Tyson Fury said he was retiring after he threw an iconic uppercut which rattled Dillian Whyte’s brain pan and gave 94,000 punters at Wembley their desired climax. The adios declaration was kinda sorta squishy, though, the irreverent pugilist didn’t sound like he fully meant it. “This might be the final curtain for the Gypsy King,” he stated four minutes after finishing Whyte.
In a chat with Brit media fixture Piers Morgan, the 33 year old ring general was more definitive.” I've given everything I've got,” the 32-0-1 capital C character said on “Piers Morgan Uncensored” Wednesday. “I’ve been a professional for 14 years and I've been boxing for 20 years. Every good dog has its day in the sun and it's my time to go out on a high. They will not forget the Gypsy King in a hurry. No amount of material assets or money will make me come back out of retirement because I'm very happy.”
Straight up, I’m dubious about his stated intent.
I’ve covered this rodeo circuit long enough to know that it’s ultra, ultra mega rare to see top-level practitioners choosing of their own volition to leave the stage at the height of their powers. Actually, Fury may not even be at the height of his powers. Tyson Fury has become 20% better under the guidance of Sugar Hill Steward, who’s keeping the Kronk legacy aloft.
If I had a say in the matter, I’d prefer Tyson Fury stick around, because he’s a top 5 pound for pound fighter, he’s the most charismatic player in the game, and by and large, he’s a credit to racket we love/hate. (And I'm not alone in my unvarnished assessment of this rare talent, ex pug Tommy Rainone says Fury is a Top 15 heavyweight all-time.)
I reached out to Steward, the tutor who learned his craft at the feet of an all-time master class craftsman, Emanuel Steward, the West Virginia raised Detroit-based molder of champions who died in 2012 at age 68. How does the nephew of the ATG teacher feel about all this, Fury saying he’s exiting the stage, moving on to other callings? “I talked to Tyson Fury about he has done everything in boxing and he don’t need to be chasing the guys who don’t want to fight him. I told him that I’m proud of him and I would be even more proud to continue to see him living a happy and healthy life.”
Then I reached out to living legend Bob Arum, the 90 year old Brooklyn-born promoter still firing fastballs in his sphere, days away from his Shakur Stevenson-Oscar Valdez topped card in Las Vegas. How does the Bobfather see it? Does he believe Tyson Fury is really going to exit the stage and stay away?
“If the fighter has a contract with a promoter, and wants to retire, he has the right to retire,” the sport’s No. 1 all-time fight maker told NYF. “We have a contract, two more fights in the US. Is it possible possible he stays retired? He’s Tyson Fury, he’s his own man, he marches to his own drummer. Anything’s possible with Tyson. Whatever he decides to do, I consider him a good friend.”
In other words, Bob Arum is saying he’s not going to pester or lobby the 6-9 Gypsy King to stay in the arena if he truly wants to finish his reign. “It was a five fight contract for fights in the US, if he wins a championship it adds an additional fight, so there’s two more US fights on the contract. And if he fights outside the US, we have approval rights.” The Tyson Fury v Dillian Whyte event got put together by Brit lifer Frank Warren, who shares planning/hype-up duties with Top Rank.
Arum shared that he called wingman Carl Moretti while Fury exulted after felling the 35 year old Jamaican-born hitter in London.
“Moretti gave the phone to Tyson, he said he and his family will come to Vegas in a week or ten days to spend some time. He said we’ll have some time, eat dinner, talk. He’s Tyson Fury, he makes up his own mind, I’m not gonna push him, I’ll hear him out.”