Tyson Fury says ‘money not tempting’ and rubbishes talk of retirement U-turn
Tyson Fury has conceded he can “never say never” about a boxing return, but rubbished the idea that he could be tempted back by the prospect of a domestic heavyweight super-fight against Anthony Joshua.
Fury announced his retirement after his knockout win over Dillian Whyte at Wembley in April and emphatically dismissed rumours last week that talks had already begun to face the winner of Joshua’s rematch with Oleksandr Usyk.
In an interview with the PA news agency, Fury said he was proud to retire as an undefeated champion, and was shifting his focus to exhibition bouts and a global speaking tour which will kick off with a series of British dates this month.
Fury said: “There’s always going to be that clamour – even when Joshua and Usyk are finished and there’s new contenders and champions, they will always ask Tyson Fury to come back as undefeated champion and fight these people.
“But rumours are rumours. Until I say that I’m actually doing a fight, take me at my word. For now I’m done with professional boxing and I’ve moved on to other things, but you can never say never. You never know what the future holds.”
The 33-year-old has declared he has zero interest in a money-spinning clash with Joshua, even in what he considers to be the unlikely event that the former Olympic champion gains revenge for last year’s unanimous decision loss to the Ukrainian when they fight again in March.
“Anthony Joshua’s bubble has burst,” Fury said, reflecting on Joshua’s defeats to Andy Ruiz Jr and Usyk. “He’s been bounced off the canvas by a little fat fella, then he’s been comprehensively outboxed and battered by a middleweight who nobody had heard of until he beat AJ.
“I don’t see what the big clamour is. If he’d been undefeated like (Deontay) Wilder, and everyone thought he could batter me, then it’s challenging. Joshua might need me but I don’t need him, nor what he can bring.
“The only thing these fighters come back for is the money. As Clark Gable said in many movies, quite frankly, I don’t give a damn.
“The money is not tempting to me. I live in Morecambe and shop in Asda, and if I had a trillion dollars I couldn’t live any differently to the way I live now.
“There’s nothing I want or need from a comeback. I’ve won every belt in boxing, every award there is to win. There is nothing at this present moment that would tempt me back.”
Instead, Fury is likely to focus any return to the ring on a series of exhibition bouts, including a potential contest against Francis Ngannou, with an announcement believed to be imminent.
But Fury says he takes much more satisfaction in helping fans protect and improve their mental health – something that will be integral to his message when he takes his ‘Official After Party’ tour on the road beginning in Derby on June 22.
“This tour is a great opportunity for me to meet fans and fellow mental health sufferers,” Fury added. “It will be a great insight into being totally mentally broken and then making your way back up to the top of the ladder.
“It is a fantastic story because how many times do you see people who suffer mental breakdowns dying or nearly killing themselves like I nearly did? It’s great to be able to tell this story with a positive ending.
“Heavyweight boxing is sport and a way of earning a living, but unless you’re a doctor, it’s not often that you get to save people’s lives.
“To save one life is fantastic – to help thousands or millions of others is even better. It gives me more excitement than any sport could ever do. I’m overwhelmed with the success it’s had in helping people who are recovering, and smashing the stigma around mental health.”
In the meantime, Fury says he is braced for the inevitable pressure from fans and other interested parties to return to the ring for decades to come.
“Boxing is full of fighters who went on too long and lost to people they should never have lost to,” he added. “One thing I don’t want to do is make the same mistakes that they did. It’s better to get out early than stay for one second too long.
“I understand it, because these fighters will never get out of my shadow, and will never be able to walk in my shoes.
“They’ll never find someone else who can sing, run, dance and back everything up that he says, someone who can fill out arenas everywhere they go.
“Everything I’ve ever needed to do, I’ve done – got off the floor to win fights, stepped onto the world’s biggest stage and delivered every time. It’s been a long time waiting for a fighter like me, and it’ll be an even longer time afterwards.”