John now lives in a van and is proud of his son.
On April 23, undefeated heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury will fight dangerous knockout fighter Dillian Whyte. There was a battle of looks the other day in which the boxing teams nearly fought. The most active was 57-year-old John Fury – Tyson’s father – who provoked White’s team.
Fury’s father is a scandalous personality: he was a fist fighter, fought dozens of fights and competed in professional boxing. But John had no success in sport, as he was too fond of partying, drinking and prostitutes. And in 2011, he went to prison for four years for gouging out a man’s eye.
The flamboyant Fury senior accompanies his son everywhere, and fans are amazed at how much they look alike. John adores Tyson and considers him the pride of all Gypsies (the nomadic people of Irish descent). But unlike his millionaire son, he leads an ascetic life – he doesn’t have a wife, sleeps in a van and prefers the lavish lifestyle to the solitude of the countryside.
Fury’s father was a fighter in his youth. He fought football fans, tried to become a boxer and had orgies with prostitutes
John Furey was born into a family of Irish nomads. From a young age he loved fighting: there were many fighters in Fury’s family, and John felt drawn to the ring.
“I felt like everyone around me was the enemy. There was an enemy on every corner. When I was young, I couldn’t walk down the street without getting into a fight. And in the early 80s I used to fight football hooligans. We did it every Friday and Saturday,” John recalled.
Many Gypsies fought illegal fist fights and only a few managed to become professional boxers. But Fury tried: his boxing career stretched over eight years, but it was not a success. John retired from the sport with a record of 8-4-1, and in his last two fights he flew into knockouts.
After retiring from boxing, John did not give up fighting and started bare-knuckle fighting, continuing the tradition of his ancestors. According to John, it was in fist fights that he earned the biggest fee of his career – £100,000 per fight (in all his years in boxing he earned less).
“In 1992 I fought some champion, an Irishman whose name I can no longer remember. With the stakes and everything else, I won over a hundred thousand. The fights I was in were usually over within seconds. I wasn’t a knockout fighter, but from the start I would lunge at my opponent and punch until he passed out.
I just wanted to kill. I beat my opponents with my fists, elbows, head, feet. Until they fell down and gave up. If they didn’t, I smashed all over their face. After that, we’d walk up, shake hands and move on to the next opponent. When I was in my twenties, I was a very formidable force,” said Fury Sr.
As a young man John led a wild life: he fought a lot, drank a lot and loved to party. Since his youth, he loved hard liquor, cards and women. Often Fury’s parties ended in orgies, and John had several women in bed at once:
“Three or four prostitutes for the evening, three or four bottles of whiskey. If I got drugs, I took them. But one morning I woke up, looked in the mirror and saw three women in bed. I thought, “You know what? Let’s go home to the kids, you’re done.”
That’s the way I lived: I’d go home, my wife would pound me with a rolling pin for about 10 minutes, and I’d go back to work on Monday morning. But then I’d go out again. That was the whole John Fury thing. I’d say I was going to get a paper and disappear for three weeks. But I always loved and nurtured my kids.
Because of this lifestyle in adulthood, John has remained a bachelor. But he admits that he is not very upset, because he has five children from different women: “I was not really interested in wives. They come and go. But your children stay with you for life.”
John Furey lives in a van – like his nomadic ancestors. In 2010 he blinded a man and served time in jail, but came out for his son’s fight against Klitschko
In August 1988, John Fury had a son. He was born three months prematurely and was very young. Doctors hardly gave the boy a chance, but John believed in him. He said the son would be over six feet tall and weigh 130 kilograms. Also that he would be the next heavyweight champion of the world.
John was a Mike Tyson fan at the time and named his son after him, “I told the doctors that he would survive and not be small. Then I thought, ‘There’s only one name that’s right for him. After all, he’s fighting so hard to come into the world. And I said: “Tyson Luke Fury – that’s his name.”
Tyson survived, and as he got older, he became a real bogeyman. John trained his son in boxing, becoming his first trainer. And then – accompanied him his whole career. Not counting the period in early 2010s, when Fury Sr.
He was sentenced to 11 years in 2011 for seriously injuring a 44-year-old man. They had an altercation at a car auction, where in a fight Fury gouged out his eye. However, the conflict had a history: in 1999, the men had an argument in Cyprus – believed to be over a bottle of beer. Years later, John not only beat his attacker, but also almost lost his sight.
At the trial, Fury repented of the crime: ‘If I could give that man my eye – I would, for the sake of being with my children. I’m very worried about my son. His career depends on me.”
But John didn’t have to serve the whole sentence: thanks to his good behaviour, he was released after four years. It happened in February 2015 – on the eve of Fury’s triumphant fight against Wladimir Klitschko. At the time, John said he would support his son and help him win:
“I saw him losing his temper, doing weird things, swearing – that’s how he feels now. He thought it didn’t mean anything because his father wasn’t around. But I was with him all my life and never left him – until I went to prison. I think that had a big effect on him. But now I’m back, and he will change. He is my son, and I see things that others don’t. From this day forward, you will see a different Tyson Fury.”
Fury defeated Klitschko and since then John has accompanied his son everywhere, amazed at how much he and his son look alike. The men have a lot in common in appearance (especially young John and Tyson), almost identical timbre of voice and manner of speaking. Also – temperament and famous humour, which Tyson uses in his thrashing.
John now lives in the small English town of Morecam – with a population of less than 50,000. “I live near an airfield, I love looking at aeroplanes. When I look at them, I imagine flying anywhere in the world – except America,” says Fury senior.
John is not looking for the luxurious life and lives in a caravan – like his nomadic ancestors. The man says he has aged a lot since prison and is now looking for peace. He doesn’t want his son’s millions, and the outdoor life and Tyson’s successes bring him happiness.
John admits that he is going through the best period of his life and enjoys being alone:
“No one in this world needs the stress. And that’s what the daily struggle for a piece of it generates. It’s better to have nothing but no stress. And I don’t have anything. Am I looking for something? No. Do I have any lofty ambitions? No. Because they’re worthless. When we stand before the Creator, none of us will have pockets. We will all be there on an equal footing and Jesus will judge us. And then he will tell everyone where to go. And if I go to the worst of places, I will be happy.
If I wanted a nice house, nice cars, I couldn’t live the way I do now. I’d have to roll out to work every morning, stand for two hours in traffic and do the same thing strictly and inexorably every day. And I can’t do that. So for me it’s better not to have any of that, but to be free. I would never give up the life I have now. Whatever the world has to offer me. I’ve already seen it all.