Tyson Fury – When he finally gets done with this boxing silliness, heavyweight champion Tyson Fury should check out career opportunities as a stand-up comedian or a TV game-show host, something else in the world of live entertainment.
After all, the guy puts on a pretty good show any time a crowd gathers. He doesn’t attend press conferences, he conducts them, turns them into a one-man show. The only things missing are balloons, confetti and party hats. But give him time. It’s still early.
Of course, at 6-foot-9, Fury (25-0, 18 KO’s) draws long stares just walking around Piccadilly Circus. The only place Fury can go without attracting attention is an NBA game, and even that’s no longer a haven. Besides, Fury is from the United Kingdom which is more into tea and crumpets than hoops.
But if you listen to the guy and you don’t take yourself or Fury too seriously, you get a better idea of what he’s trying to say and do. And what he’s saying is, he doesn’t really like boxing, but he’s making some pretty good money at it, so why not? And it beats tending bar, loading trucks or working the night shift at the packing plant.
“I don’t care about boxing,” Tyson said at a press conference a few months back announcing his rematch with Wladimir Klitschko (64-4) at the Manchester Arena on July 9. “It’s mainly about getting a few quid and putting food on the table.”
A few quid? Food on the table? This guy’s already a comedian.
C’mon Tyson, it’s a little more than that. Being heavyweight champion of the world has a few perks and carries some responsibilities. It’s not like you won the local 5K run or an Elk’s Club raffle. The heavyweight champ of the world doesn’t have to wait in line at restaurants, pay for his drinks or drive his own car. He gets free cab rides, the best seat in the house and the biggest steak on the grill. He signs autographs, leads parades, attends coronations and buys the richest house in town. Occasionally, he fights.
I’m guessing it’s pretty sweet to be sitting at the top.
Asked what he thought of Klitschko beyond the hype and the promotion, Fury, who has taken his share of punches at the former champ both inside and outside the ring, took the high road.
“Yeah, of course I like him,” he said. “I admire the guy. He’s been a legend in boxing and a great champion. And he’s still a very good fighter. And a very dangerous opponent.”
As for Wladimir, this has to be a hard ride for him. He lost to Fury by decision last November in a fight that never really broke out. No one is bragging they were there in person to see the non-classic. A few punches were actually thrown, but there is still a debate as to whether any landed. Nobody took notes.
But Fury apparently landed enough punches to pull the belt out from under Klitschko and now the former world champ has to listen to the off-color humor Fury tosses at him whenever they get together at the head table promoting their rematch. And if there’s an opening in the conversation, Fury will find it and fill it.
Still, if you want to pick a longshot in this fight, you might want to consider Klitschko. He’s the straight man in this comedy act and when he’s around Tyson, he has that Cheshire Cat grin on his face that makes you think he knows something the rest of us don’t know.
Or at least you hope he does. He sure isn’t a big fan of comedy.