Tyson Fury’s father has revealed how the former world champion’s mental health issues started as early as 10 years old when he started to develop sudden mood swings, and believes a history of illness within the family is the cause of the troubles that he has experienced in his career.
The 31-year-old returns to the ring next weekend to face current WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in a rematch of their December 2018 draw, though in the lead up to the Las Vegas bout Fury has spoken of how he still struggles with his mental health.
The Manchester-born boxer revealed this week that he feel “absolutely suicidal” on Sundays due to his weekly routine designating it a rest day, and also believes that he would be “dead within a year” if he quits boxing and leaves the gym.
A documentary titled Tyson Fury: The Gypsy King is due to air the first of three episodes on ITV on Thursday night detailing his preparations for the Wilder rematch by delving into his personal life as well as his relationships with those close to him. One of those is his father, John Fury, who appeared on Good Morning Britain on Thursday morning where he answered questions about his son’s struggles.
Fury rose to global fame in November 2018 when he defeated Wladimir Klitschko to win the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles, but what followed was a downward spiral into alcohol and drug addiction and a swift weight gain, all of which contributed towards him suffering from depression.
He returned to action more than two-and-a-half years later to resurrect his career, putting himself firmly in the world title frame as he claimed a draw against Wilder in their 2018 showdown where a late 12-round knockdown cost him certain victory and the chance to reclaim his world champion status.
Addressing that slump between 2015 and 2018, John Fury said: “I noticed when he was 10, 11, 12 he would be happy one minute then he would be sad. He had big mood swings.
“I've lived with it all my life, but I always find something to occupy my mind. My dad had big problems with his mental health, he was medicated all his life.”
John Fury started his own professional boxing career shortly before Tyson was born in 1988, fighting 13 times across eight years, but he noted how Tyson took a number of years to take interest in the sport even though he was surrounded by it.
“In the early years he was a poorly child who didn't show much interest in boxing,” he said.
“I used to get my gloves on and mess around with the children but he was overweight, plump, shy, he was an inward kind of baby.
“But when he got to eight, nine or 10 I realised he wanted to do it passionately.”