Mike Costello and Andy Lee were on Wednesday’s OTB AM to talk about the phenomenon that is Tyson Fury.
Costello, a boxing commentator for the BBC, said that “without any question” Tyson Fury is the most popular heavyweight boxer in the US.
“Look at how everyone responded to him at the weekend. I know this is a bit of a cheesy old line and a chestnut but we got in the taxi on Sunday morning to go to the airport and the first thing the driver said was ‘did you see that Tyson Fury fight?’
“Now, he went on to dismiss it as a joke but he was talking about it and that wouldn’t have happened with a Deontay Wilder fight,” Costello explained.
While Fury is a very talented and successful boxer it’s not necessarily his talents inside the ring that is garnering him plenty of attention in the States, but rather his talents outside of it.
“What you’re getting is the show. The ring walk or the crazy interviews in the build-up and the singing afterwards. So that’s drawing in a wider audience that might not necessarily stop by boxing,” Costello said.
While Fury’s fight with Tom Schwarz was hardly the biggest challenge ‘The Gypsy King’ could have undertaken, Costello believes that he has handled his return to boxing very well.
“We go there thinking 'oh he’s going to blow Tom Schwarz away' but we felt the same about Joshua and Andy Ruiz. I think the key for Tyson Fury there was activity. Getting his fourth fight in a year and that’s what kept him in the gym,” Costello said.
Commenting on Anthony Joshua’s shock defeat to Andy Ruiz, Lee pointed out a trait that Joshua was sorely missing that both Ruiz and Fury have in abundance.
“The advantage Tyson has – and anyone who starts boxing early has – is that you build up instincts that will kick in when you’re hurt and will get you through a round when you’re hurt.
“I think Andy Ruiz has those instincts because he has a long amateur career, whereas Joshua who started boxing at 20 doesn’t have them and he didn’t know how to react when he was hurt,” Lee commented.
Fury’s next opponent has not yet been announced but a rematch between him and Deontay Wilder is slated for early 2020. Joshua meanwhile is likely to face Ruiz again in an effort to reclaim his lost belts.