'Can take footwork, agility, punches from boxing to WWE', says Tyson Fury ahead of Braun Strowman clash at Crown Jewel
Tyson Fury remains unbeaten in the boxing ring and now takes his big-punching skills to the WWE ring where he will face Braun Strowman at the WWE Crown Jewel PPV in Saudi Arabia.
Tyson Fury joins the likes of Evander Holyfield, Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali in taking their boxing skills to the WWE ring
Tyson Fury takes on Braun Strowman at the WWE Crown Jewel on 31 October in Saudi Arabia
Tyson Fury is scheduled to face Deontay Wilder in the boxing ring in February in a rematch
Evander Holyfield, Floyd Mayweather, Mike Tyson and Muhammad Ali. These are some of the biggest names in boxing to have also made an appearance in the WWE ring. The newest name to be added to that list would be Tyson Fury when he takes on Braun Strowman at Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia.
The tussle between Fury and Strowman began earlier in October when the WWE superstar enraged the boxer — who holds a 29-0-1 record — during SmackDown. Ringside security had to step in to separate the two behemoths who weigh a combined 291 kgs. When an apology didn't arrive, another brawl ensued which needed a flurry of wrestlers to break. With no peace between the two, a contract was signed to make their match official, thereby making Fury the newest boxer to step in a WWE ring.
Besides the promotional boost for both WWE and Fury, the boxer admitted there are similarities between boxing and professional wrestling. Yet, he maintained, the two can't be compared. "The training is different, the preparation is different, WWE is much more physical. The flipping about, going through the ropes, the canvases, it is a very, very different sport. I can transfer footwork, agility, punches from boxing to WWE. There are a lot of similarities in boxing and WWE in the entertainment factor. There is also the fitness and athleticism of boxing. But they are totally different games, like snooker and golf. Totally different!" he said during a phone interaction.
"Physically and mentally they're the same because you're preparing for a fight. Physically you have to be in great shape as a WWE fighter and mentally you need to have the attitude to get up and go. It is the same with boxing," he went on to state.
For the Manchester boxer, WWE Crown Jewel presents an opportunity to bring forth a long term love affair with the sport. A "Stone Cold" Steve Austin fan, Fury admits being smitten by the 'Texas Rattlesnake's' "great entertainer" aspect during his days. To make it better, he appreciated the great fights that Steve Austin was part of which made him a legend in the game.
Away from the WWE ring, Fury's next boxing challenge is scheduled to be in the form of WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder. Fury had kept that matchup alive having beaten Otto Wallin in Las Vegas six weeks back despite being cut open on the right eye in Round 2. Despite the massive wound, the 'Gypsy King' fought on till the end of Round 12 to win. He received 48 stitches thereafter and may not be in the perfect condition for the WWE fight — a fact that did enrage his legendary promoter Frank Warren.
However, in order for the much-anticipated rematch against Wilder, the American must first come through Luis Ortiz — whom he beat in 10 rounds last year — on 23 November. Fury might just have to face Anthony Joshua next if he beats Andy Ruiz Jr, also in a clash taking place in Saudi Arabia, and Wilder goes down to Ortiz. "Even if Ortiz wins, I don't think he will have the chance to fight me straightaway. I expect it to be tied to a rematch clause. If Ortiz beats Wilder, then there will be two Ortiz fights. So that will be out of the window completely. So I'll take on the winner of Joshua - Ruiz," he said.
When queried what he thought of Wilder's comments that Fury would use WWE as an excuse to get out of a rematch, the Briton snapped back, "Concentrate on your own business rather than mine."
'AIBA ban could have massive impact'
In June, the IOC officially took over the qualification and competition for next year's Tokyo Olympics from international boxing federation AIBA. Following years of issues surrounding AIBA's finances and governance, the body was suspended. The impact could be felt on the lower levels of boxing with athletes affected. "It could have a massive impact as it is stopping stars of the future from getting a break. It is very important that amateur boxing continues so we can have professional champions of the future," said Fury.
With more and more Indians joining the fray in turning professional, the 31-year-old wished to see the sport get bigger in the country and compete one day. "India is a great boxing country and the sport can get even bigger there. You've got a great boxer in Vijender Singh and hope he goes on to win a world title for India. Hopefully, I can come to India and fight there for sure," he concluded.
WWE Crown Jewel 2019 airs Live on SONY TEN 1, SONY TEN 1 HD, SONY TEN 3, SONY TEN 3 HD (HINDI) on 31 October at 9.30 pm IST.
The 38-year-old, who reached the pre-quarters of Tokyo Olympics before bowing out with a hard-fought loss, is, however, training for the world championships in December.
The 29-year-old Devendro and the 35-year-old Suranjoy, whose stellar boxing careers were cut short by injuries, are among 14 coaches that have been short-listed for the national camp in Patiala, starting this week
A former Asian Championship bronze-medallist and a four-time national champion, the 49-year-old Rana has been a seasoned coach with the Services Sports Control Board.