British heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury is winning new fans following his appearance on one of the world’s most popular podcasts, the Joe Rogan Experience. Bookies are also taking notice, and have cut their odds of him beating Deontay Wilder in their upcoming fight on December 1st.
The response to the interview has been overwhelmingly positive, with many left impressed by Fury’s honesty and bravery in describing his struggles with mental health problems. In 2015 Fury shocked the boxing world by beating dominant champion Wladimir Klitschko. That success sent him into a tailspin of excess and depression and nearly led to suicide. Just last year it seemed unlikely that fans would ever see Fury fight again, but this new challenge seems to have given him back direction.
American champion Deontay Wilder may have originally been looking for a match-up with Anthony Joshua, but once it became clear that fight would not be happening any time soon, he accepted Fury’s offer. Excitement has built ever since and the fight is now one of the most eagerly anticipated bouts of the year.
Wilder is currently the favourite, reflecting his dominant recent performances and Fury’s long absence from the sport. Most bookies have Wilder at 8/13 and Fury at 13/10.
The issue, as ever with Fury, is which version will show up on December 1st. If it is the same Fury that dealt so well with Klitschko then he stands a very good chance. However, without clear evidence that he has put his troubles behind him, he remains the underdog.
The Joe Rogan interview provided some of that evidence, and Fury’s odds have tightened from 6/4 after viewers received some encouragement that he seemed happy and healthy.
However, not all the news was as reassuring. The self-proclaimed “Gipsy King” also revealed that he was no longer working with the coaching team that had masterminded his improbable victory over Klitschko. Instead Fury has taken on 26 year old Ben Davidson, a trainer with no previous experience of professional boxers.