Tyson Fury, 27, the son of Irish traveller emigrants who settled in Manchester, England, is the new heavyweight boxing champion of the world. He won a unanimous decision victory in Dusseldorf, Germany, over Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko to take home the WBA, IBF, WBO, IBO and The Ring heavyweight titles.
He defeated a man who had been the undisputed champion for eleven years and the second-longest reigning world heavyweight champion who had defended his title successfully 20 times.
Tyson’s father John Fury, who named his son after Mike Tyson, is a native of Galway and has spoken of his pride at his son's achievement. His mother is from Belfast.Fury was a 5 to 1 outsider in the fight.
John Fury was over the moon with his son’s historic victory. “We've ripped these belts off a super champion. We have changed the world. They never believed the Titanic would sink but it did.”
Tyson, who is known as the “Gypsy King,” stated: “I always said what I'd do and I've delivered tonight. I didn't have this confidence for nothing. I knew I could come here and upset the apple cart.
“I knew all along I could win the fight. Wladimir knew, his full team knew tonight.
“I saw in his eyes tonight he was going to lose the fight and he saw the new, hungry champion in me.”
Tyson Fury stands six-foot-nine and used his height to good effect against his opponent who was at a three inch disadvantage.
Fury thanked his Irish and British fans directly after the fight. After initially being denied the opportunity to fight for Ireland at the Olympic Games, he was permitted to represent both Great Britain and Ireland after tracing his family lineage to relatives in Belfast.
Fury has represented both England and Ireland as an amateur, winning the British championship in 2008 before turning professional later that year. He is currently undefeated at 25-0. He is a two-time former British and English champion, a former European, Commonwealth and Irish heavyweight champion, as well as a former WBO Inter-Continental and current WBO International heavyweight champion.
Fury was born into a family of Irish Traveller heritage. His paternal grandfather was from Tuam, County Galway, which is also the birthplace of his father John Fury. His maternal grandmother is from County Tipperary and his mother was born in Belfast.
His family has a long history in boxing; his father competed in the 1980s as "Gypsy" John Fury, initially as a bare knuckle fighter and unlicensed boxer, and then as a professional boxer. He is a cousin of Irish WBO Middleweight World Champion Andy Lee and heavyweight Hughie Fury.
Hughie's father, Peter Fury, is also Tyson's trainer. He is a supporter of Manchester United.
As an amateur, Fury represented both Ireland and England. Fury represented Ireland three times at international level. He initially fought out of the Holy Family Boxing Club in Belfast, Northern Ireland and later switched to the Smithboro Club in County Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland.
He was forced to withdraw from the Irish national championships after officials from the Holy Trinity Boxing Club in West Belfast, the club of the then Irish amateur heavyweight champion, submitted a protest regarding his eligibility. Fury also unsuccessfully tried to qualify for Ireland for the Olympics when still an amateur and attributed his failure to qualify for the Olympics as his reason for turning professional.
On July 23, 2011 he made his professional debut, Fury faced undefeated heavyweight Dereck Chisora and defeated him via unanimous decision.
On 1 December 2012, Fury fought American world title contender Kevin Johnson (W28-L2-D1). Fury won via unanimous decision. At age 24, Fury had a world ranking of 7 according to Boxrec, a number 2 ranking according to the International Boxing Federation, 6th with the World Boxing Council, and 5th with the World Boxing Organization.
In July 2015, it was confirmed that Fury would take part in a World Heavyweight title showdown with Wladimir Klitschko for WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, IBO and The Ring Heavyweight titles. Although the fight was meant to take place on 24 October 2015, Klitschko sustained a calf injury and therefore the fight was put back to 28 November 2015. The fight took place in Düsseldorf, Germany, with Fury winning after twelve rounds on points.
It is an historic win taking boxing back to an era of John L. Sullivan, Jim “Gentleman” Corbett, and others who dominated the sport for decades towards the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th.