Heavyweight title contender Tyson Fury has revealed that the double cancelation of his all British showdown with David Haye almost made him retire from the sport of boxing at the age of just 25.
The thought of losing a potential £5 million payday after Haye pulled out twice left the unbeaten fighter devastated and on the verge of quitting until he was handed a lifeline by promoter Frank Warren.
Fury fights for the first time in nearly a year on February 15 when he faces American Joey Abell at the Copper Box Arena in London. If successful he is scheduled to rematch fellow Briton Dereck Chisora in June in what should be a world title eliminator.
In an exclusive interview with Manchester Evening News Sport Fury, from Wilmslow in the north of England, described how the disappointment the Haye fight falling through cost him a multi million pound pay day and how the rematch with Chisora prevented him from quitting the ring .
“It was like winning the lottery and then when you go to get your ticket, being told you are an hour too late,” said Fury, 21-0-(15). “It was like having the money – you’ve got it – and then not having it.
“That’s how I felt. I felt like I had been robbed of five million pound.
“I could probably have another five fights and not make anywhere near that.
“I went through months and months of training with a golden pot at the end. I put everything into it.
“I went full steam ahead. It’s hard to get motivated for little fights.”
Fury added: “The goal now, he says, is the world title: “Then they are all lottery wins.”
“I was retired for a while until I got this deal,” Fury added:. “Up to five weeks ago I was retired. I walked away. No fights, no deals, I didn’t have a future.
“It was costing me money to be a boxer.
“I went on a cruise and just enjoyed my family. I did nothing. I did stuff that old people do when they retire.
“I’m 25. I’d like to retire, but I’ve got a lot to do. I’ve got bills to be paid.”
“I do love the sport and I do like boxing,” he said. “But I could walk away in a second – I really could. If I don’t want to do something, I won’t.
“I need to make money and be financially secure.
“I’m not interested in being a hero or an idol. I don’t care. I want to make a nice few quid and enjoy my family, my health and my strength.
“I don’t want to be one punch away from injury.
“In heavyweight boxing anything can happen.
“When I’ve got enough money to make an income then I will call it quits.”
February 8, 2014