Tyson Fury has admitted his heart is no longer in boxing, but feels he has no choice but to keep fighting for the sake of his mental health.
The 34-year-old announced his retirement from the sport following his win over Dillian Whyte at Wembley earlier this year, insisting he would not return to the ring despite many casting doubt as to whether he would stay away.
That decision was indeed reversed, as first an undisputed bout with Oleksandr Usyk was discussed and then very public negotiations for a huge all-British clash against Anthony Joshua took place, though both fell through to leave Fury fighting Derek Chisora for a third time on December 3.
It’s believed that will then set the stage for a fight against Usyk in 2023, assuming Fury once again gets the btter of Chisora, but the ‘Gypsy King’ has now opened up on the motivation behind his retirement U-turn, admitting he is back because he feel he is “nothing” without the sport.
“I’m boxing today for no reasons, no gains, no goals,” Fury told BT Sport.
“It’s like I’m treading water, until I meet someone who’s very hungry and is doing it because they need to put food in their kids’ stomach and pay their bills, then that day is going to be a say day for me.
“My heart is not in boxing, but I have nothing else. Without boxing I am nothing. Even though I’m a multi-millionaire and a family man... my passion and love affair has been with boxing since I was a child and I can’t let it go.
“I’m a very, very, very selfish person, because I should have walked away in April when I said I was going to walk away. I’m back for more punishment, an idiot really, but what can we do?”
After beating Wladimir Klitschko in Germany in 2015, Fury then spent three years out of the ring. His weight rose to 27 stone and the British heavyweight has admitted he used cocaine and alchohol during that period in an attempt to help himself cope with the mental struggles.
Reflecting on his brief retirement earlier this year, Fury felt he was slipping back into that situation with his mental health again.
“For the four months I was retired, I’ve never felt so back to 2016, 2015, 2017, ever before,” Fury said.
“I was back in that moment in time when life was very dull and dark. There was no way out for me again.
“I don’t think people really realise the factors why I’m back boxing. I ain’t back boxing for a belt, or for some more money, or to win another five fights, or to unify the division or whatever.
“I’m back boxing because of [my head]. Without [boxing], it’s going downhill rapidly. I don’t know any other way of keeping it sane. I do not know how to quit.”
He added: “I’m going to be like Roberto Duran, fighting at 59-years-old. I don’t know anything else... now I know why all the greats get hurt. They’ll never let it go.”