Tyson Fury: Will he be able to walk away after fighting Dillian Whyte?

Tyson Fury has promised to quit the sport after his upcoming April 23 clash with Dillian Whyte and is hoping to become a Hollywood star.

The Tyson Fury story continues in April when the 33-year-old unbeaten WBC champion takes on the twice beaten Dillian Whyte at Wembley Stadium in what could prove to be a momentous sporting occasion in more ways than one.

Set for a huge sell-out 94,000 crowd, Fury's return to the UK after a four year absence is very much a welcome one with the self-styled 'Gypsy King' putting his lineal and WBC crown's on the line for the first time on British shores.

Named after the great Iron Mike, Tyson Fury was born to be great. Yet, for outsiders, greatness seemed an unlikely end game for this unique fighting giant.

A brash talking young gun, Fury courted plenty of attention in the early part of his career, primarily for his name and size. Who could ignore a man named Tyson Fury after all?

While something of a joke figure in those early days - a man whose toughest blows seemed almost self-inflicted - quite literally in his fourth career bout against Lee Swaby - few could have predicted the success and revere with which Fury now enjoys at the top of the sport.

Standing alone as the best heavyweight of his era, and in his recent one-man press conference without the absent Whyte, Fury has become a box-office sensation with over 80,000 tickets being sold within three hours for the upcoming bout. Never has his stock been higher.

Retirement in his sights

However, Fury has now claimed that the upcoming bout with Whyte will be his last in the sport, and while anyone who has followed the Morecambe man's career will have learned to take most of his words with the proverbial pinch of salt, the undefeated heavyweight could yet be set to hang them up.

"The only thing I can gain is money," Fury told BT Sport. "So after this fight, I'll have earned over $100million. If I can spend that, I don't deserve any more, do I?

"I know Mike Tyson spent half a billion and Evander Holyfield $400million and all the rest, but I don't live their big flash lifestyles. I live in Morecambe, in Lancashire. It's cheap there. I don't have any big habits like I'm gambling tons of money away. I don't do anything. I can never spend the money I've got.

Mike Tyson

"Why do I have to be one of those people who went on too long and got injured? Just had one too many fights and blew it all for what? A few more quid? I've got stuff I want to do, a lot of opportunities that don't involve me getting brain damage. I've got six kids and a wife. When is enough enough?

"I want to retire on top, unbeaten heavyweight champion of the world.

"I want to do a Netflix documentary, a Hollywood movie, and be a good husband, father and son. Most of all I just want to be happy, and that's probably the hardest thing."

But could he really retire at this point in his career?

While hardly a unique statement of intentions from an unbeaten fighter (Floyd Mayweather anyone?), Fury wouldn't be the first champion to walk away from the sport unbeaten, but he would be a rarity in the heavyweight division with only the great Rocky Marciano retiring as an unbeaten heavyweight world champion.

Ali, Foreman, Holmes, Tyson, Lewis - legends all of them, but none of them could follow in the footsteps of the original Italian Stalian Marciano. Will Fury make good on his recent talk?

It remains unlikely, at least for now.

While rightly considered the finest heavyweight of his era, Fury's career remains frustratingly stop-start. Six-and-a-half years on from winning his first world title, Fury has fought just seven times with Deontay Wilder, the only recognised name on his record since that famous win in Dusseldorf against Wladimir Klitschko back in 2015.

More to come or time to say goodbye?

Tyson Fury

Of course, his achievements in returning to the sport following a three-year lay-off can not be under-estimated, but there remains a sense that there is surely more to come from the unbeaten 31-0-1 champion.

While Fury has certainly made enough from the sport financially, financial motivation will not be the only guiding factor in his next career move. Legacy must surely come into his thinking.

Can he really leave the sport while depriving the fans of that long-desired bout with Anthony Joshua? Can he achieve true greatness with a record that boasts victories over only two recognised heavyweight champions (Wilder and Klitschko)?.

With Joshua's upcoming rematch with Oleksander Usyk now likely to be postponed for several months as Usyk continues to fight in his country's ongoing invasion of Russa, AJ could well become a viable opponent for Fury in 2022 should he, as expected, prove successful in his upcoming defence against Whyte.

Of course, you just never know when it comes to Tyson Fury. Pushing 34 and with few big money fights available outside of a potential Joshua bout or a unification with Usyk, retirement could yet be on the agenda.

Fury has also suggested that a crossover fight with UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou could take place next year.

"I don't class that as a real boxing fight. That's going to be a special fight," he told The MMA Hour. "That will be in a cage with 4oz gloves in Las Vegas at the Raiders Stadium."

A unique and layered human being, it would be unwise for any of us to second guess a man who, let's be fair, has been known to contradict himself from time to time.

This was Fury back in May 2020.

"I'm going to fight on 'til I'm 40 years old. I've been thinking about it, and there isn't much else to do anyway. So yeah, I may as well keep fighting. I don't see anyone out there that can challenge me anyway.

"I just flattened the best one out there, the toughest opponent out there is Deontay Wilder, and we all saw what happened to him the last time out."

Or how about this from March 2020

"I'll come back, and I'll have two more fights, and hopefully we'll sail into the sunset."

You get the feeling this is a man who might well agonise over what could of underwear to choose on a Monday. Fury has always been a complicated personality. Most with genius in their blood tend to operate under these kinds of constraints.

Tyson Fury

Now, with only Dillian Whyte in his sights, Fury should be expected to get the job done in April, with Whyte hardly doing the best impression of a confident man with his recent no-show at last week's press conference.

Fighting in front of an expected 100,000 capacity crowd, Fury could well follow the example of Carl Froch, who, as we all know, signed off his own storied career in front of an 80,000 Wembley audience when knocking out fellow Brit, George Groves.

Yet somehow, it just doesn´t seem like the end. A brilliant boxer, fantastic fighter and truly remarkable human being, there remains an open window of greatness for Fury that wins over Whyte, Joshua and Usyk would surely cement.

First though, Fury must overcome the sizeable challenge in front of him on April 23rd.

Will it be the final dance or just another chapter in the wonderful Tyson Fury story?

Only time will tell.

Read more: Oleksandr Usyk, Vasiliy Lomachenko, the Klitschkos and the fight for Ukraine

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