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Tyson Fury The 1lb Premature Baby Who Grew To 6ft 9in And Conquered The World

Tyson Fury The 1lb Premature Baby Who Grew To 6ft 9in And Conquered The World Tyson Fury

Rachael Bletchly charts the wild and unpredictable rise of the self-proclaimed Gypsy King and new heavyweight champion of the world

He was born three months early weighing 1lb and doctors feared he was too weak to survive.

But as John Fury gazed down at his son, the former boxer saw something the medics didn’t – a fighting spirit.

“I told them God was looking down on him,” said John, now 51.

“I said, ‘He’ll be alright. He will be 7ft, 20 stone and heavyweight champion of the world.’ And I named him Tyson, after Mike Tyson.”

At 6ft 9ins and 18 stone, Tyson Fury hadn’t quite fulfilled the first two predictions when he stepped into the ring in Dusseldorf’s Esprit Arena on Saturday.

But less than an hour later the 27-year-old delivered on the third by ending Wladimir Klitschko’s nine-year reign in one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.

After taking the WBA, IBF and WBO belts and pocketing £4million, he thanked Jesus and dedicated his win to travellers everywhere.

 

For the Irish Mancunian says his success is rooted in his gypsy heritage and devout Christian faith.

But critics fear his controversial views and personal demons make him a worrying role model.

He has been blasted for foul-mouthed homophobic rants and fined by boxing chiefs for abusing fellow fighters.

He believes the end of the world is nigh due to war, famine, abortion and homosexuality – and reckons doping should be legal in sport.

He insists a woman’s place is in the kitchen and he’d hang his sister if she slept around. He has also battled depression, bulimia and family trauma.

Fur flying: Tyson is an overnight millionaire after winning the world title

As Tyson puts it: “I’m a very complicated man. One minute I might be thinking about the stars, the next I might be thinking about punching somebody in the face.”

He is descended from generations of bare-knuckle boxers.

“I’m proud of what I am,” Tyson says. “The traveller background gives you the will to win. Before anything else, you learn to fight. When we have a dispute we sort it out with fisticuffs.”

As his boxing took off, Tyson modelled himself on his bad-boy namesake.

Brew-sers: Tyson with father John

He said: “ Doing controversial things is what you’ll be remembered for.

"People think of Mike and they don’t think ‘youngest heavyweight champ’, they think of him raping someone, biting an ear off, being the baddest man on the planet.

"Anybody can be Mr Boring. That ain’t me.”

He met wife Paris when they were both 15. She is from a Scottish traveller family and they had a traditional wedding six years ago – but not a “big fat gypsy” one.

He said: “You wouldn’t have ‘big fat Pakistani’ or ‘big fat black’ weddings, would you? It’s discrimination.”

Paris match: Tyson and his wife, who is expecting their third child

They have two children – Venezuela, five, and Prince, three – and are expecting a third.

Paris knows what is expected of a traveller’s wife, even a multi-millionaire one.

Tyson said: “A woman’s there to be loved, cook food and have some kids. Like Muslims have their ways, we have ours.

"There are girls who open their legs to every Tom, Dick and Harry. They are looked upon as rubbish. If I had a sister who did that I’d hang her.”

Bigmouth strikes again: Tyson's trash talking has landed him in hot water more than once

He adds modestly: “To be married to a handsome man like me – a stallion – must be a good feeling.”

Paris has helped Tyson battle mood swings and depression . Four years ago he gained six stone through an eating disorder.

Speaking about his depression, he said: “One minute I’m over the moon and the next I feel like getting in my car and running it into a wall at 100mph. I’m messed up.

"I do believe I am mentally disturbed in some way. Maybe it was that when I was a kid we didn’t have a family life. Mum and dad were always shouting and hitting each other.

Tears of joy: Fury celebrates with Paris after beating Klitschko

“I can’t wait for the moment I step into the ring. I feel calm then. I don’t feel depressed in the ring. If I do, it’s over. An upset fighter is a beaten fighter.”

But it became clear early on that Tyson would take some beating.

 

Tyson Fury Record

25 Fights  25 Wins  18 KOs

He grew up in Styal, Cheshire, and pals called him “Little John” because he was 6ft by 14.

Neighbour Zak Eldharat, 28, said: “I remember him saying, ‘One day I’ll be world champ’.”

Rising star: Fury was already a giant as a teenage amateur

Sarah Wolstenholme, 28, who went to Styal Primary School with Tyson, added: “I don’t remember him being tough or scary.

"In fact, he was the one who was pushed over in the playground.”

With his dream now a reality, no one will be toppling Tyson again any time soon.

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