Tyson Fury declared “enough is enough” as he appeared to be ending his professional boxing career, but the WBC heavyweight champion is being tempted by exhibition bouts and another foray into wrestling.
Ury retained his world title and extended his unbeaten record to 33 fights with 32 wins and a draw after beating British rival Dillian Whyte via a sixth-round stoppage at a packed Wembley Stadium.
After ending Wladimir Klitschko’s long tenure as world champion and beating Deontay Wilder in a grueling trilogy, Fury is widely regarded as the finest fighter in his division and a modern great.
He therefore indicated that he had no interest in facing Oleksandr Usyk, the WBA, IBF and WBO champion, or any other domestic opponent in Anthony Joshua, and instead apparently announced his retirement.
“I’ve dedicated 20 years to boxing, amateur and professional,” Fury said. “My brain has been blown, knocked out, dropped, cut, I’ve had tough fights, draws, wins, I’ve boxed all over the world.
“How much blood can you get from a stone? I gave it my all and risked it every time and enough is enough. If it was about money I would go on, but it’s not about money so I’m happy.
“It was never about money, I’m not a money person. I know a lot of people who have money, a lot of money, but none of them are happy, not one of them.
“Money can’t buy happiness, it wasn’t about belts, it wasn’t about legacies, it was about nothing but slapping a motherf***** in the face at night. I always want to win.”
A rematch between Usyk and Joshua is set for this summer – the undefeated Ukrainian prevailed in his original showdown in September last year – although Fury would make no prediction.
“As Clark Gable would say, honestly, I just don’t care who wins,” Fury said. “Which does not concern me.”
Fury’s desire to ‘retire unbeaten’, as Rocky Marciano did almost 66 years ago to the day, should perhaps be taken at face value, even if those close to him have expressed doubts that he is true to his word.
But, quite the showman, the 33-year-old doesn’t want to fall entirely off the grid if he plans to follow the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Mike Tyson in exhibition showcases.
In his crosshairs is UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou, who joined the ring with Fury immediately after beating Whyte.
But while the Nigerian has expressed interest in a crossover fight, the mixed martial artist is not expected to compete again until next year after undergoing knee surgery.
“I want to have fun, I’m an entertainer,” said the larger-than-life Fury, who held his post-fight press conference on Saturday wearing only his briefs that read “Rumble in the Jungle.”
“I’m definitely not ruling out exhibitions. I entertain, that’s what I do best.
“The great Francis Ngannou was here. He’s on my hit list in an exhibition match, in a cage, in a boxing ring, boxing gloves, UFC gloves, we can do it. That would be a battle of the titans for sure.”
Another path open to Fury is returning to World Wrestling Entertainment after a brief stint at Vince McMahon’s company in late 2019.
And the self-proclaimed Gypsy King is intrigued by the idea of appearing at WWE’s first major stadium show in the UK in 30 years when Cardiff hosts an event in September.
“I need to talk to Vince and the boys to maybe make that happen,” Fury said. “Don’t exclude me from fighting there.”
While Fury himself acknowledged that retiring from professional boxing would disappoint a large number of people, co-promoter Frank Warren stressed that he wasn’t thinking about changing his protégé’s mind.
“I’m not even going to go there,” Warren said. “He’s the guy who gets in the ring and takes the punches.
“If he doesn’t feel like he wants to fight, I’m not going to try and force and coerce him into it because that’s how fighters get hurt.”
Fury dictated the pace in front of 94,000 – a post-war British record – on a chilly London evening and then delivered an explosive finish with a devastating uppercut against Whyte, who got up but was clearly unsteady, leading to referee Mark Lyson halting the contest.
While Whyte grappled with a third career loss in 31 fights, the 34-year-old Jamaican-born Londoner received words of encouragement from Fury in his dressing room afterwards.
“I gave him a kiss and a hug, I thanked him,” Fury added. “I said, ‘You’re going to be a world champion, Dillian, but you just had to meet one of football’s greats,’ and that was it.
“He did his best. It’s not embarrassing to lose to a better man on the night.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/other-sports/boxing/enough-is-enough-tyson-fury-set-for-retirement-after-dillian-whyte-victory-41582647.html Enough is enough – Tyson Fury retires after Dillian Whyte win