Tommy Fury is still only 20. His brother is Tyson Fury; he is a survivor of Love Island’s wild demands, and he faces a wealth of pressure to become a fully-fledged fighting Fury.
Fury (2-0, 1 KO) fights for the third time as a professional boxer on Saturday at the Copper Box in London’s Olympic Park and his Love Island partner, Molly-Mae Hague, will be ringside to watch him fight for the first time. Hague will take up residency in the thick of the Fury fighting clan — a big band of brothers, cousins, uncles and other distant but close relations from the travelling community. Young Tommy is a light-heavyweight, small for a boxing Fury.
“Let me tell you that being a Fury in the boxing business is a great responsibility,” said Fury. “I have to make the name proud.” Tommy is unbeaten in two fights, having last fought in March, and will provide the glamour at the Copper Box in east London on Saturday when Daniel Dubois continues his fast rise up the heavyweight rankings.
Earlier this year, Fury had the chance to be part of the latest edition of Love Island, a chance to take a break from his new life in the gym with Ricky Hatton, his trainer, and a chance to get his torso out. The British reality TV dating show is set in Spain where contestants must be couple up with another to avoid being voted off the show, first by their fellow contestants, and later by the general public. The winning couple wins a cash prize of £50,000 ($65,000).
Fury met Molly-Mae, the British public loved the pair and they finished as runners-up, watched by millions, adored for the simplicity of their on-screen love affair. They remain a couple, not just a cute paring for summer consumption by a devoted audience. They act like they are actually in love.
“The Island was the Island,” said Fury. “I still have commitments, but this is what I want to do, this is all I have ever wanted to do — I’m a fighting man.” In September, Fury had been in Las Vegas for his big brother’s latest fight and had told me he thought he would have to miss a year of fighting because of his Love Island demands. It seems the demands eased, the call to fight increased and Fury was ready.
“I just had to get back in the ring,” added Fury. “I’m not here as a body-builder, or a model or just as the guy from Love Island – I’m in the boxing business to win titles. It is what I have been preparing for long before I turned professional.”
Fury fought just 12 times as an amateur, there was a brief cameo or two in front of the camera as a model and there was also the crucial years on the road as part of the Fury caravan at fights. He was a close witness to big fights in his big brother’s life, in the gym, in hotels, living the full boxing lifestyle. Tommy was in the ring celebrating when Fury beat Wladimir Klitschko to win the world heavyweight title in Dusseldorf in 2015.
“Tyson has helped me, taught me so much,” continued Fury, who has been sharing a ring with Tyson recently during some heavy body-sparring sessions. “He has always talked about dedication and warned me not to get carried away. I’m only in this position now because of him.”
It can often be a long and difficult boxing road for fighters like Fury, men that turn professional very young — he was 19 in his first fight — and after such a short amateur career, Fury will have to learn on the job. In boxing, that can be hazardous. It also means that there will not be any meaningful or difficult fights for a long time — that is just the way the business works. Tommy Fury will be under heavy scrutiny, make no mistake. “I can deal with the pressure,” he said.
However, Fury, it seems, has a couple of natural rivals, men from an alternative circuit, not traditional boxers. Two YouTube sensations Logan Paul and KSI fought in Los Angeles last month; it was a sensational at the box office, and now KSI, the winner of that fun fight, has been linked with Fury. It’s called a War of Words and in modern boxing, it is somehow crucial.
“He is not a real boxer,” warned Fury. “He is getting rich from a sport and he has no respect for the sport.” There was a response, a dismissive response from KSI: “I’m on a different level — he needs me, more than I need him.” That might be true in terms of profile, but Fury, with his pedigree as an amateur and years in gyms, would easily win. The men in the lucrative KSI business are not fools and he will be protected from a proper boxer.
There is another fight on the distant horizon, a possibility for sure, and it features the 2018 Love Island winner, Jack Fincham, who fought 26 times as an amateur. Gentleman Jack is eyeing his own pro career and is the same dimensions as Fury. “I can’t wait to get back in the ring and start testing myself,” he told me last week in Manchester. There could be, I’m not joking, a Love Island belt.
Meanwhile, far from the palm trees, beaches, cameras and glitz, Young Tommy Fury will get back to what he does best — fighting. The loving stuff can come after.