ON A GLORIOUS night at Wembley Stadium on April 23, 2022, Tyson Fury confirmed his position as the world premier heavyweight with his sixth round destruction of his mandatory challenger and WBC Interim champion Dillian Whyte.
It was a stage set for a king, a Gypsy King, and Fury made the most evocative ring entrance under a cascade of fireworks that will never be forgotten by the 94,000 people inside the national stadium on those tuning in across the world.
By the time winter came knocking on December 3, Tyson was back packing out a stadium, this time the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with 60,000 people braving the night air to see him overwhelm Derek Chisora for a third time via a 10th round stoppage in what represented a third defence of his WBC world championship.
The Tyson Fury story is the stuff films are made of – and it most likely will be at some point in time.
Every good movie needs a good and a bad guy and Fury has played both since being introduced to the professional scene in Nottingham back in December 2008. His opening night was explosive and resulted in a first round stoppage.
In fact, none of Fury’s first seven fights went any further than four rounds, which begs the question as to why he was, for some time at least, labelled as a light-punching heavyweight.
The British title was secured in July 2011 when Fury came up against the then unbeaten prospect Chisora for the first time.
With the Commonwealth title also on the line, Chisora was the fancied fighter going into battle, but he was flummoxed by Fury, who won widely on the cards.
The Irish National title followed in 2012 when Martin Rogan was put to the sword in Belfast before Fury made his US debut in an up and down encounter with Steve Cunningham at Madison Square Garden.
Ultimately he headed in the direction of Frank Warren and another fight with an in-form Chisora at London’s ExCel Arena. The Londoner held top spot with the WBO and promoter Warren informed that a mandatory shot at Wladimir Klitschko awaited the winner.
In the words of the Hall of Fame fight maker, Chisora ‘didn’t win a second of any round’ and it was the promoter himself that insisted he was retired with diminishing vision at the end of round 10.
After a keep-busy fight that saw Christian Hammer vanquished in early 2015, Fury finally got his shot at the long-standing champion in the November.
Dusseldorf was the scene of one of the biggest upsets in heavyweight history when the unified king simply couldn’t fathom out a way to land a meaningful punch on the Gypsy King. The Ukrainian was completely outfoxed by his younger challenger and even in Germany, which was then notorious for home fighter favour, he wasn’t to be denied and Klitschko was parted from his four belts and Lineal champion status.
The downfall of Fury and his inspiring recovery have been well documented and in the eyes of the British public he is no longer the pantomime bad guy. He was now and still is a genuine hero for publicly bearing his soul and offering help to those suffering similar trauma.
Teaming up again with Frank Warren to be showcased on his BT Sport platform, the plan was for the returning king to work his way through at least four routine assignments before thinking about being restored to his throne.
The unheralded Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta were comfortably accounted for before strong rumour became a reality. Fury was ready to shortcut his way back to the top table and jump in with the feared WBC champion and ferocious knockout artist Deontay Wilder.
The build-up was predictably entertaining much the same could be said for the fight itself as Fury dominated before the scoring waters were muddied in the ninth when he hit the canvas and then the final round, which brought about the most astonishing resurrection.
A vicious salvo from the champion dumped Fury flat on his back and momentarily motionless. Mercifully, referee Jack Reiss didn’t jump the gun and as the count ticked towards 10 Fury arose from his slumber and declared himself fit to continue.
Sadly the judges saw the fight differently to the rest of the world and Fury chose to respect the sport and create a fuss when a draw was ultimately announced.
The Fury-Wilder chapters in boxing history had a couple more pages to run.
A deal to fight on ESPN in America was subsequently signed and a rematch with Wilder had to wait while Fury engaged with the US public via fights and wins against the unbeaten pair Tom Schwarz and Otto Wallin.
A return with Wilder would come in February 2020 and Fury took the pundits by surprise by stating his intention to meet the big puncher head on and give him a taste of his own medicine.
To that end, he teamed up with old comrade SugarHill Steward in order to maximise his own offensive weapons. True to his word, Fury rocked Wilder and put him down in the third and fifth before the towel came in from Wilder’s corner just over half way through the seventh.
An absolute thriller took place in October of last year in Las Vegas. Fury picked up where he left off and put Wilder to the canvas in the third before a spirited revival from the Bronze Bomber saw Fury down twice in the fourth.
The champion prevailed convincingly in the end, with Wilder down the 10th and then out for count in the 11th. An epic trilogy had played out before our eyes.
There is no place like home and London was calling when a mandatory defence against WBC interim champion Dillian Whyte was called by the governing body.
There was only one place fit to stage the homecoming of the Gypsy King and a packed to the rafters Wembley Stadium became Fury’s field of dreams. Wembley was traditionally known as the ‘Home of Legends’ and Fury added his name to the illustrious list.
Having earned his Spurs in another part of North London, we now await news of what’s next for the world’s greatest heavyweight.