll be watching that. It’s good to see a fellow Brit trying to climb a mountain. It is a mountain for AJ. It’s an Everest for him, but I think he can do it. If he gets the right kind of training, the right kind of game plan together, why not? Good luck to him, I hope he makes it.
Do you think AJ will be able to bounce back?
He’s a big strong guy and it was only a game plan that let him down last time and Usyk, even though he got the decision, he knew he was in a fight. He was smashed to bits was Usyk.
So, all AJ has to do is tweak a few things and sheer size and power wins. He needs to get his mind right though as that’s the key to unlocking it all. I believe he can do it.
He’s got a funny way of doing things. He beat Ruiz in Saudi on the return so why not? If anyone’s capable its AJ. I hope he does win and who knows, a fight against him might just tempt Tyson.
Can you see Tyson one day training other fighters himself? Would you coach anyone else coming through the ranks?
I’ve been training fighters all my life, even though it’s not documented, but I’ve had a lot to do with all of them. It’s only me who trains Tommy. He’s never had anyone else train him other than me.
We’ve had assistants which we all need, but no I wouldn’t be interested in training anyone new coming through now. I’m too old basically and I’ve got more track at the back than what’s in front and I want to enjoy what’s in front of me.
Tyson probably will. It’s an addiction boxing and as long as you have some form of involvement with it, I think you feel like you’re still boxing. With Tyson, he’s going to want to give a lot back to young prospects and advise them, create a champion himself.
So, apart from being the world’s best heavyweight boxer, he could turn into the world’s best heavyweight trainer! Tyson can do anything.
If Tyson could fight anyone in the world, anyone you or him would like to pick (irrespective of AJ?)
Not really no, he’s beaten them all. There’s no one out there who can give him a run for his money. Dillian Whyte is a good fighter; he’d give anybody a 50/50 but wasn’t a match for Tyson.
And for my money if Tyson stays in retirement mode, I see Deontay Wilder coming back and taking all the belts on power alone. I don’t think the rest of them can take Wilder’s power.
What he showed me last time was that he’s the second-best heavyweight boxer in the world. Without question.
Is it just AJ who’ll tempt Tyson out?
Yeah. Nobody else will.
When did you know Tyson was going to become a world champion? Was he displaying signs from a young age?
Well, it was from his early days he spoke about being a World Champion, not just a British Champion, not an Area Champion, not a European Champion. Every word out of his mouth as a kid had ‘World’ at the beginning of it.
Every sentence to do with boxing was ‘World’. So, he had the mindset like anything else below the world title wasn’t good enough. If you’re going to be a boxer that’s the best mindset to have – aim for the top. You have to be talented, but you have to have an even stronger mindset to go with it and he ticked all the boxes. Mindset. Talent. Brains. Will to win. Will to train and he’s put that into progress more than any other boxers from an early age.
He sacrificed his youth to do that. While everyone else was out enjoying themselves from the ages of 16-20, the best years of your life, he spent his in the gym training, running down the roads, sparring, training because to win a world title was his dream and his dream’s come true now, but it’s not been without sacrifices.
What do you make of nutritionists and is it as important as people say?
With me, I don’t read into it. I don’t know anything about it. All I’ve done is eat good solid food all my life. As long as you eat clean and keep it clean it’s not rocket science. They might want to make it complicated and dress it up, so they make a living out of it!
I know what to eat when I’m fighting and I’m still jogging 10k runs now.
What do you eat out of interest?
Plenty of vegetables, plenty of potatoes, plenty of pasta, plenty of rice, plenty of oats, plenty of nuts, plenty of fish. What more can you do? Eat as much as you can and train hard.
I do like a jam roly poly for pudding afterwards too. It’s done me no harm. If I’m going to have a 10k run on a Sunday morning, the night before I always have a jam roly poly for pudding. It makes me go like I’ve had a turbo put into me.
It works for me. Tommy does it, Tyson does it too. The odd pint and all. You can complicate matters, can’t you? Boxing is as easy as you want to make it and as hard as you want to make it.
Others will say, ‘this is wrong, this is right’, but they only say that as it enhances their way of making a living. So good luck to them, but Tyson’s had the best strength and conditioners out there and the best cook in the world in George Lockhart and Sugar Hill training him, who I rate very highly and whose up there with the best.
What did you make of Wembley?
I was on another level that night. Believe me. I was just glad I was alive to see such stuff like that and for Tyson to get the win. Fantastic KO as well. Tyson can raise his game for anybody, when he started to move through the gears, Dillian Whyte just got left behind.
Even when Tyson came back to the corner, he said, ‘right, I’m taking him out this round’. And he did. When you can take them out when you say you’re going to… the only other man I’ve seen do that was Muhammad Ali.
Last time we spoke there was talk of a fight between yourself and Evander Holyfield or Mike Tyson, any update on that?
I’m up for it, but they don’t want to participate. If the money’s right, why not? I believe I’m up there with the fittest people my age. I’m still on the road, I’m still in the gym, I’m still sparring, why not?
I’m 57, so if they’re going to do it, they need to be quick about it. I can’t hang on forever at this age. I’m up for anything and anybody as long as the money’s right. Nuisances and dreamers don’t bother applying!
What do you make of these celebrity boxing events like Eddie Hall vs Thor?
I’ve got to tell you, I really enjoyed it. Edge of the seat stuff. I think big Thor delivered a perfect right hand. Eddie Hall went down, got back up and it was a brave performance from both guys. And it’s not what they do, but it was entertainment in its purest form.
I loved it, if other celebrity fights are as good as that one, I’ll back it all the way. Great performance by both boys. Eddie Hall and Thor two great guys and top of their game for what they do. 500 kilo deadlifts, incredible.
I’d pay to see that one again.
The Bare-Knuckle Boxing Championship (BKB), do you think it’s an interesting new sport or dangerous? A lot of MMA fighters are leaving the UFC to earn more in it. Do you think it’s worth the risk?
I obviously know a fair bit about bare knuckle fighting. I’ve done more of that than the professional stuff but one word: dangerous.
You can get hurt, especially with these types of athletes because they’re trained to do a professional job and bare-knuckle boxing was never a professional sport. It was a means to settle a dispute.
But now they’ve seen an avenue to make some money, what can do you? It’s a dangerous sport and that’s why they brought gloves on in the first place. Go back 200 years ago and look at the injuries: horrific. They can still be that way today, I’ve seen them and had a few myself.
Better off with the gloves on but credit to those taking part. It’s up to the individual, but there are easier ways to make a living than bare knuckle boxing, especially when you’re training like an athlete.
Joseph Parker – can he win a world title?
I think Joe can come back and win a world title, I really do and he will.