What is Going on With Team Fury?


A unit typically close knit who, despite the problems faces, Team Fury have always held a united front.  Through mental health issues, titles being stripped, titles being given back, cancelled fights, UKAD investigations, suspensions and who knows what else behind closed doors, one thing has remained consistent; a family unit (plus Mick Hennessy) that stand together through thick and thin.

But then, on Wednesday 26th July, there seems to have been an implosion.  The unit crumbled.  It started with an out of the blue Twitter post from the man who seemingly held the family together, Peter Fury.  Uncle, father, trainer, Peter holds all these titles in Team Fury.  You can likely add to that list the word 'glue'.  But the glue came unstuck with what, at face value, was an innocuous Twitter post:
At face value it is a cryptic message at best, with the clear message that Peter Fury alongside Mick Hennessy have been to the gym of David Haye to discuss potential business alongside the Ringstar promotional business.  Adding some context to it, Hughie Fury has his fight coming up for the WBO world title against Joseph Parker on September 23rd.  

Only the other day Eddie Hearn did an IFL interview, stating he had met with Joseph Parker to discuss the possibility of Tony Bellew or Dillian Whyte meeting the New Zealand native should he beat Fury.   1-0 Hearn.   This seems to be the Fury team firing back; telling us that should Hughie be the man to take home the belts, they too have strategised and planned the next move.  A move that would seem to involve none other than David Haye being the first defence.   1-1.  Haye may not currently feature in the top 15 of the WBO rankings but you would suspect that the with a bit of political persuasion that could be rectified.

The issue here, of course, is that history tells us that Team Fury and David Haye are oil and water.  Chalk and cheese.  When Haye pulled out of the two proposed bouts against Tyson Fury the message to the Bermondsey former cruiser and heavyweight champion was clear:  You're out of the picture.  To such an extent that Tyson said in 2015 "Let me put it this way: I would rather make a voluntary defence, for all those titles, against Hughie Fury, than David Haye.  That's saying something, isn't it? Because Hughie is my first cousin.  But I'd rather give Hughie a shot than David Haye. How's that?".  So how did Tyson take the news publicly that his uncle and Trainer, Peter Fury, was meeting with Haye camp?  In typically understated fashion of course:

He retired.  Not for the first time, it should be added, but he announced his exit from the sport.  Not though before letting uncle Peter and long term promoter Hennessy his thoughts about potentially teaming with Haye, should Hughie be successful.  He announced it to his 655,000 Twitter followers and 272,000 Instagram followers.  That's approaching a million people, on top of being picked up by the mainstream press (and two-bit websites like this one). 

So, the crux of the issue.  What is going on?  Why is this happening now, with David Haye, just two months before Hughie gets his big chance against Joseph Parker?  I've given three options below, from the likely to the frankly ridiculous.  Take your pick:

1)  It's a ruse, a pantomime, a PR stunt.  Take a quick look on Eventim and you will see that tickets are available in all sections for Hughie Fury vs Joseph Parker:
Any coloured seat is available at time of writing to purchase.  The top tier seems to be closed off, and no doubt a number of the unavailable seats are fighter allocated.  It's fair to say ticket sales could have gone better.  So, what better way to draw attention to the fight that to involve the man who generates headlines each time he opens his Twitter page, Tyson Fury?  Suddenly the mainstream press are drawing attention to the fight, even within the context of the Fury retirement.  He has announced his retirement, remember, to nearly a million people.  

It is of course a risky strategy.  Many fans know Tyson more than the other family members combined.  If Tyson were seen to be turning his back it may mean boxing fans do too.  But then, what if they reconciled a week or two later, and Tyson asked everyone to now get behind his cousin?  Ticket sales could see the boost they require.

​2)  The retirement is real.  The problem is, it's 'boy who cried wolf' territory.  We've been here before and we seem to know how this story ends, with a return announcement and a promise to clean up the division.  However Tyson has been in a dark place before, and as a boxing community we hoped that he was out of this and focussed on his return.  In all likelihood, a life away from the ring and the hounding of the press may serve Tyson best in the long run.  It's just hard to believe that this is the case, given the false threats we have had before.  The UKAD hearings, of course, still cast a long shadow.

3)  The left field option.  The one that may seem too obscure to contemplate.  What if Team Fury, planned or not, have imploded to build towards a Tyson versus Hughie Fury bout?  Sounds ludicruous of course, but remember the Tyson quote (whether said facetiously or not).  "I would rather make a voluntary defence, for all those titles, against Hughie Fury, than David Haye."  Now, there are no titles at stake at present and unless Hughie wins, there will be none.  

Boxing is a business, money talks.  Whether the falling out is real or not, the retirement real or not, what if Tyson and Hughie ended up on opposite sides of the ring?  The boat has seemingly sailed on the opportunity for Tyson to cash in on the success of beating Wladimir Klitschko long before Joshua did it.  The Joshua fight may still be there in the future, but it's a dangerous one given the mental and physical state that Tyson has been through.  So what if there was a less dangerous option for a fight that would garner a lot of interest and potentially generate huge amounts of money?

A family feud, settling a score.  For all of Hughie's skill, he lacks the dynamite power of a Joshua.  The risks would be less for Tyson.  Throw in the redemption of potentially winning back one of his world titles, that he never truly lost, in a fight that truly evaporates Team Fury for good.

It may be too far fetched to consider and may be nothing more than conjecture.  However, given that from the outside looking in the world of Team Fury often seems to be another world than we have seen in boxing, is it something that we can rule out?   

From all of the above, the Fury name stays in the headlines.  We don't know if we will see Tyson in the ring again.  Many false dawns have passed and the sport has carried on.  Can we really, 100% rule out that if he does, it won't be Hughie Fury in the other corner?  Not for now.