A YEAR after I joined Boxing News, I was ringside for the brand and simultaneously did ITV ‘a solid’ as a researcher, when Fury debuted on the Carl Froch-Jean Pascal show in Nottingham. He dispatched Bela Gyongyosi with eye-catching ease, displaying handspeed and movement that belied his 6ft 9in size. His promoter Mick Hennessy, then riding a terrestrial TV wave we all hoped would endure (spoiler alert: it did not), appeared to have unearthed a diamond in the rough… well, Wilmslow.

I would watch Tyson’s first four pro fights live and Fury’s victories over bonkers German “Highlander” (Christopher Lambert should sue) Marcel Zeller, ballsy but comparatively tiny Lee Swaby and hirsute upset merchant Daniel Peret failed to overwrite my initial impression: Fury had talent to burn.

The TV channels would change more than once and Fury eventually moved from one uncle, first pro trainer Hughie, to another in the more rigid, professional Peter, who added discipline, strategy and dedication to his nephew’s ability. Despite significant upheaval, including mercurial maverick David Haye twice withdrawing from domestic superfights against him, Fury has been able to progress largely unhindered. He can be moved to anger rapidly but is not the kind to dwell or hold a grudge.

Next – page 3 of 6: Meeting Fury

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