With his long-awaited rematch against Deontay Wilder less than a week away, Tyson Fury is considering when he might exit the sport of boxing.
The 31-year-old former heavyweight champion told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani that it might come earlier than many would expect:
"I've not got an age, but I've got three fights left on my contract with ESPN," Fury, 31, told ESPN's Ariel Helwani on Monday. "And after that, I will seriously think about walking away."
When asked why he is considering walking away during the prime of his career, Fury seemed to indicate that he cared more about reaching the top of the mountain than staying at the top:
"Because I don't need to fight anymore," he said. "What is the point? What am I going to gain from it? When I beat Wilder on Saturday, I'll have completed the game. The game will be completed. I'll have won every single belt there is to win in the game, from minor to major, and I'll have won The Ring magazine belt twice -- becoming only the second man in history to do that, me and Muhammad Ali.
"... Even after this win on Saturday, there's nothing more to do. Nothing more to be gained."
Fury retiring in his early 30s would be a surprise, though his career has hardly followed a conventional arc. After shocking the world by ending Wladimir Klitschko’s reign over the heavyweight division, Fury took a hiatus from boxing that lasted two and a half years while dealing with depression and other personal issues. He would face Wilder soon after his return and draw the WBC champ in a classic fight, and their rematch has loomed ever since.
In the meantime, Fury has made appearances with the WWE and even flirted with facing UFC fighters.
A win for Fury over Wilder would cement him as the undisputed top dog in the heavyweight division between beating Wilder and Anthony Joshua’s stumble against Andy Ruiz Jr. A loss would still leave him as a highly desired fighter, though it would be hard to not think what could have been.
Either way, Fury could have only three fights left in his career after Saturday. After that, don’t expect a typical retirement either:
"I'll be a happy man, contented, and just live a normal life, a simple life," Fury said. "Sometimes you get these fighters who want to live big and extravagant lives, and all the boats and planes and whatever else they want to do with their lives. They want to be prime minister or president or some stuff. I have no interest.
"I want to be left alone. Go to the school and back, have a coffee in the morning, go work out, and that's it. Go to bed, wake up and do exactly the same, every day."
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