When Tyson Fury pulled himself off the canvas in the 12th and final round of his WBC Heavyweight Title fight on Saturday night, it was about more than boxing – it was a bonified testament to the power of the human mind.
With only 2 low level warm up fights, following an almost 3 year absence from the ring – which was filled with self abuse and mental anguish – Tyson Fury defied the bookmakers odds and comprehensibly out-boxed the ferociously heavy handed champion Deontay Wilder.
That one judge didn’t see it that way was criminal, but to let that ignorance take away from Tyson’s achievement would be to afford that minority view, a credibility that isn’t warranted.
So the official record will say ‘D’ – but so what, everyone in the world knows it was a ‘W’ and in the landscape of Tyson’s life it was so much more than that.
Even when Muhammad Ali, the widely recognized ‘Greatest of All Time’, returned from his 3 year hiatus – it took him 2 bouts against top ten opposition, in Jerry Quarry and Oscar Bonavena, before he stepped up to face the champion, Smokin Joe Frazier.
Throughout his lay off, Ali had trained and remained physically fit, in stark contrast to Fury, who ballooned to 28 stone, amid an alcohol and drug fueled existence, brought on by the inner torture of his rapidly deteriorating mental health.
Yet Fury returned to the championship fray, with only 2 outings behind him, against opposition hardly recognizable outside of their own household.
Listen to his refreshingly honest pre-fight interviews and consider how far he has traveled from the depths of depression and on occasion suicidal thoughts?
Wow – How can this not be one the greatest sporting comebacks of all time, regardless of the official result?
This side of the Atlantic, in Liverpool on Friday night VIP staged a local derby between 2 prospects prepared to lay it on the line. Thomas McGuinness and Colin Day clashed in a battle of the Mersey, with Day triumphant as he stopped his foe in the 7th of a scheduled 8.
The stoppage may have been a little premature, but comprehensibly behind on the scorecards and McGuinness not offering much in terms of offensive, the referee intervened to give Day a much-deserved victory.
It was the first time McGuinness had tasted defeat, unlike his rival who had regrouped from his first loss 12 months ago. I’m sure McGuinness will show similar drive and determination and return from the defeat as a stronger fighter.
After all, that what it’s all about – mental strength. Overcoming the odds and battling adversity. That’s when we find out more about the character of a fighter.
There could be no better example for any aspiring champion than Tyson Fury.
Out of the ring for nearly 3 years, 10 stone overweight and just a little thought of reclaiming what was once his.
Think it…Achieve it…anything is possible with the strength of the human mind.