John Fury, the father of current heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury, has accepted a fight challenge from a British bodybuilder to raise money for the NHS in their battle with coronavirus, and has vowed to “knock your false teeth through the back of your head” after upping the stakes to a “gypsy fight”.
While Fury’s heavyweight title rematch against Deontay Wilder has been postponed until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak, his father John has been challenged to get back into the ring by bodybuilder Mick Theo.
In a video challenge issued on Thursday, Theo said he saw John Fury’s claim that he was the fittest 54-year-old on the planet while calling out UFC president Dana White, and disagreed with his proclamation as he believes he is fitter than the former professional boxer.
Theo said: “My name’s Mick Theo. I came across an article on YouTube regarding John Fury offering out Dana White, then he says he is the fittest 54-year-old man on the planet. I don’t believe that, I’m 56 years of age and I believe I’m fitter than you John.
“I believe I could beat you in a proper boxing match, me and you, and you know what, we can do it for a good cause: coronavirus. The world is suffering, people are dying. I send my love out to the NHS, they’re working around the clock 24 hours for all (those) poor people, people who are dying in this world.
“Maybe me and you can get this fight on and help the charity, help the NHS and help the coronavirus (battle). Come on John, me and you can do it together. God bless you mate.”
The challenge did not take long to draw a fierce response from Fury, who issued his own video to accept the fight and claim it could take place anywhere, any time.
But Fury upped the ante by claiming a boxing ring would not be needed as he was calling for a bare-knuckle gypsy fight, and added that he would not take any time to train as he was already in fighting shape.
“Just replying to a video I’ve just seen there, a bodybuilder who wants to fight me,” Fury said from his living room. “That ain’t no problem mate, don’t know you and I don’t wanna know you.
“But let me tell you something mate, you’re messing with John Fury here and I am the best 50-odd-year-old man in the world and I will stand on what I say mate.
“I’ll either fight you in the ring, and you can forget about that one pal because I’ve fought world class men in my time, but let me tell you this my old mate – I will fight you gypsy style. Don’t you worry about that. I’ve never ever denied a challenge in my life my friend, you’ve mentioned my name, you’ve got to fight now. I’m all over London with the boxing, make yourself known and you can have it there and then in a spur of the moment pal.
“I don’t need training camps, I don’t need time to get fit, I’m 24 hours ready.”
Fury then increased the fighting talk after confirming that his manager will be in contact with him to set up the fight – despite the coronavirus lockdown measures currently in place – and threatened to make the bout “the last thing you ever do”, while also calling for a wager given what was at stake in a bare-knuckle fight.
“I will fight you, get hold of my agent Spencer Brown in Blackpool and he’ll sort it all out and I will fight you anywhere you want in the UK my friend, anywhere you want at all and you’ll wish you never mentioned my name pal,” he added.
“I fear no man let alone you, and pal, I’ve seen you sparring, you’re no good to me mate. Listen, I’ll fight you gypsy style because fighting’s too hard mate to do for free. Let’s fight for a few quid, I know the NHS thing and all that, God bless them they’re doing a good job trying to help everybody that’s dying, but you’re trying to make a name of yourself off somebody’s famous father. It’ll be the last thing you ever do because you know them false teeth, I’m going to knock them straight through the back of your head my friend, don’t you worry about that.
“So you’ve got a fight, don’t you worry about that.Good day to you and God bless you as well.”
Fury fought professionally 13 times between 1987 and 1995, claiming eight wins and a draw, and also fought in a number of bare-knuckle fights that involved large wagers.