When people go to an event where they’ll be seen by a lot of people, typically they try to look their best.
Tyson Fury doesn’t want to be the exception to that rule anymore.
The colossal heavyweight tied a career low of 245 1/2 pounds at this morning’s weigh-in ahead of his Saturday clash with journeyman Vinny Maddalone, a bout that will air live on Channel 5 in the UK, WealthTV in the United States, and Super Channel in Canada.
In particular, it’s the American fan base he’d like to make a better impression on.
“It’s a very good opportunity to be boxing in front of the American audience,” Fury told RingTV.com. “It gives them another chance to see me. I boxed once on Showtime before (against Rich Power), and it was a bit of a stinker. I was out of shape, wasn’t really training a lot. But now they’re going to see a real performance from me.”
Fury (18-0, 13 knockouts) claims that his body fat percentage is at 9.2, as compared to over 16 when he defeated Martin Rogan in April, and even higher for earlier outings. While no fighter ever has facts such as those verified at a weigh-in, the Irish-born giant looked noticeably more toned than ever before. He attributes the transformation to a massive overhaul in his training and eating regimen.
Hearing him speak about his old ways, it’s amazing that he managed to reach these heights at all, as THE RING’s No. 9-rated heavyweight.
“It was basically the chocolate, really. I’m a big chocolate lover. And eating out all the time–Indian food, Chinese food, that sort of thing,” said Fury. “We’ve added weight training to my program. Before I wasn’t doing weights at all, and now I’m doing weights every day. In the past I’ve trained hard, but didn’t eat correctly. As a heavyweight, you can train as hard as you want and if you eat wrong, you’re not going forward. You’ll just lose three pounds and put five back on.”
These days, Fury eats six smaller meals throughout the course of the day, and has spent the past seven months focusing on conditioning and stamina. He has also added a whole range of supplements and proteins to his pallette, in order to maximize the effectiveness of his weight training.
“The boxing ability was never a problem. It was just that I wasn’t in the proper shape to carry it on for 12 rounds. Now I can box 12 rounds quite comfortably,” claims Fury.
Nobody expects Fury to have to prove that on Saturday. Maddalone (35-7, 26 KOs) has been a valiant and exciting club fighter for many years, but has never risen past the level of a “stay busy” opponent for names such as Evander Holyfield, Denis Boytsov and Tomasz Adamek.
This Saturday appears to be the same situation. In reality, the talk surrounding Fury is about much bigger bouts.
Fury is adamant about wanting the winner of the David Haye-Dereck Chisora bout on July 14, creating another all-UK showdown of bombastic boxers. The 24-year old recently referred to Chisora as a “fat slob,” but this time took aim at Haye, whom he believes will be the victor next weekend.
“I think Haye outpoints Chisora. If he goes for a fight, I think Chisora has a better chance of winning. But considering I don’t think he has any pride or honor at all, I think he’ll run away and take a points decision,” said Fury.
That wouldn’t be an option for Haye against him, says Fury.
“I’d knock David Haye into next month. David Haye hasn’t got the ability to stand up with a big guy like me,” he proclaimed.
There is another domestic clash that has been suggested by fans for Fury, a meeting with British prospect David Price—a similarly statured power puncher from Liverpool, who is creating an incredible amount of buzz on the heels of a string of early knockouts.
Fury dismisses the claims that he is “ducking” Price, offering that he will fight him when the younger man appears ready and the fight makes sense. In his opinion, neither is the case right now.
“He hasn’t fought a live body yet. He’s still a year to 18 months behind (me), so we can’t really assess if he’s a good enough challenge at the moment. But as long as he keeps winning, that’s all that matters, because when I do beat him eventually, it’s going to be a better scalp for me,” said Fury.
In all fairness, fighting Price wouldn’t fit in to his plan to move up the rankings toward RING heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko. Fury has recently spoken about having a five-fight trajectory that will hopefully land him in a position not just to fight for the title, but at the peak of his development when he does so.
“We need to be realistic about the matter. I can get the fight with the Klitschkos quite easily right now. But I wouldn’t be a mandatory, I’d be a voluntary. So, that’s not what I’m going to go for. I want to build toward the mandatory position and fight Wladimir next year,” said Fury.
To get to the big stage, he’ll need to look good—in every sense of the word—in his next dress rehearsal this weekend.
Follow Corey Erdman on Twitter @corey_erdman