The Gypsy King’s crowning glory was never in doubt.
And if this was the final curtain falling on an astonishing career, then Fury brought it down with some aplomb. On St George’s Day, Fury turned himself into the patron saint of British boxing with a one-man destruction of Dillian Whyte. Almost 100,000 had packed into Wembley to witness Fury’s homecoming scrap – his first in the UK since 2018.
The stars had come out to see if Whyte could upset the odds and become the first man to beat Fury. But most of the great and good of sport, film and television had really come to see what might have been the last ring dance of a champion who had hauled himself from the gutter to conquer his sport – and somehow make himself a national treasure.
There was never a real chance of Whyte striking it rich. Fury picked him off from the start, turning his rival into a sitting duck more than a ‘Body Snatcher’. The painful end for Whyte came in the sixth round, when a savage upper cut from Fury turned his legs to jelly and put the underdog out of his misery.
Showman Fury lapped up the adulation in his own, unique style. He doesn’t do modesty or humility. He probably doesn’t even know what the words mean. It’s almost like his controversial past has been airbrushed from history.
This is the man who once picked a fight with the world with his bigoted views on homosexuality, religion and women, not to mention be forced to vacate his WBA, WBO and IBF titles in 2016 for doping violations.
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Yet here he was having that same world eating out of the palm of his hand, belting out a rendition of ‘American Pie’ to his adoring public, having cemented his status as a sporting icon. One of the greatest achievers his trade has known. You have to admire his success, if not the man himself.
The question now is, will he really turn his back on the game that has saved the life of someone whose issues have taken him to some dark places? He remains undefeated, has amassed a fortune of almost £100m and held every belt, having schooled the great Wladimir Klitschko and outboxed so-called assassin Deontay Wilder in a trilogy for the ages.
There is nothing left for him to prove or achieve, other than lining his pockets with more cash. His legacy is sealed. But if his comments this week are anything to go by, he might just miss boxing more than it will miss him.
“‘I can’t imagine life without boxing,” he said, “boxing is everything to me. There is nothing else.” Fury should now be able to ride off into the sunset to live a long and happy life. But for someone like him, his greatest challenge might still be to come.