Advertisement - Content continues below
Health

Tyson Fury: ‘Anyone can be brought to their knees by mental health’

Back with a new book, Fury sat down for a rare interview with The Big Issue where he opened up about mental health, fighting Anthony Joshua and his Christmas plans

Tyson Fury is used to having to fight his corner, both in and outside the boxing ring. After scrapping his way to become undefeated heavyweight champion of the world in 2015, he fell into a well-publicised battle with his mental health that almost derailed his career. 

Now firmly back on top, the boxing titan told Big Issue editor Paul McNamee about the mental health issues he’d grappled with throughout his life and professional career in a rare interview. 

Support The Big Issue and our vendors by signing up for a subscription

“It’s an ongoing battle, if I’m honest. It’s a daily battle of ongoingness. You don’t just overcome it and it goes away. It’s a continuous battle forever. That’s my experience,” Fury said. 

“People say to me, ‘Oh, you did mental health, you got over it’. I didn’t defeat it. I’m just learning how to maintain and manage it better than I did before. 

“Before, I had no experience and didn’t know what to do. Now I’ve had the experience, I can maintain and probably manage it better, because I’ve been through it. I know what I’ve got to do.” 

Advertisement - Content continues below
Advertisement - Content continues below

Last year Fury released Behind The Mask, the acclaimed autobiography that provided an honest telling of his mental health struggles. His new book, The Furious Method, looks at how he overcame these problems to regain the top spot. 

Fury said anybody could experience mental health problems, even if nobody would expect a six-foot-nine, 275-pound heavyweight champion to be “vulnerable or weak”. 

“I wanted to show the world that anyone can be brought down to their knees with mental health, no matter who they are, where they are,” he added. 

“No one is exempt from mental health. Even if you’re a positive person it can bring you right down to your knees as well. I also wanted to show the world that anybody can come back with the right mindset with the right training and the right help.” 

Now, he faces his biggest professional challenge yet, potentially facing fellow Brit Anthony Joshua next year in one of the biggest – and most lucrative – fights in history. 

He told The Big Issue he wasn’t very concerned: “After [Joshua’s] last couple of performances, I think he’s coming to the end of his reign. He was exposed by [Andy] Ruiz. In the rematch, he did what he had to do to get through, but didn’t look impressive. He’s been out of the ring over a year. I do really believe and I’ve always believed I’ll be able to take him out for sure.” 

Fury also set out his mammoth seven-day a week twice a day training regime, and said he wouldn’t even have a break on Christmas day. 

“I’ll do a long road run on Christmas Day. I always like to get Christmas Day running in because I believe that I might be getting an edge on the competition. They might take Christmas off – I won’t.” 

However, despite his busy schedule, he has still found time to launch the Tyson Fury Foundation to help those experiencing homelessness. He said it would be ready to support the vulnerable once Covid-19 allowed. 

“As soon as it’s up and running it’s going to be available to lots of different charities. It’s going to be a good thing for the community and a good thing for people who are suffering from mental problems or who are homeless,” he added. 

“I had help when I was down. I wouldn’t be back here without the right support from many people.” 

Fury ended with a message of support for Big Issue vendors, many of whom have been off the streets and unable to sell for months. 

“Stay positive,” he said. “Things will always work out, stay positive and stay focused on the short-term goal. That always helps me.” 

Read more from Fury, including how he will be spending Christmas, if he has any regrets and on being invited for lunch by both Donald Trump and the Pope in this week’s Big Issue, available through our online shop and from your local vendor now

The Furious Method: Transform Your Mind, Body and Goals by Tyson Fury is out now (Cornerstone, £20).

Advertisement - Content continues below

Support The Big Issue and our vendors this Christmas

Every time you buy a copy of The Big Issue, subscribe or donate, you are helping our vendors to work their way out of poverty by providing 'a hand up not a hand out.' You’re helping Big Issue vendors achieve their #BigWish

Recommended for you

Read All
'If I stopped using speed it would be a massive step back': Life with undiagnosed adult ADHD
ADHD

'If I stopped using speed it would be a massive step back': Life with undiagnosed adult ADHD

How to get a free flu jab and Covid vaccine booster as the winter sets in
Health

How to get a free flu jab and Covid vaccine booster as the winter sets in

Watch this powerful video made for World Suicide Prevention Day
Health

Watch this powerful video made for World Suicide Prevention Day

Be like Simone Biles: Olympian could help more to prioritise mental health
Health

Be like Simone Biles: Olympian could help more to prioritise mental health

Most Popular

Read All
Video showing Boris Johnson repeatedly 'lying' to parliament hits 40 million views
1.

Video showing Boris Johnson repeatedly 'lying' to parliament hits 40 million views

Legacy benefits freeze left disabled people living on ‘historically’ low payments, court hears
2.

Legacy benefits freeze left disabled people living on ‘historically’ low payments, court hears

'Noel Gallagher was mega hungover and Will.i.am kept walking off' - The stories behind Big Issue photoshoots
3.

'Noel Gallagher was mega hungover and Will.i.am kept walking off' - The stories behind Big Issue photoshoots

Plans to remove British citizenship without notice 'would repeat Windrush mistakes'
4.

Plans to remove British citizenship without notice 'would repeat Windrush mistakes'