About the only thing the new heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, has in common with the man he replaced, Wladimir Klitschko, is that he’s really tall — taller that Klitschko, even, at 6’9″. Outside the ring, Klitschko ruled the division with decorum. Fury won’t. He’s a madman, and perhaps not just figuratively.
August publications the New Yorker and the New York Times have given non-boxing fans an excellent taste of the bizarre antics of Fury. We aim to give you even more. Get to know the controversial Tyson Fury:
- Yup, he is named after Mike Tyson, and yup, “Tyson Fury” is a kickass name for a boxer.
- He is unreservedly a gypsy; his Twitter feed identifies him as “Gypsy King.” His wife is Paris, which makes her… Paris Fury. Anyway, here’s something related: “In true Irish traveller tradition, Fury abided by their strict code of conduct and slept in a caravan while Paris slept inside her parents’ home before they got married.”
- Things He Did After Winning The Heavyweight Championship, Part I: He sang an Aerosmith song, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” to his wife and the German fans, standing in the middle of the ring.
- Things He Did After Winning The Heavyweight Championship, Part II: He said he wanted to fight Barack Obama in a bare knuckle bout.
- Things He Did After Winning The Heavyweight Championship, Part III: He alleged that the Klitschkos drug people leading up to fights.
- Speaking of “leading up to fights”: Prior to the Klitschko bout, Fury weighed in on abortion, homosexuality and pedophilia in a rant that can only be described as homophobic; in that same interview, he said he knew Klitschko was a devil worshipper and talked about Armageddon, fittingly given the song he sang in the ring. He has since said he was misquoted. The reporter has said he’ll release the tapes, which he should. There’s not a lot of reason to give Fury the benefit of the doubt for this — he was once fined by British boxing authorities for tweeting homophobic stuff.
- More entertainingly, at one Klitschko-Fury press conference, Fury said Klitschko had “about as much charisma as my underpants,” plus he dressed up like Batman and fought someone dressed like the Joker. It was… awkward.
- Back to his family: He tried to name one of his children “Jesus” but his wife wouldn’t let him.
- Despite being 6’9″, he was born premature and only weighed one pound. His mother got pregnant 14 times, but only four children survived.
- He suffers from depression. “One minute I’m over the moon and the next minute I feel like getting in my car and running it into a wall at a hundred miles an hour. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m messed up.”
- At one press conference, basically for no reason, Fury flipped over a table and left.
- One of his favorite movies is… “The Notebook.” ?
- What sort of boxer is he, you might ask? He’s a weird mix of some power, some technique, pure height and a certain ungainly quality that works to his advantage. He doesn’t hit super hard, but he hits hard enough to bust people up and sometimes knock them out. He was able to outbox Klitschko, who was viewed as the better technician. He’s got a weird, herky-jerky rhythm in there and enormous self-belief. He doesn’t look like much, honestly, but…
- He actually had earned a pretty lofty standing in the heavyweight division prior to the Klitschko bout. He was ranked #2 by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board. Of course, he was still a considerable underdog, and around these parts we didn’t much figure he’d pull it off.
- We’ll see how long he lasts as champion. Despite being better than he looks, he also usually looks pretty beatable. You could see a mercurial talent like Deontay Wilder or David Haye offing him, and certainly Anthony Joshua, who looks like the future of the division.
- In closing, here he is head butting a watermelon.
(The controversial Tyson Fury gestures towards Dereck Chisora during the Dereck Chisora And Tyson Fury Press Conference at The Grosvenor House on Sept. 22, 2014 in London; Photo: Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)