December 9, 2023

Is that all for Tyson Fury? 

The dust has settled on Tyson Fury’s victory against fellow Brit Dillian Whyte in the boxing ring on April 23rd. Nobody expected the result of the fight to go any other way. If there was any surprise on the night, it’s that Whyte managed to last six rounds with the WBC World Heavyweight Champion. Most bookmakers had him losing much earlier than that. His resilience was admirable, but at no point during the contest did it appear that Whyte had anything in his arsenal that might trouble his opponent. “The Bodysnatcher” had waited years for this opportunity, but it was his bad luck that it came against the seemingly-unbeatable Fury rather than a lesser man. 

At the end of the night, there was one big question to answer. The dust might have settled on the contest, but has it also settled on the incredible career of Tyson Fury? According to “The Gypsy King” himself, the answer is a definite “yes.” The champion said that he’d promised his wife he would retire after the end of his trilogy with Deontay Wilder, but the opportunity to fight in front of 95,000 people at a sold-out Wembley Stadium in his home country was too good to turn down. His pay packet of £26.2m for winning the fight can’t have hurt either, but it might also be the decisive factor in his retirement. As he’s said himself, he’s financially made for life, and he doesn’t believe there’s any amount of money that could persuade him to get in the ring again. At the age of 33, he believes he’s done everything there is to do in boxing, beaten everyone there is to beat and has an opportunity to go down in the history books as a heavyweight world champion who retired undefeated. His controversial draw against Wilder in their first meeting is the only match he didn’t win. 

The history of boxing tells us that we shouldn’t put too much stock in the words of a boxer when they tell us that they’re retiring. Fury himself has retired before, although his personal circumstances and mental health were the driving factors behind that decision. This time around, he’s fitter, happier and healthier. He has every right to retire and could well do so, but many analysts and commentators think he could be lured back to do the one thing that, despite his claims to the contrary, he’s never done. He hasn’t unified the world heavyweight championship, and he has the opportunity to do so within the next twelve months if he chooses to take it. 

Every other credible version of boxing’s world heavyweight championship is currently around the waist of Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk, who won them by comprehensively out-boxing Britain’s Anthony Joshua for twelve rounds to win on points. Joshua and Usyk are headed for a rematch later this year, and while Joshua believes he can win the belts back for the third time, there are few pundits who agree with him. Usyk is faster and technically superior, so the only threat to his reign is a knockout punch from Joshua. Joshua is certainly capable of throwing such a punch and has done so to more than twenty opponents in the past, but Usyk is skilled enough to avoid one. It would take a mistake from Usyk to lose the rematch, and he’s not known for making mistakes. Either way, the winner of that fight will want Fury’s WBC title. Both men have already expressed doubt that Fury will stay retired, and both have already called him out for a unification match after they’ve settled the score between them. It would be difficult for Fury to reject such an invitation. If the winner transpires to be Joshua, it would be even harder. The British public has long wanted to see a showdown between the two greatest British heavyweights of the current generation, and Fury isn’t a man who likes to disappoint his fans. 

A fight between Fury and either Joshua or Usyk with every world heavyweight title on the line would be the biggest boxing event of the 21st century so far. It would likely make more money than any other boxing match in history, and it would be an all-time-great spectacle. Fury vs Usyk arguably makes the more compelling match, as it would be a classic tale of David vs Goliath, but Fury vs Joshua has better box office potential and would easily sell out Wembley Stadium again if the fighters chose to square off in their home country. It’s such a tantalising prospect that it almost feels like it has to happen, and perhaps after spending a few months off, Fury might come to the same conclusion. He’s said he’s fought everybody there is to fight, but that simply isn’t true. He hasn’t fought either Usyk or Joshua, and until he does, he has unfinished business in the boxing world. 

A boxing card is only as good as the fighters on it. The job of any boxing promoter is to put together a card that draws money and excites the public. It’s almost like playing an online slots game, in which the objective is to match up all the right symbols to land a jackpot payout. One look at the Sister Site website will tell you that the most successful online slots and casino websites in the world are those that contain all the best games and all the biggest money jackpot prizes. Casino sister sites that can’t offer seven-figure sums will never be as popular as casino sister sites and networks that can. A world heavyweight championship unification match involving Tyson Fury is the ultimate big-money draw. It’s a promoter’s dream because they don’t even have to worry about the rest of the card. There wouldn’t even have to be an undercard – the headline fight alone would draw ticket sales, and pay-per-view buys in record numbers. Fury’s manager and promoter will push for the fight to happen. More importantly for Fury, though, it offers the chance to solidify his status as not just a dominant world champion but an all-time legend of the ring. 

We won’t know how serious Tyson Fury is about staying retired until somebody tries to change his mind. That “somebody” will be one of Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk. A few months from now, we’ll have a hungry world champion looking to complete their belt collection, and we’ll find out exactly how serious Fury is. Until then, rule nothing out. 

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