Tyson Fury feared drinks may have been spiked
New world heavyweight champion reveals drugs test concerns after problems over gloves and ring canvas
New heavyweight champions Tyson Fury revealed on Monday that he had refused to take water in his dressing-room after outpointing Wladimir Klitschko on Saturday night because he was afraid that his drink might have been spiked with drugs.
The unbeaten British fighter pulled off one of the most sensational upsets in the history of boxing's heavyweight division when he dethroned champion Wladimir Klitschko and took the WBA, WBO and IBF belts at the ESPRIT Arena in Dusseldorf, Germany. The Ukrainian, 39, had held the division with an iron grip for 9½ years.
At a news conference at Bolton Wanderers' Macron Stadium on Monday, Fury accused Klitschko’s team of a dirty tricks campaign aimed at unsettling him at every turn last week, and had been concerned that his post-fight drugs test could be sabotaged.
“After the fight, I had it from good sources not to touch anything in the changing room because they might try to drug me,” he said. “People were trying to pass me all sorts of things but unless it came from my own baggage, I wasn’t having it. There was no chance of me getting drugged."
By dint of his giantkilling act, Fury was back in the thick of it, in demand as his PR team dealt with requests to appear on prime-time chat shows in the UK, Ireland and the United States, yet still embroiled in controversy as critics and activists attacked his views on social issues and sexuality.
His success has made him a household name overnight. And Fury will now be under the spotlight at every turn.
"It's not going to change me. There'll be no change in the champ," explained Fury, who is of Traveller heritage. Commenting on being under fire after his incendiary remarks, he offered this: "If people don't like it, change the channel. I won't be dictated to by anyone. Do I care? Not really."
Asked if he thought he was a role model to kids, Fury replied: "I'm not bothered, it's up to them."
Fury has been included in the shortlist of 12 for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015. The fighter, who could never be accused off being short on 'personality', is 4/1 with the bookmakers to win.
Most revealing, though, were more details from fight week in Germany. "They [the Klitschko team] tried it with the gloves, and gave me the wrong gloves in the end. They weren't the same gloves I agreed," revealed Fury.
"Then they put six inches of memory foam all over the ring and there was a big argument, the fight was nearly off. Then he had his bandages and wraps on before we came into the changing room. So he had to take them off."
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The Telegraph has disclosed that at the weigh-in on Friday, Fury had been mystified that the scales provided by the organisers has him at 112kgs (17st 8lbs). Earlier that morning, Fury had weighed 18st 1lb on his own scales. That weight was confirmed when he returned to his hotel at his suite in Dusseldorf.
Fury completed the urine test post-fight, for the BDB, the German Boxing Board, without taking on any fluid in his dressing-room. "I went home dehydrated before I even touched anything. I was so frightened of being drug tested and failing the drugs test. I didn't want to take drinks or food from anyone," he added
"You can never be too careful,” said the 27-year-old, unbeaten in 25 contests, adding he would make no decisions on his future until his “feet touched the ground” again after his win.
At the news conference, Fury asked to be judged, and challenged, as a boxer. But the larger than life character has crossed over from boxing into the mainstream. "I'm not surprised, I'm not overwhelmed [by becoming champion]," he added. "Anyone who wants to discredit my performance is just from pure jealousy."
A rematch clause in the fight contract could force Fury and Klitschko to meet again and Peter Fury, the fighter's trainer and uncle, suggested Wembley Stadium as the venue in May next year. The decision will be made early in 2016.
Several rival heavyweights were quick to challenge Fury after his victory, including former WBA champion David Haye, current WBC champion Deontay Wilder, and Olympic Games gold medallist Anthony Joshua, who is undefeated in 14 fights, all won by knockout.
The new champion balked at Haye's comment that his style "would give Fury nightmares" by countering that he would fight his unbeaten cousin Hughie Fury for the titles before Haye. "I would rather make a voluntary defence of all those titles against Hughie than Haye. That's saying something, isn't it? Because Hughie is my first cousin. But I'd rather give Hughie a shot. How's that? Hughie would give me a much better fight than Haye, because at least he'd throw some punches back."
John Fury, the boxer's father and a former professional heavyweight and bareknuckle fighter, stood up and also made his voice heard at the news conference, insisting that his son's achievements should be recognised and that he was "the proudest father in the world". Fury snr said in a passionate monologue that his son had proved all the doubters wrong.