The WBC heavyweight champion has spoken proudly of his Traveller roots, which influenced his early romance with wife Paris, but also enjoyed a privileged upbringing
Some of the great fighters truly are born to be champions – as Tyson Fury knows only too well.
The Gypsy King retained his his WBC heavyweight title on Saturday after seeing off Deontay Wilder with an epic knockout at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Fury twice had to get back to his feet after a fast start from the American, but he weathered the storm and gradually wore Wilder down, who saw the fight immediately waved off when he went down head first in the 11th round.
The 33-year-old is well used to overcoming the odds, having battled to survive even in his earliest days after a dangerous premature birth.
His dad John, a bare knuckle boxer himself, backed his son from the off, proclaiming he’d one day be a heavyweight champion even as doctors warned he “wouldn’t make it”.
Here, we revisit Fury’s childhood days, his surprisingly posh upbringing and how he’s still stayed true to his Traveller roots.
Dad’s prophetic words after birth scare
Standing at 6ft 9in and weighing 19st 11lb, it’s incredible to think that Fury was once so small doctors feared he wouldn’t survive.
Fury’s mother, Amber, had 14 pregnancies but only four of her children survived, and in 1988 he was born three months premature.
Tyson Fury as a baby with his dad John (Image: ITV)
“He was a pound in weight and the doctors said he probably wouldn’t make it,” John Fury told the ITV documentary Tyson Fury: The Gypsy King.
The determined dad, however, told the medics at Wythenshawe Hospital that his son would beat the odds – and made a prophetic declaration about his future.
“I said to all the doctors he won’t be small, he’ll be nearly seven foot tall, 20 stone and the heavyweight champion of the world,” said John.
“I thought there was only one name fit for him; he’d fought hard to be a person living in this world and Mike Tyson was the best heavyweight in the world at the time.”
Fury is related to Bartley Gorman, the self-proclaimed King of the Gypsies who was born in 1944 and who dominated the world of bare-knuckle boxing from 1972 until 1992.
During the 80s and 90s, John also competed as a bare-knuckle fighter at amateur and professional level.
While Fury has often been snapped with his dad at matches, his mum keeps a much lower profile – and has never watched a single one of her son’s fights.
Opening up on her private nature, the boxer said: “I looked on Google the other day and there’s not one picture of my mother on the internet. That’s crazy isn’t it?
“She has never been to one of my boxing fights, amateur or professional and never been in the public eye at all. She’s a private person. That’s her priority, not mine.
“I don’t think it means anything to my mum. She doesn’t care if I’m world champion or not, as long as I’m healthy and happy. That is the only thing that means anything to her.”
Gentle giant went to ‘posh’ primary school
Over the years, Fury has spoken proudly of his Traveller roots, but also opened up about his surprisingly posh childhood.
His family lived in a house John built with his bare hands – situated in the leafy village of Styal, Wilmslow.
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