It is one of the peculiarities of sport that heroes so often rise and fall, or vice-versa, and heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury fits the bill perfectly. The "Gypsy King" is adamant he is now on "a second life, a second career" as his mighty plunge and climb again has brought redemption in his career and as a man.

After claiming the world titles from Wladimir Klitschko four years ago, Fury's life spiralled out of control, leaving him depressed, fighting mental illness, fuelled by booze and drugs. He was suspended from the sport and spent 30 months in the wilderness, ballooning to an incredible 178kg. He even considered taking his own life.

Now 63.5kg lighter, he is now less prone to putting his size 15 feet in his mouth — which he did with his outspoken opinions on homosexuality, abortion and paedophilia. A life change has come over the 2m fighter.

He fights tomorrow in Las Vegas, against Sweden's unheralded Otto Wallin at the T-Mobile Arena. It will be Fury's last contest before a rematch with World Boxing Council champion Deontay Wilder early next year. They drew last year, when a controversial points decision denied the undefeated 31-year-old Lancastrian the victory he deserved.


"Learning about conquering my mental health has given me a new perspective," Fury told the UK Daily Telegraph. "It's like a second life and a second boxing career. When I beat Klitschko, it was my Everest, but this is all so different now. Everything is changed. My health, my faith, my happiness. There is no anxiety and worry in my life.

"I had the first career and all the hustle and bustle of making it and making a few quid. I had winning the belts. But the return journey has never been about who's getting what, the belts, or who I'm fighting. This second career is about me enjoying myself and fulfilling my destiny.

"I don't have any fear when I fight. I'm just enjoying myself, I know if I train well, there's nothing much more I can do. I know if God is with me, then nobody is against me. If it's my time to lose then I'll welcome it. I can't do much more than eat, train and sleep.

"I do the right things and if I do, I'll win fights. But if I'm not meant to win fights, then I'll lose.

"Every man will lose to the better man some day. The thing is to enjoy your ride while you're on it, and that's what I'm doing.

"But I do have ambitions, I want to fight Wilder twice more, fight Anthony Joshua, too, but I just love my boxing now."

With his wife Paris and five children, Fury says he's binman, bus driver, school drop-off man. He makes a mean packed lunch.

As for Wallin, his opponent tomorrow, Fury said: "You've got to take them all seriously. I never underestimate any of them. They're all men with gloves on who can do as much damage as the next one, especially heavyweights.


"I'm going to enjoy myself and have a good time. I'm in there to win and enjoy myself. I've seen him box, but you never know until you're in there with them. He's an awkward southpaw. He'll take a bit of breaking down, but I'm sure I can do it.

"All prizefighters deserve respect. Any heavyweight can beat any heavyweight, even underdogs. I was a massive underdog against Wladimir Klitschko. I went in there as a challenger and came out as a champion.

"He was my Everest and the Everest was conquered in the first part of my career. It'll never be redone and no one will ever take it away from me.

"There will never be a fight that will be better than it. It was my greatest night as a boxer in my career.

"I'm doing this now for the love of the sport rather than achievements. I've achieved everything there is to achieve. I just want to do this as long as I can."

Tomorrow's ring walk is expected to have a Mexican flavour, to coincide with that country's Independence Day, which is celebrated on Monday. Fury is wily at winning the fans over.

"The plan is to pick up all the Mexican fans," Fury said. "We have special music. I know [President] Trump is trying to block them out with that wall. All human beings are human beings to me. At the end of the day, we're all brothers and sisters."

America has proved the perfect backdrop to Fury's redemption. "It does feel like a home away from home," he said. "Providing I win this fight, I'll be training here again for February 22 [when he expects to face Wilder]."

His Britishness and eccentricity fits the bill.

"I think Vegas is the perfect place for me," he adds. "I drive down The Strip and see the 'Gypsy King' up in lights all over Vegas. It's not a one-off either. I'm actually one of the biggest shows in town, maybe the biggest."

It is said with a mock tone, which helps explain his popularity.

"I'm just a normal person, because I'm just a son, a brother, a husband and a father; someone who has worked hard and got their rewards. That's it really. That's the good thing about me. I'm still the same old person I've always been."