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This week saw Love Island star Tommy Fury exchange verbal blows with YouTube sensation Jake Paul ahead of their upcoming prize fight.
Also on stage at the bizarre press conference was Tyson Fury, Tommy’s brother and the heavyweight champion of the world.
But sat between them was their father, the enigma that is John Fury.
He sparked a social media frenzy with some controversial comments – some of which made his son Tommy visibly cringe.
So who exactly is John Fury and what did his life look like before now?
John was born in Galway, Ireland, to parents he adored.
He says “no woman in the world” will ever compare to his mother who took care of the family.
His father meanwhile was a quiet man who hated confrontation.
But John’s own life has been full of trouble, ever since he was a kid.
The 57-year-old traveller recently spoke on the True Geordie podcast about how he spent his youth fighting others.
He said: “It was a case where everyone was your enemy. There was an opponent on every street corner. When I was younger I couldn’t walk down the road without bumping into somebody that didn’t want to fight me.
“I was fighting in the early 80s in the football terraces with football hooligans. We fought every Friday and Saturday night.
“I looked forward to it. If I didn’t have a punch up on a night out I’d of had a bad night. I never won them all, I got kicked to pieces half the time but I just loved it.”
John eventually laced up his gloves professionally – but described being “abused” by the sport of boxing for eight years.
He had 13 professional fights but said he never even made £3,000 in total.
And the ex-bare knuckle bruiser described how he was supposed to be a journeyman who was paid to lose – but he came to win every time.
He had eight wins and four losses but there was a five year gap between his penultimate and last fight.
And that’s when John, then in his late 20s, turned to partying.
He explained to True Geordie what a typical John Fury booze-up looked like at that time – and wild orgies were often on the cards.
John said: “Three or four brasses every night, three or four bottles of whiskey. If there was any drugs going I would have them and all. Anything goes.
“I woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, three brasses in the bed and I thought you know what, let’s go home to the kids I've had enough.
“That’s what I did, I would go home, the missus would batter me with a rolling pin for about 10 minutes and I would get get on with it, I deserve it, back to work Monday morning.
“But then I used to go walkabouts again and that was John Fury. But I would always loved and cherished my kids.”
And he added: “I would look up and say ‘I’m going for a newspaper’ and I would come back three weeks later. You’d find me on the Costa Del Sol.”
Because of his lifestyle, John ended up single and he remains so to this day.
However, he said: “I wasn’t really interested in wives. They come and go but your kids stay with you for the rest of your life.”
Despite his party lifestyle, John insisted he always made sure his sons were supported.
But his life took a dark turn in 2011 after he gouged a man’s eye out during a fight at a car auction over a long-disputed grudge.
He was sentenced for wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and released in 2015 – but was unable to travel to America to see Tyson box because of his conviction.
Describing his time inside, he told the True Geordie pod: “I did my gym, enrolled on courses and I made use of my time.
“I wasn’t going to waste it on feeling sorry for myself, I thought I’m in here now I’m going to get in shape, educate myself and put my best foot forward.
“I had a desire to come out better. I came out sensible and wiser due to listening to experienced professional people. I learned how to integrate with people.”
Fury also described how alcohol led him to prison and he said he no longer drinks and rarely leaves his home.
Being a father
John had three boys, Tommy, Tyson and Shane.
He named Tyson after his own favourite fighter, Mike Tyson, but he didn’t ever think his son would be a boxer.
John described how Tyson was bullied in school and only wanted to play with his toys and get a McDonalds.
And as for Tommy, he thought he was going to be a rugby player before he focused more on boxing as a teenager.
Speaking about his kids, John said: “I don’t have anything else in my life. I’m not interested in money.
“I’m interested in my sons and what they are doing. People say to me I live like I don’t have £5 but I’m rich in other things. My son is the best heavyweight fighter on the planet.
“All my sons are doing well and they love each other and have one another’s backs and that makes me a trillionaire. Money can’t buy that.”
Looking after Tyson
Tyson Fury endured a brutal battle with mental health struggles after capturing the heavyweight championship from Wladimir Klitschko back in 2015.
And during that worrying time, one man who was in his corner was his dad.
John, who moved in with him, recalled: “It was a horror story. I was frightened to let him out of my sight. If he went to the shop or went to the toilet alone I was thinking he would kill himself.
“It drove me mad and I almost cracked up myself and thought ‘no don’t do that’ you have to be the rock here.
“You’ve got to be the father you always thought you were and get him through this. I was on 24-hour watch with him for two years.”
The father and son are now mental health advocates and John said it brings a tear to his eye whenever he hears that his son has helped another person get by.
Despite Tyson reportedly being worth £120 million, John lives alone in a caravan in the countryside.
He lives off the land and cooks his food in an open fire but sometimes appears as a boxing analyst on TV.
John – who describes himself as being off the grid – runs every day to keep fit and even works out on the heavy bag back home.
And despite his simple lifestyle, he said the redemption of his son Tyson has made him the happiest man in the world.
He said: “I am ecstatic. I’m on cloud nine. I’ve never felt as good in my life. I feel positive about everything. I was a little bit worried about my son’s health because I don’t like him taking too many shots around the brain area like he did.”
Once again, he will have to stay in the UK when his son Tommy fights Jake Paul on December 18 at the Amalie Arena in Florida.
- Tyson Fury
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