It took Tyson Fury most of his career to be accepted by the general boxing public. He was seen as a heavy-drinking loudmouth who won only because of his colossal size during his early years. He even seemed to prove this when he disappeared from the sport after beating Vladimir Klitschko to become the world heavyweight champion in 2015, only to descend into a myriad of personal problems that at one stage threatened to see him banished from the sport forever. The world loves a comeback story, though, and Fury’s is great. He overcame his demons, returned to the ring, and dethroned Deontay Wilder to regain his world heavyweight crown in a trilogy of thrilling fights. However, the story may be about to end. After he defends his title against his countryman Dillian Whyte on April 22nd this year, The Gypsy King intends to retire from the sport at 33.
The news of Fury’s impending retirement came as a shock to most people in boxing – not least to promoter Frank Warren. Almost all top boxers come back for at least one more fight after retiring – indeed, most come back more times than they should – but if Fury keeps to his word, then we’ll be deprived of some stellar fights that we’d all have loved to see. Here are our top five picks.
This is the fight that British boxing fans have wanted to see for the best part of the past decade. The fight was booked and announced at one point, but Deontay Wilder invoked his rematch clause with Fury, and the whole thing had to be scrapped. While Fury and Wilder finished their business, an out-of-sorts-looking Joshua lost his versions of the world heavyweight championship to Oleksandr Usyk. Joshua did nothing in that fight to suggest that he’d be capable of winning the belts back again. However, a showdown between the two greatest British boxers of their generation would still be a massive deal on pay-per-view globally and sell out Wembley Stadium in the UK. Instead, it seems that Joshua is destined to fight Usyk again. If he loses, he’ll likely be joining Fury in retirement.
Speaking of Ukraine’s Oleksandr Usyk, he would also make a compelling opponent for Tyson Fury. He shocked the world when he dethroned Joshua in September 2021. The cruiserweight-turned-heavyweight never looked in trouble for a single second as he comprehensively outboxed the Brit over twelve rounds, with Joshua so exhausted and dejected by the final bell that he didn’t even attempt to disagree with the unanimous decision of the judges. A bout between Usyk and Fury would be a classic big man versus small man showdown, with Fury a fully-fledged superheavyweight and Usyk barely a heavyweight at all. The fight would come down to a battle between Usyk’s speed and Fury’s technique and power, and it would be unmissable. Sadly, unless Fury changes his mind, we’re never going to see it happen.
Andy Ruiz Jr
We’ve already said in this article that everybody loves a comeback story. It’s part of what helped to propel Fury back to the top. Former world champion Andy Ruiz Jr is on a comeback trail of his own. The Mexican-American was on top of the world when he beat Joshua for the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO world heavyweight championships in 2019, but the fame and money quickly went to his head, and he was outclassed and outmanoeuvred in the rematch as Joshua immediately took his titles back. Ruiz would later admit to being out of shape for the fight and partying too hard outside the ring. It took him two years to return to the ring after that loss, but he made quick work of Chris Arreola and is back in contention for world title opportunities. A meeting between Fury and Ruiz Jr would see two Cinderella stories coming together, although the prospects of a Ruiz Jr victory would be remote.
Joe Joyce is yet another British fighter with world title ambitions, but he’s running out of time to realise his dreams. Joyce may have waited too long to get involved in the pro game. He stayed amateur for a very long time and was a bronze medalist at the 2013 European Championships, gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games in both 2014 and 2015, and a silver medalist at the Olympics in 2016. Since turning pro in 2017, he’s 13-0 with a 92% knockout rate and can boast of impressive victories over Daniel Dubois and Carlos Takam. Joyce is 36 years old, making Fury his junior. A match against Joyce could be a double retirement fight, with Tyson Fury either ending Joyce’s pro career on a sour note or allowing him to ride off into the sunset as an undefeated world heavyweight champion.
Bear with us on this. Yes, we know Mike Tyson is retired, but if Tyson Fury is genuinely going to join him in retirement, then this could be an “exhibition” fight of the kind that Tyson had against Roy Jones Jr in 2020. It would be a dream match, pitting a man who many see as the greatest of all time against the modern-day champion who was named in Iron Mike’s honour. Mike Tyson has spoken of wanting to fight again at the age of 55, and there would be no better opponent than Tyson Fury. There are people who wouldn’t want to see the fight happen, but don’t underestimate how big a draw Mike Tyson is even in his 50s. He demonstrates it at casino sites, where titles like Mike Tyson Knockout and Mike Tyson Roulette are big hits with players. According to sistersite.co.uk, which reviews casino sister sites, the games have helped to draw new players to top casino sites and resulted in big business for both the casinos and Tyson himself. If Mike Tyson can still draw attention at a casino review site, he can still draw money in the ring – and he’d draw millions standing opposite Tyson Fury.
It’s not impossible that one or more of these fights will happen, although we accept that the idea of a Tyson Fury versus Mike Tyson fight is a hail Mary. If any of them were to happen, they would likely be among the biggest boxing events of the year they took place in. Alternatively, perhaps Tyson Fury is serious, and the Whyte fight will be his final bow. If so, it’s been an incredible career for the giant boxer.