Tyson and a few members of the team spent one of these long pre-fight evenings playing poker at his new mansion.
“Here,” the champion yelled, slamming one of those cleaver fists on a pretty table beneath the classic artwork in a cavernous eat-in kitchen.
Then he howled with laughter. Whatever the game, Tyson Fury will play as hard as he wants against Deontay Wilder in their trilogy heavyweight world title fight here on Saturday night.
Tyson Fury is in an optimistic mood as his heavyweight showdown with Deontay Wilder draws closer
So the cards fell on him as much as he expected America’s Bronze Bomber to crash again?
“I just have to win everything,” he says with a smile as wide as the front driveway. ‘Not true?’
Well, he usually does. Still undefeated. Still world heavyweight champion. Still, he wasn’t quite as happy with the cards as he did when he knocked out Wilder in their first rematch.
“It was a six-man poker tournament,” he says. ‘Winner takes all, £20 in each. It came down to the last two of us. I was the lead chip holder, but the game dragged on. So I said let’s agree on who draws the highest single card.
‘I went first. ouch. Cut a five. I was afraid that for once I would finish second. Then, bang, a three came out. I thought “wow”. I couldn’t believe I had won with a five. You would certainly never win with a five at a casino on the Strip. High fives all round!’
The Gypsy King is locked up in a luxury training base for his second rematch
Fury, 33, isn’t afraid to jump in and packs the bins between poker games with his team
Fury says he and his family are moving forward after nearly losing their sixth child (pictured with wife Paris Fury)
Not that he’s letting his £120 profit go to his head: ‘I’m putting the money away to take home and put it in my bank savings account.’
That said, he came out of the house at dawn the next morning with large trash cans. Does the champion make it a habit to take out the trash? “Hey,” he says. “I’m a father of six, so of course I do.”
He then runs around the luxurious estate with his brothers and trainers where the entrance is guarded by two heavily manned sets of iron gates. Some wealthy neighbors let him jog on the spot while signing autographs. The people next door are walking the dog and he stops laughing to make a fuss.
A doctor from the local clinic arrives and he stands in the warm sun as he runs the latest Covid test on himself: ‘I have to do it because my nose has been broken so many times during fights that no one else can maneuver the stick in it.’
The result would be negative. Not to his surprise. He has caused a stir by postponing a second vaccination – “because I don’t want to come in the ring feeling weak or something” – but is confident that July’s postponement of this fight with Wilder will not be repeated due to his coronavirus infection. He’s sure he’s full of antigens now and says, “Actually, I’ve had Covid not once but twice.”
Fury undergoes regular Covid testing, after testing positive to reschedule the fight
British star stops to pet a dog while running with his brothers and trainers
Still, he takes stricter precautions. The team has been reduced to five who live in the main house, and another three who live in a rented property nearby. He adds, “We’re also keeping the bubble safe by keeping the gym locked up and not letting anyone else in while we’re there.”
Then it’s back to its home from home. Although he says: ‘This house is not a home right now. It is a foundation for my work. Home is where the family is and they are not here.’
Not beautiful Paris. None of the six children. They are back in Morecambe after the grief of nearly losing the new baby daughter at birth.
Fury says, “When you hear that your child is dead, it’s traumatic. Thanks to those wonderful nurses and doctors who saved her, we are now further along. We always like to look ahead, not back.’
So now on to Fury-Wilder III. He says, ‘I never take anyone for granted. Some people write Deontay off because I beat him in seven rounds last time. Not me. He is still my most dangerous opponent. There are some good boxers out there, but with Wilder’s strength, I know I’m messing around with an atomic bomb.
Fury’s trilogy fight with Wilder has been long in the making due to twists and turns
‘If he fits right in with one blow, it could be a disaster for everyone. Trauma in the ring. I felt it when he took me down in our first fight.”
In that astonishing final round of a contentious draw, Fury barely consciously rose to finish the fight.
Ask him how he did that and he says, ‘You have to have guts to succeed in boxing. Pure guts. There will be times when it’s not about how much you get hit, but how much you can take. I’ve taken a lot in my life. That’s why I trained for this like Rocky in the movie.
“No one could have done more. The toughest sparring possible. Only the best food – vegetables, fruit, fish, meat, vitamins, minerals.’
The Gypsy King Destroyed Its American Rival 20 Months Ago and Wants To Match That Achievement
However, Fury is well aware of the threat posed by the large bronze bomber (above)
To combat the arid atmosphere of the Nevada desert, it also drops amazing amounts of water. “More than a liter a day,” he says. Hydration is an essential key to performance. Your body is made up of 75 percent water. And I have a great body. Must keep watering. One percent dehydration equals a 20 percent loss of performance. It’s hard to drink that much. You have to keep running to relieve yourself.’
Fortunately, there are many bathrooms in this Catholic father’s house. Also a lot of effort. He says, “Anything worth doing will be hard. If success were as easy as getting drunk, everyone would be successful. But that’s not how the world works. You have to be very determined to win. To make sure you win, you have to be able to do things that the others won’t. And with me there is always a surprise.’
So what does he have in store for Wilder? He says, “Deontay will have to face a Tyson Fury 30 to 40 cents better than the Tyson Fury that steamed him in the last fight. I didn’t waste our 20 months out of the ring.
“I’ve worked non-stop to improve my boxing, my footwork, my jab. Everything. I’ve been an elite fighter for years, but I’ve used the break to move to an even higher echelon.
The Gypsy King remembers being knocked out by Fury in the 12th round of their first fight in 2018
The 33-year-old (right) says he is in excellent condition and insists no corners have been cut
“I’m sure Deontay has also worked hard to improve. He has a new trainer and he wants to get better. But while he will also have the biggest punch in the world, I can’t really see how he can make a big difference to his basic boxing. I hope he is better. I hope he can give me a bigger challenge because we don’t want another defeat.
“I love boxing and we all want good fights. Anyway, if we’ve both improved, the result should be the same. I break it down and smash it to pieces again. Only faster.’
Meanwhile, he is ready to play the great entertainer: ‘I like the circus of fight week. The build-up. The fair. Let the game begin.’
So, will it be high fives for Fury again on this legendary Strip? Don’t bet against it. According to the bookmakers here, The Gypsy King still reigns on Sunday mornings.
Fury v Wilder will air live on BT Sport Box Office late this Saturday night.