Stand at 6 foot 7 (or 6 foot 9, sources vary) and at the age of 21, young Luke “Tyson” Fury must have the coolest name in boxing and one of the best chances of any British heavyweight to go on to match what Mike could have achieved. Although it’s hugely unfair to compare Tyson Fury to Mike Tyson the fact is due to the name picked by his father when little Luke was fighting for his life, the comparisons will be made, though the name is both a blessing (the hype on it has seen him fight every one of his fights on national TV) and a hindrance (a big name to live up to).
Born into the infamous Fury family, a gypsy clan who are fairly well known in the fight circle, his Father “Gypsy” John Fury and Grand father Tiger Gorman both being professionals (though less than stellar records) his blood line extends to Peter Fury and Hugh Fury who were both bare knuckle fighters. Luke was born on 1st of June 1988 and was 7 weeks premature, weighing just 1 lb doctors thought he’d die with in days, but the little baby dubbed Tyson was to be a fighter and fought off death at the early juncture. Whilst having been born so little, it’s hard to believe he’s grown into the giant he is today. Perhaps with the name, the early fight and the blood line, Fury was destined to be involved in the fight game, a destiny that could well be something special to watch.
As an amateur boxer Fury was seen as pretty solid, winning Bronze at the World Junior Championships in 2006, this is where the interest in the youngest first piqued with BBC doing a fine write up on what they were already happy to call “the next big hope for British boxing”. In 2007 he was the winner at the EU junior championship and in a losing effort to Maxim Babanin the European Junior Championships finals. 2008 saw he losing out on the Olympic place to David Price, but winning the ABA title in place of Price.
Price himself was to be a Bronze medallist in Beijing losing to eventual Gold Medallist and the games stand out boxer Roberto Cammarelle before himself turning pro in March of 2009.
Unwilling to wait until 2012 to try the Olympic try outs again he decided to call it quits on the unpaid ranks with a final amateur record of 30-4 winning 26 by KO whilst still just a proverbial young pup in the sport.
Fury however turned professional on the under card of the Carl Froch V Jean Pascal WBC Super middleweight title fight in December of 2008. The main event of the evening became one of the most actioned packed fights of the year with both fighters landing bombs against the other, this too helped young Fury. The opponent selected for him was Bela Gyongyosi from Hungary, who was 3-9-1 with 1 KO win, Fury out sized him by 70 lbs and at least 3 and a half inches. The huge size difference was obvious, but it was a fair enough first for a professional debut of a young fighter against a more experienced south paw opponent. The fight would go Tysons way and rather quickly, with Tyson the winner on a TKO after a mere 134 seconds, the audience had managed to get their first glimpse of a fighter on the way up.
The following fight just about 5 weeks after his debut was against eccentric German Marcel “The Highlander” Zeller. Who bizarrely fought in a skirt and with a record of 21-3 (20 KO’s) seemed to fit the sort of dangerous opponents that Frank Maloney was looking for for his young protege. Zeller was stopped in the third round leading the much less inexperienced Fury with 2-0 (2KO’s). Zeller’s expected power did little to trouble the giant, who’s speed impressed throughout, landing quick punches that belied his size.
Next came Russian Daniel Peret (Daniil Peretyatko to give him his true name), a fighter known by the name Shrek after the movie character had a record of 15-20-0 (with 6 wins by KO). A less than impressive record but one which had a win over Scott Belshaw in early 2008. He had also faced fighters like Mariusz Wach (17-0 at the time, now 21-0), John McDermott (23-3 at the time) and Derek Chisora (8-0) who like McDermott and Fury was a Brit who was wanting to take the next step. Whilst both Chisora and McDermott were taken the distance, Fury stopped him on a cut eye (a controversial decision, despite the one sidedness of the fight in the time it lasted).
Oddly in his next fight Peret would face another unbeaten Brit, Larry “The War Machine” Olubamiwo, this time Peret was victorious beating the 4-0 opponent.
By now it was no longer just the name that was getting attention, his time on TV was earning him more supporters with every passing show earning him more fans. Next he would face Lee Swaby, the first man to defeat the hard hitting Welshman Enzo Maccarenelli. Although now seen as “finished” by many, it was expected Swaby’s experience could pose some problems for the 3 fight novice and teach him some new tricks.
Sadly it wasn’t to fair like this, the imposing size, huge reach advantage and speed showed Swaby up as old and slow, unable to land anything of note. Despite Swaby’s inability to give Tyson a chin check that some said he needed, Tyson proved he could take a shot. Bizarrely giving himself the biggest scare after catching himself in the face with a huge uppercut that would have had lesser men down.
Next for Fury was another former Maccarenelli opponent, in Matthew Ellis, a fighter who’s 20-6-1 record looked good on paper but on closer inspection showed nothing for Fury’s handlers to worry about. The fact the fight was over after a mere 48 seconds said it all. Ellis was down twice in that time before failing to answer the 10 count, it could almost be argued that Ellis spent more time on the floor than in the actual fight.
A proposed American debut on the undercard of the Carl Froch V Jermain Taylor WBC Super Middleweight title fight in Mashantucket, Connecticut fell through just days before Fury was meant to be fighting due to opponents not being readily available. The idea to expose the Americans to what Frank Maloney seems to think is the greatest heavyweight prospect he’s ever had under his wings (including Lennox Lewis) had fallen through at effectively the last minute.
The disappointment of the fight falling through didn’t last long as around a month later he was pitted against the 10-1 (7 KO’s) Northern Irish man Scott “Ding ding” Belshaw. As with all his previous fights Tyson was again going to be on ITV 4 in the UK against the equally gigantic challenger (Belshaw is 6 foot 7 and around 240 lbs). The one loss on Belshaw’s ledger was against Daniel Peret (the result was reversed in a rematch 4 months late.)
Many of Belshaw’s fans were thinking it was the chance for their man to shine on British TV and derail the Tyson express like Buster Douglas had done to Tyson. Though to the shock of many, Belshaw seemed to no show the fight in the ring, looking like a rabbit trapped in the proverbial headlights, the fast punching of Fury seemed to have the Ding Ding man in all sorts of confusion. A dominant first round was topped with two knock downs from lefts to the body, whilst Belshaw, who had seemingly forgotten his boxing ability back home, was swinging from the rafters with hayemaker attempts.
Round 2 was all it took for another left to the body, to have slain the giant from across the sea.
Fury now 6-0 (6 KO’s) though with just 13 rounds under his belt, is expected to have the needed rounds under his belt from facing slightly tougher opponents before he starts calling out true European or World class opponents. The call for him to get Danny Williams the British Champion is ever growing though a fight with John McDermott may be more tempting from Maloney’s point of view for now.
Fury was scheduled to fight an un-named opponent on the 13th of June 2006, but the fight was canned as Fury picked up a back injury and an opponent was deemed difficult to find. Though he has been pencilled in for the 18th of July in Norfolk, on the undercard of the mouth watering clash between Nathan Cleverly and Danny Macintosh for the Commonwealth and British Light heavyweight titles. It may not be long before Tyson is fighting for the heavyweight version of the titles. Perhaps this could be the man to re-ignite the relatively stagnant heavyweight division who’s rule by the eastern Europeans of recent years has been seen as boring and possibly even off putting to the American who believe that only one of their guys (or a Brit) should hold the title, not fighters from the former iron Curtain.
Some additional notes:
Fact: The great amateur and one time world heavyweight champion Michael Bentt also made his debut against a Southpaw and lost by KO
A video to Tyson hitting his own face can be found here:
A video to Belshaw’s 10 second fight with Lee Webb in both fighters debut can be found here:
The combined records of Tyson’s opponents so far are: