Footnotes: ‘Behind the Mask’ by Tyson Fury

Following Tyson Fury's remarkable victory over Deontay Wilder to become World Heavyweight Champion last weekend, we pick up the self-proclaimed 'Gypsy King's' unflinching autobiography.


What's the story?

Last Saturday, British boxer Tyson Fury defeated American Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas in stunning fashion to become World Heavyweight Champion for the second time in his career. It was a historic win that British super-promoter Eddie Hearn said has ‘become the biggest fight in the history of the sport’. Donald Trump invited him to the White House. The Pope invited him to the Vatican. Given his story of beating depression, addiction and obesity, it has been praised as one of the greatest comebacks ever.

What's the book?

Few stories in any sport are as remarkable as that of Tyson Fury. A Manchester lad from the Irish Traveller community, he weighed just one pound when he was born three months early. His father is said to have looked at his baby battling for life and declared that not only would he name him after Mike Tyson, but that he would one day become a boxing world champion.

It was as if he had a crystal ball. In 2015, the 6’9” self-proclaimed ‘Gypsy King’ stunned the boxing world by emerging from obscurity to defeat Wladimir Klitschko, the Ukrainian who dominated the heavyweight division for a decade. He then stunned it again when he failed a drugs test and was handed a two-year ban. What followed was a punishing battle with mental health issues, and the darkest moment of his life in which he came to within seconds of ending everything. His subsequent return to the ring has been, quite simply, miraculous. 

Behind the Mask is his unflinching account of how he overcame his battles with obesity, anxiety, drink and drug abuse, depression and despair to become one of the most exciting fighters of boxing’s modern age.


‘My name is Tyson Luke Fury and, like everyone else in the world, I’m a flawed character,’ he writes. ‘I suffer from mental health issues, I have obsessive compulsive disorder. I also happen to be the number one heavyweight boxer in the world.’

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