Tyson Fury To Grip New York in savage Embrace on US debut

On the front page of his Twitter account, Tyson Fury shares this sentiment with his 86,000-plus followers: "God loves us all so much trust in him! Family is the way forward dont trust strangers. Never let anyone no your buisness. Love your woman & enjoy life. Bless u."

Ignore the spelling and punctuation. This is a revealing scream in the wild by a fighting man for whom trust is crucial, and who believes God is on his side. Fury, an Irish Traveller with homes in many scattered hearts but enemies too, clearly has feelings that are not so impervious to pain as his rough language and his chosen calling may some times suggest.

Elsewhere among his thousands of musings Fury's remarks do not always flow with the milk of human kindness. This is his war cry for the boyos: "Live life to the max hold nothing back fuck yesterday& tomorrow live for now! Be free & fly!... Born to fight & am happy always up for a laugh & ready to rumble!... go fuck ya selfs all the haters!"

This is not a dull man by any means, but certainly a complex one. In every respect, he lives up to the names bequeathed by his father, who earned notoriety with and without gloves as Gypsy John Fury and received a prison term of 11 years for gouging out a man's eye in a brawl.

While Tyson's infamous namesake, Iron Mike, drew strength from the streets of Brooklyn, Tyson the younger is Gypsy royalty, all 6ft 9in and 18st of him, a proud defender of Traveller traditions, their champion from Ireland via Manchester and one day to be decorated, he hopes, with the highest honour his sport has to offer.

To become the first Gypsy heavyweight champion of the world, he will first have to beat the American cruiserweight Steve "USS" Cunningham, at Madison Square Garden on Saturday. Thereafter, if he is to get his hands on the multi-titlist Wladimir Klitschko, he will be asked to go through a final "final eliminator", possibly against the IBF's No1 contender, the unbeaten Bulgarian Kubrat Pulev – then hope the champion does not lose to the German-based Italian Francesca Pianeta in Mannheim on 4 May. (That would be the upset of the past decade).

Fury does not run from his roots. Indeed, he shouts about them and he is hoping the Irish connection might win him a few cheers in New York against Cunningham, who lives where he was born and some times misbehaved on the streets, Philadelphia. TV coverage might be hesitant (Channel5 will show it live), but there is no shortage of pride in this contest.

"All my people are from Ireland," Fury says. "I was born in Manchester but I am Irish. I have lived in Ireland, visited all my life and when I fight I represent Ireland. I'm a fighting man, a fighting man with generations of fighting men before me in my family. That's all we do, we fight."

He has also been a drinking man, and a lover, up all night, living the life that was not a fighter's life. It showed for a dangerously long time in his young career, in the soft roll around his belly, in his wild eyes and his swinging moods. He seems to have woken up to the folly of his lifestyle and, in his last fight, against the accomplished American Kevin Johnson, Fury looked hard and in excellent shape. Pointedly, he did not rise to the temptation to please his new Belfast audience and try to knock out an opponent good enough to take Wladimir's brother, Vitali, 12 rounds four years ago.

The Johnson fight was also listed as a world title eliminator for Vitali's WBC belt but the 41-year-old Klitschko seems to be in limbo, listening more closely to his creaking bones than the pleas of David Haye, who wants his head on a plate. Fury would be better advised chasing Wladimir.

He might not yet be good enough to beat him but he is more serious about his risky trade than he has been since turning professional in 2008. Although he will outweigh Cunningham by at least three stones, he will need to be as disciplined on his American debut as he was in Belfast.

Cunningham has strayed above 200lbs just twice in 30 fights, but he held and lost the IBF's cruiserweight title several times from 2006 until giving it up for the second time to the Cuban Yoan Pablo Hernández in February 2012. At 36, he is eminently beatable, although still a name and dangerous. If the unbeaten Fury were to get this fight wrong, he would slide from view at just the moment when all sorts of possibilities are opening up.

Also boxing for his immediate future on Saturday is Dereck Chisora, in a far less exacting assignment against late replacement Hector Alfredo Avila on Frank Warren's postponed Rule Britannia bill at Wembley. Avila, a year older than Cunningham and most comfortable at home in Argentina, is ordinary, eight of his 12 losses having come early. But Chisora, stopped by Haye last time out and who has won one of his past five fights, is so keen to get back in harness he would probably have taken a fight against anyone.

A fight between Chisora and Fury appeals to the bloodthirsty persuasion more than some of the other equations in the mix because it would likely last longer. It has hidden explosive elements, too: Fury admits to bouts of depression and Chisora is still in anger management.

The Liverpudlian knockout artist David Price, meanwhile, has to rebuild his tarnished CV in a rematch with Tony Thompson in Liverpool on 6 July; and Haye looks to be training seriously for his 29 June return, probably against the recent Vitali victim Manuel Charr, in Manchester on 29 June.

In an ideal world, these British heavyweights would collide at some point. We live in hope. After training for six weeks in Canada, Fury hits New York on Monday. The prelude promises to be as loud as the drama on the night.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Kevin Mitchell, for The Observer on Saturday 13th April 2013 22.00 Europe/London

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