Irish Daily Mirror


Fury focused on Wilder ..but believes toughest test is out of the ring

- BY DAVID ANDERSON @Mirrorande­rson

BOXING is a “fantasy world” compared to the reality of family life, according to Tyson Fury.

And that contrast was brought into sharp focus for the British fight star when his daughter Athena had to spend 11 days in intensive care in Liverpool’s Alder Hey hospital following her birth in August.

Athena (below, right) was on a ventilator, and for those 11 days Fury’s world heavyweigh­t title, fame and fortune meant nothing.

Thankfully Athena is thriving at home with his wife Paris (above) and their other five kids and Fury can focus on his trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder at the T-mobile Arena in Las Vegas, in the early hours of Sunday morning, UK time.

But whatever happens against Wilder, Fury knows his family will always be the most important thing in his life. “It’s been a stressful time, babies and complicati­ons,” said the unbeaten WBC heavyweigh­t champion. “I was very stressed for a while, but then I was able to get back to training and focus on the fight.

“Boxing is my sport, it’s my way of earning my living and it’s a way out of reality for me.

“It’s almost like a fantasy world, it always has been.

“The real world is your family and providing for them and looking after them and hoping everything goes well with it.

“I’ve never ever taken anything for granted as a boxer.

“I have always really appreciate­d my position, I’ve always really appreciate­d who I am and appreciate­d everything about the game.

“I’ve never taken it for granted, I’ve always enjoyed it. Your life can be turned upside down with one flick of a switch. That’s why I live for now and not the future.”

Fury, 33, has battled mental health demons in the past but believes he could not be in a better place than where he is now.

And he predicts that will be bad news for Wilder. “I live for today,” said the Gypsy King. “I have everything to live for and I am very happy in my life.

“A happy man is a dangerous man and I feel sorry for Deontay Wilder. I wish the fight was tomorrow,

I wish I didn’t have to wait to give him a good hiding, but unfortunat­ely I do.”

Although Fury’s preparatio­ns were hit by Athena’s problems at birth, he is confident he has Wilder’s number again after stopping him in their previous fight. “I’ve been in this game a long, long time, since I was a little kid,” he added.

“What I don’t know about boxing ain’t worth knowing. In this fight especially, I have got to do one thing. I don’t need to be the fittest man or fastest runner or the biggest puncher or anything, I just need to be myself.

“Relax in there and enjoy it. I’m in very good shape and everything is going well.” ■■BT Sport Box Office will show Fury v Wilder: The Trilogy exclusivel­y live in the UK in the early hours of Sunday morning. More info at­fice

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