Former world champions Andre Ward and Timothy Bradley discuss Tyson Fury's improvement.
Both Ward and Bradley, turned broadcasters as they hung up their gloves years ago, were in a recent media call that Fightful participated in to discuss Fury's upcoming fight against Tom Schwarz in Las Vegas on June 15.
Fightful asked both Ward and Bradley about the growth of Fury's boxing abilities and whether or not this present-day version of Fury, who fought Deontay Wilder to a draw last December is better than the version who shocked the world in 2015 and beat Wladimir Klitschko. Bradley went first and enthusiastically said we are watching the best of Fury right now. Bradley's reasoning is that Fury was somehow able to recover from not one, but two knockdowns suffered against Wilder, and the way he's been to improve his physical well-being significantly compared to how he looked during his two-and-a-half years away from the sport.
“I think he’s greater than [the 2015 version of Fury]. I think that the fact that he got back up when no one gets back up from Wilder’s right hand is the fact that he’s a lot better now and in a better place. Plus all the money they’re throwing at him. Come on now. You can’t be more motivated when you’re getting that much money and bread. I’m telling you man and he’s slim. Have you seen how slim he is? He’s serious about this. He’s always been serious. I know he had that two-and-a-half year hiatus, but at the same time, he’s back now. He’s a lot better now, I think he is a lot quicker. He’s elusive and he’s more powerful than ever before. I think that the best Tyson Fury is what we’re going to see on Saturday,” Bradley said.
As for Ward, the former unified light heavyweight champion concurs with Bradley's sentiment, focusing on the way Fury has been able to slim down well. Ward added that Fury's discipline and lack of anything "extracurricular" that didn't have much to do with boxing has kept his mind sharp.
“I agree with Tim. If you look at the way Tyson Fury’s gotten slimmed up, he seems to be living the life of a fighter. To me, that means he’s constantly working on his craft. He doesn’t seem to be doing a lot of extracurricular activities outside of the ring, outside of the gym. That’s the first thing. He’s living as a fighter. I didn’t know Tyson personally back then, but just from what I’ve seen, he seems to be more dedicated than when he was back then," Ward said.
Ward adds that going through what Fury had to go through, both professionally and personally, would pretty much be a make or break type of thing as far as the former unified champion's improvement is concerned. He was either going to improve in the ring or not and the years of adversity and struggle has resulted in the best version of Fury, according to Ward.
"When you go through the Klitschko fight, when you go through the personal issues, when you go through the Wilder fight and a lot of people, even in his own family said it was career suicide. When you go through those things and you come out on the other end, you have no choice but to be better, more seasoned, even more hardened as a man and as a fighter. So he’s definitely better and more confident, or at least as confident as he’s ever been. I would say he’s in his absolute prime,” Ward said.
Fury vs. Schwarz will headline the June 15 Top Rank Boxing card from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas that will be streamed on ESPN+. Rising women's boxing star Mikaela Mayer will headline a prelim card that will be televised on ESPN2.