I interrupted Tyson Fury’s round of golf to ask some questions.
Hi Tyson! You’re a big lad – did you eat loads of vegetables when you were a kid?
Ha-ha! Yeah, but I’ve always been tall really. I was always the biggest in the class and when I was 15 I was 6ft 6’ and now I’m 6ft 9’ so I’ve always been massive.
Crikey! What’s your shoe size then?
Thirteen, but I can just about get away with that it’s not a problem finding shoes that fit luckily.
Phew! Now, isn’t golf an unusual sport for a boxer to play?
Ha-ha! It is a bit of a funny game but it’s very relaxing and it takes my mind off training for a little while so I love it.
Are you any good at it?
I’m alright but I’m no Tiger Woods! My form goes up and down, the more I play the more I get better. My handicap is ten but today I’ve been playing off fifteen because I’ve not played in a while.
Not bad. Lost a few balls today though didn’t you?
Yeah well I’ve been playing sh*t today!
Oh well! When you were boxing as an amateur was there more pressure on you to do well because you’re named after a legend?
Not at all. It makes me feel good and perform better. I wouldn’t say it’s ever added any pressure on me to do well in the ring though.
Who’s your favourite fighter?
Muhammad Ali is my favourite of all time but my favourite current fighters are both of the Klitschko brothers. They’re both great boxers and Wladimir is going to knockout David Haye!
Oh yeah? In what round?
He’ll do him inside six rounds.
If you beat Dereck Chisora what’ll be next for you?
When I beat him I’m going to call-out the winner of the Haye vs. Klitschko fight. I’m confident enough that I can beat either of them.
Do you think you’ll get a shot at Haye before he retires?
I don’t know what his plans are but if I beat Chisora me against David Haye will be a big domestic showdown, even if he loses to Klitschko. It would be a shame if he retires without me getting to fight him first.
What are your thoughts on him?
I’m not a fan at all, he’s an arrogant so and so. He loves himself and he thinks he’s God’s gift for some reason. If he gets done in by Klitschko I’ve got no problem in fighting him and doing him in for a second time. The Fury will take him out!
Who’s the most over-rated fighter in your opinion?
Haye by an absolute mile.
Because he’s fought a couple of old fat heavyweights that are ten years out of date! He goes round thinking he’s a killer but when he comes across someone who can actually fight he’ll get chinned.
Do you think he deserves to be a world champ?
Well, he only just beat Nicolai Valuev and he was rubbish. Valuev was just a big, giant man and nothing else.
Good point. Do you think you can go all the way and become champion of the world?
Yeah, this time next year I should be a world champ. I’ll see off Dereck Chisora first and I’ll just keep going up and up.
You were in the crowd at the James DeGale vs. George Groves fight and got chucked out. What happened?
There was a bit of a ruckus between me and Chisora, shirts were off and everything! I challenged him to a fight and a few days later the bout was signed so it was good.
Did you start it?
Yeah, I went over to him and asked him why he was avoiding me and he said there wasn’t enough money on the table to fight me. I told him I don’t fight for money, I fight for honour. So, I told him to have a fight with me there and then because I was going to knock him spark out.
What did he say to that?
He said there wasn’t enough money and all that. I wanted to fight him there and then if it wasn’t going to happen in a ring, so then he ran away!
Then security threw you out, did you try and get back in?
Nah, I just went home!
Oh well! How good do you think Chisora is? Does he pose any threat to you?
He is a good solid opponent. He’s got good footwork, fast hands and he throws a lot of punches so it will be a tough fight. I’m going to try and knock him out though, and if that doesn’t happen I’ll win on points. I won’t lose to him.
You trained with the Klitschko’s recently – what was that like?
It was great! I was over in Austria for three weeks and I really enjoyed it. It was a good learning experience for me to be in there with the best. They’re both really nice guys as well so it was an opportunity I didn’t want to turn down.
Were there any knockdowns in sparring with them?
No, nothing like that. It was just good to get in the ring with them though.
What’s the worst bit of training?
Resting! I always like to be doing something to keep myself active but at the same time you’ve got to be careful not to overdo it, so you need to get plenty of rest as well.
Who is the most under-rated boxer out there?
Probably Craig Watson. He’s been around for a bit and he doesn’t really get the credit he deserves. He’s a really good fighter and an awkward southpaw. He’s never had the break but it’s just one of those things.
You’re a heavyweight, does that mean you just eat as much food as you want?
No I’ve got to be very disciplined with stuff like that, which can be very hard! I love my food and it’s just one of those things where you can’t just eat whatever you like. I like quite a lot of junk food and that is all off limits when I’m training because it’s no good for you really. Sometimes I’ll treat myself to some of it during my training but I’m not supposed to!
Don’t worry we won’t say anything! If you could fight a boxer from any other weight division who would it be?
Manny Pacquiao, just so I could say I’ve been in the ring with him. I reckon I would win even though he’s quick I’d definitely chin him!
What do you think of the British boxing scene currently?
It’s in a good situation at the minute, but it could be better. When I beat Chisora I’ll be bringing the glory nights back to British boxing by defending titles against good opposition.
Good stuff. Who’s the greatest fighter of all time?
Muhammad Ali without a doubt.
That was easy! Who in the boxing world do you really not like?
Well, I don’t really hate anyone because I’ve got respect for all boxers and I’ve no personal enemies.
Fair enough. Were you always scrapping when you were younger?
No. Outside of the boxing I didn’t have a single fight. My dad was a professional boxer and so I followed in his footsteps and started fighting in the ring rather than at school or anything. I had my first amateur fight when I was 16 which I won. I had a good amateur career with thirty six fights and I won thirty one of them. Twenty six of which were knockouts, so that wasn’t bad!
That’s pretty good! Are people ever stupid enough to offer you “outside”?
Sometimes but I always ignore it. I’ve never had a scrap when I’ve been out with friends or anything.
What if someone did start on you with a weapon? Would you ever use a weapon as well or just your fists?
Just my fists! I’ve never had a fight outside the ring other than hitting you with a golf club earlier. Ha-ha!
Yeah cheers for that! Are you a UFC fan? Would you fancy having a crack at it?
I don’t mind watching it but I don’t think I’d be very good at it to be honest. I’m no good at the grappling stuff they do on the floor. I’d be good at the striking and catching them on the way in – but if they got me on the floor it would be all over. I’m too long for it anyway!
You’re massive though, surely you’re not easy to take down?
Ha-ha, well they’d probably just take my legs from under me and rip me to the floor!
Yeah maybe, they’re smart those UFC guys. Can you tell us the best bit of advice anybody has ever given you?
My Uncle Billy used to always tell me to stay out of trouble. I listened to that and never had any fights or anything until I started boxing.
We heard you’re a Man Utd fan. Are you pleased with only winning the league last season?
Yeah, we did alright. The Champions League was a bit of a disappointment but Barcelona are a top team aren’t they. I reckon we’ll have a better chance of winning it next year though.
Your dream is to fight at Old Trafford – who would you like to fight there?
At the moment it would have to be David Haye. I’d like to defend a world title there and if I could do it against him in front of thousands and thousands of people that would be brilliant.
If you make tons of money and have a family will you still class yourself as a traveller or live that sort of lifestyle?
It’s got nothing to do with money. There are a lot of travellers that are millionaires and rich so you can’t say that. That’s like asking a Turkish bloke who has just won the lottery if he’s not Turkish anymore.
Oh right. Anyway, did you watch Big Fat gypsy weddings? How hard are those lads?
I watched one episode yeah, but to be honest, I thought it was bullshit. I wasn’t interested in it. There’s a lot of different types of travellers though, different classes. I don’t really carry on like others do; I’m just a normal person. Those guys are tough, don’t get me wrong. It’s crazy how ‘ard some of them are.
Thanks Tyson! Finally, do you think you could take on a bear?
Ha-ha! It would probably be a harder fight than Dereck Chisora!
WHAT’S HE REALLY LIKE?
What did he go round in?
He cheated on his scorecard. (The course was a par 74 and it was significantly more than that!)
Number of golf balls lost on this round?
Can he Tee-off wearing boxing gloves?
No. The ball flew into the bushes.
Number of times Tyson’s phone went off during interview?
Once. He asked to pause the interview to answer it.
Favourite TV show?
What’s on his iPod?
Hip-Hip, Dance, Reggae and House. Definitely not Kylie Minogue or Gareth Gates!