Tyson Fury vs Wladimir Klitschko: Gypsy King sends powerful message on anniversary

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In 2018, Tyson Fury had one of the most incredible comebacks in the history of boxing.

Over two-and-a-half years since he had last stepped inside the ring, the Gypsy King returned and dispatched of Sefer Seferi and Francesco Pianeta, leading him to a 12-round war against WBC heavyweight titleholder Deontay Wilder that controversially ended in a draw.

But the long, strenuous journey leading up to this fight was perhaps even more impressive than the display itself.

Six years ago today, Tyson Fury beat Wladimir Klitschko and cemented his status as the unified heavyweight world champion. With 25 fights under his belt at the time, 18 knockouts and not a single loss, it seemed as if he had the world at his feet, but for the Brit, that world was about to come crumbling down around him.

On December 8, 2015, just 10 days after his fight with Klitschko, Fury was stripped of the IBF belt, as it was revealed the rematch clause in his contract with the Ukrainian would prevent him from fighting his mandatory challenger Vyacheslav Glazkov.

However, things would take a turn for the worse for Fury, as by the time the rematch was finally announced in April 2016, he said that he had lost motivation for the fight and had gained an extreme amount of weight. In the space of just a few months, Fury had ballooned to over 330lbs.

In June 2016, the fight was then postponed due to an ankle injury sustained by Fury, but in September, the fight was postponed even further as he was declared medically unfit.

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The Ultimate Tyson Fury quiz: Where was Tyson Fury born?

In October, a month after the second postponement, an interview with Rolling Stone magazine would finally shed some light on what was going on behind closed doors.

Fury bravely opened up about his struggles with mental health; his depression had led to drug use, alcoholism and his subsequent weight gain.

"I’m going through a lot of personal demons, trying to shake them off, this has got nothing to do with my fighting – what I’m going through right now is my personal life.

I've not been in a gym for months. I've been going through depression. I just don't want to live anymore, if you know what I’m saying. I've had total enough of it. Never mind cocaine. I just didn't care. I don't want to live anymore. So cocaine is a little minor thing compared to not wanting to live anymore.

"I am seeing help, but they can't do nothing for me. What I've got is incurable. I don't want to live. All the money in the world, fame and glory, means nothing if you're not happy. I'm seeing psychiatrists. They say I've got a version of bipolar. I'm a manic depressive. I don't even want to wake up. I hope I die every day. And that's a bad thing to say when I've got three children and a lovely wife isn't it? But I don't want to live anymore. And if I could take me own life – and I wasn't a Christian – I'd take it in a second.

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"I just hope someone kills me before I kill me self. I'll have to spend eternity in hell. I’ve been out drinking, Monday to Friday to Sunday, and taking cocaine. I can’t deal with it and the only thing that helps me is when I get drunk out of me mind."

It was a tough read for fans of the Gypsy King, but one which made his subsequent comeback even more inspiring. In October, Fury vacated his heavyweight titles, but by December 2016, he announced that he was back in training and hoped to return around spring in 2017. Unfortunately for Fury, this journey would be anything but simple, after having his boxing license suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control, it took until January 2018 for them to finally reinstate his license (after a long, arduous legal battle ensued).

Fury announced the main motivation for his return was to beat Wilder, and after just two fights, the Gypsy King was given his chance.

In December 2018, the two heavyweight giants would finally face off in an incredible 12-round thriller which saw Fury rise from the dead after being knocked down in the final round. It was a fitting return for the Gypsy King, that sadly ended in a controversial draw, but regardless of the outcome, one thing was clear to see; Tyson Fury was back.

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ENTER GIVEAWAY

So of course it is only fitting that after giving everyone an incredibly motivational comeback story, Fury has provided us with some motivational words to go along with it, today, six years after this journey began.

Fury posted a video to Twitter along with the caption: "Six years ago today I beat Klitschko & became unified heavyweight champion. But soon after I came down with mental health struggle. Nobody is ever safe from mental health. I continue to battle on a daily basis. To anyone struggling, never give up. Keep fighting. God bless you x."

In the video Fury said: "Six years ago today, the Gypsy King was born. I beat Wladimir Klitschko and became the unified heavyweight champion of the world.

"Soon after, I came down with mental health struggles. So no one is ever, ever, ever safe from mental health. No matter who you are or what you are.

"I had a long, long, long hard battle and I continue to have long, hard battles on a daily basis.

"So to anyone who is struggling out there today, this is your day. Be positive, be strong, never give up and always keep fighting."

Spoken like a true champion.

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