Tyson Fury appears on the Jonathan Ross Show to talk Anthony Joshua, the Sports Personality of the Year prize and much more
On this week’s episode of The Jonathan Ross Show, Jonathan is joined by boxing world champion Tyson Fury, Dame Joan Collins, comedian Russell Kane and presenter Maya Jama.
World champion boxer Tyson Fury confirms he wants to fight Anthony Joshua.
He says: “Next year, the fight has to happen. He’s come over his final hurdle last week against Pulev. And now we’re both free to make this fight. I’m willing to do the fight.
“He was asked the question, ‘Do you want to fight Tyson Fury?’ very plain and simple, and he never answered the question. It was a simple yes or no answer wasn’t it? Then they said, ‘Do you think you’re the best heavyweight in the world? and he went [holds hands up]. Didn’t answer the question. Ask me, do you want to fight Anthony Joshua? Jonathan asks him and he replies: “Yes”.
Then Tyson is asked who is the best heavyweight in the world and he says: “Me, by a mile. There we go, that’s how you answer the question.”
Asked if this will be the first time the heavyweight belts are unified in one competition, Tyson says: “He’s [Anthony Joshua] unified champion now, I was in 2015 before my problems and I had to vacate them all. So it’ll be the first time since Lennox Lewis 20 years ago that there’s been an undisputed champion.”
Of whether he would carry on if he won the fight he says: “I’m a creature of habit. I’ve done this since in the womb, basically. Came out fighting, fists ready. I’ll continue until there’s no more challenges, no more proper challenges to fight, say when I beat Joshua next year, I’ll have beaten the best from the last era and my era. So then there’ll always be someone else to fight.”
Tyson adds of Joshua: “He’s a great fighter, Olympic gold medallist, two-time heavyweight champion just like me, he’s won all the best, he’s a great, great athlete. Of course [I have respect for him].”
He adds of whether he likes him: “I don’t know him personal to say I like him or dislike him, from what I’ve seen of him he seems a decent guy.”
Dame Joan admits of boxing: “I wouldn’t say I’m a fan, I get upset when I see someone get hit. I feel for them.”
Tyson also addresses his desire to be removed from the BBC Sports Personality fan-voted award list, saying: “I’ve asked to be taken off a list. They’ve not listened. I’ve even sent them a legal letter to be taken off. They’re still not listening. So they’re trying to take away my rights as a person, to not do something that I don’t want to do. My name shouldn’t be on there if I don’t want it on there. It’s a free country. They are doing something that I do not wish to participate in.
“The reason is, I don’t want an award from someone to say I’m a sports personality. I know what I am and who I am and I know what I’ve achieved, I know what I’ve come back from. I don’t need a glass trophy. I’m the people’s champion. I don’t need this glamorous trophy to say who I am and what I’ve done."
Of people perhaps wanting to vote and show him what he means to them he says: "I’m the people’s champion. I don’t need to be on that list. If I don’t wish to be on that list, surely I shouldn’t be forced into doing something I don’t want to do."
Tyson also discusses his weight loss and the mental health struggles behind it saying: “I was 28 stone [at my heaviest]. Took me about 7 months [to lose the 10 stone].
“I can put weight on very quick, I can also take it off quick. I didn’t put that on overnight. That was 2 and a half years of not training and not doing anything. It was depression, anxiety and mental health problems. It was the first 2 and a half years where I didn’t do any training for a long period of time. I was eating takeaways and drinking a lot of beer and stuff like that. I put a lot of weight on.”
He continues: “I’ve always suffered with mental health problems my whole life but I didn’t really know what it was. Even as a kid I used to have anxiety… I didn’t know what it was until I got diagnosed at 29 years old.
“I come from a fighting family. Everyone’s a tough guy, no one speaks about their feelings. All my friends, family look at me like I’m some sort of a superhero. They don’t think of me as a man or a normal person. When I come out with all that sort of stuff, everyone’s like ‘What, this person’s got weakness?’ For a long, long period of time I bottled it all up. It came to a point where it was like an explosion, shaking a bottle of champagne and it exploded.”
He adds: “It was like, if you’ve got this, keep it to yourself, don’t broadcast it… I thought, there’s got to be other people like me out there suffering. Even if I help one person, I’ll feel better about it.”
On his lowest point he says: “2016 I was really, really ill. I’d been planning suicide for quite a long time – I’d been planning it in my head, what I was going to do. I didn’t think I’d have the minerals to do it. This one day I thought, ‘This is the day’. Got into a red Ferrari, got up to a high speed, I was going to crash into a motorway bridge.
“As I was heading towards that bridge, flying, I got a few hundred yards ago, had this voice speak to me and say ‘don’t do this, you’re going to destroy your family’s life, your kids will grow up without a father’. So I pulled over. I could feel my heart beating in my chest, I was sweating, I was in a right state. For the first moment in time I realised I couldn’t do it on my own and needed medical help.”
Of seeking help Tyson says: “I started to see a therapist. After going there a couple of times I realised, if I’d done this 10 years ago I’d have had a much happier, better life.”
THE JONATHAN ROSS SHOW, SATURDAY 19TH DECEMBER, 9.25PM ON ITV