The brainwash is almost complete, I'm hooked on Tyson Fury

Boxingwriter.co.uk David Payne17th July, 2009

You have to concede it has worked. Firstly, the day in June 1988 when former heavyweight battler John Fury decided his son would be called Tyson, a reflection of Fury senior's love of the then unbeaten Heavyweight champion Iron Mike, and secondly the day now 6ft 9inch Tyson Fury became Hennessy Sports' most promising signing. Those two events have led the 7-0 (7ko) heavyweight prospect to become one of the most talked about fighters in the modern game.

As I sit here contemplating on which bill to focus this weekend; the Amir Khan topped pay-per view extravaganza on Sky Box Office or the blue-collar show down at York Hall in which Tyson Fury offers little more than under-card decoration, I have to conclude the possibility of missing Tyson's latest foray in the heavyweight ranks is the one fight I don't want to miss. You see, the endless PR stream has worked. I'm hooked.

Despite the loss of TV backers Setanta and soon ITV, Mick Hennessy remains fiercely determined to promote his fighters through the classic routes of British, Commonwealth, European and world honours (preferably WBC - the oldest belt) and it is testimony to his ability as a manager and promoter that firstly Howard Eastman and latterly Junior Witter, Carl Froch and Darren Barker have stuck by him when other promoters with more stable television contracts were widely tipped to woo his most important fighters. That loyalty means something. Witter, Eastman and most recently Froch were all rewarded with WBC title shots and in Froch's case some hard-earned respect and selection for one of boxing's most important forthcoming series.

Fury meanwhile has been busier than heavyweight contemporaries David Price and Derek Chisora, though the latter's win over Sam Sexton develops new gravitas all the time, and has secured more column inches than any other recently converted Amateur. I can imagine only Amir Khan has tickled the interest mainstream writers as much as Tyson has. His name offering even those estranged from boxing a common denominator reference point. It is worth remembering the phenomenon Mike Tyson was, such is the reverberation and resonance his name still invokes in those that lived through his prime even the mention of the word, Tyson, will compel people to read a line or two of anything written about young Fury. As a similar tangent thought, it is amazing how many fighters use sticky tape or a staple gun to attach themselves to the repute of a bygone great. Only this week I had a press release about the "New" Ray Robinson, before that we had the African Super-Middleweight James Obede Toney - it does help to a point, but usually the newly fabricated version has to prove he can fight.

And though still embryonic the giant 21 year old has demonstrated a thirst for competitive action and some tidy skills for such a big man. He's begun to prove he can fight.

-->