LONDON (AFP) – Troubled former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury equated boxing to a marriage and that after a rocky period he is back fully in love again with the sport.
The 29-year-old – who has battled with depression which led to heavy drinking sessions and taking drugs – is set for his first bout in over two-and-a-half years on Saturday against Albanian Sefer Seferi in Manchester.
Fury, who dramatically took the world title (WBA/IBF/WBO belts) beating long-time holder Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015, told the BBC he has worked hard to resurrect his passion for boxing.
“Boxing is like a marriage – you have to work at it. You do fall in and out of love,” said Fury.
“But I have spiced it back up again, bought her some sexy lingerie and we are back at it, better than ever.”
Fury, who was cleared to fight again last December by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) after accepting a backdated two-year ban for testing positive for the banned steroid Nandrolone, says this comeback is about “inspiring others who are suffering” with mental health issues.
“I woke up every day wishing I would not wake up any more,” said Fury.
“But I am living proof anyone can come back from the brink.
“There is a lot of people out there suffering with mental health problems who think all their days will be grey, but life can improve again and you will start to enjoy the little things again.”
Fury’s ambition is to regain the world crown with compatriot Anthony Joshua presently holding the WBA, IBF and WBO belts whilst American Deontay Wilder is the WBC titleholder.
“They are all afraid to fight one another,” said Fury.
“If any of us are going to be great champions, let’s knock one another about. Let’s have Royal Rumbles. The days of Ali, when he fought, Frazier, Foreman, everyone. “Ali had three years out of the ring, had two fights and then lost to Frazier. Was it enough fights on his return? I don’t know. But he got back to his glory.
“I’m not going to rush it.
“I’m 29, in the prime of my life and have never felt fitter, stronger or better. Rome wasn’t built in a day. This is my second career now, coming back after nearly 1,000 days.”