Tyson Fury has the name but has he got the game

Hennessy Sports Press Release

Des Lynam – The Telegraph – Saturday 15th October 2011

Tyson Fury was never likely to be a chartered accountant. With a name like his, the chances are he would always have gravitated to a more physical occupation, especially as he is 6ft 9in tall and weighs around 18 stone.

With Audley Harrison plonking his size 17s around the Strictly Come Dancing studio and David Haye seemingly quitting the ring, for the time being anyway, the spotlight turns to the reigning British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion, the aforementioned Mr Fury.

This week it was announced he would put his 16-fight unbeaten record on the line on Nov 12 in Manchester. The opponent is one Neven Pajkic, the Canadian champion, also unbeaten after 16 fights, and Fury’s Commonwealth title will be at stake.

In case you have your doubts, I can assure you that Tyson Fury is this young man’s real name. Despite growing into a giant, he was born prematurely and his father decided to name him after the former world champion because he knew his boy would have to be a fighter to survive, which he did against the odds. John Fury, incidentally, had been a reasonable heavyweight himself in the Eighties.

Fury has a great deal going for him apart from his size, he is actually a good ring technician with a big punch in either hand.

Eleven of his opponents have failed to make the distance but what he needs if he is to reach the top is experience. Fury himself would quite willingly step in the ring with either of the Klitschko brothers now. He is as big, if not bigger, than either of them but the plan is for him to be ready to make his world title challenge in 18 months to two years time.

With his good looks and curly hair Fury, from an Irish travelling family, bears a remarkable resemblance to the pre-war Irish-born heavyweight Jack Doyle. Doyle was a terrific puncher who, after a string of knockout victories, fought for the British heavyweight title at the tender age of 19 but lost to the Welshman Jack Petersen.

Doyle, who also had a beautiful tenor voice, took his talents to America where, on disembarking in New York, he declared that he would be “fighting like Jack Dempsey and singing like John McCormack”. After Doyle, seemingly the worse for drink, was knocked out in one round by one Buddy Baer, Dempsey himself was quoted as saying “Doyle sings like me and fights like McCormack”.

Doyle could have been an outstanding boxer but could never find the dedication. What he did find was the adulation of the ladies and the booze. He ended up a penniless alcoholic in London but in his youth he had sold out the London Palladium and other theatres with that wonderful singing voice and, while in America, he had starred in two movies. He married the Mexican-American actress Movita Castaneda who, when she could stand Doyle’s behaviour no longer, left him and later became the wife of Marlon Brando.

So I felt obliged to put the questions to Fury’s manager, Mick Hennessy, this week: did his man sing, was he a drinker and what about the ladies? Well, he’s married to a lovely girl called Paris – nothing mundane about the Christian names in the Fury household – and they already have two young children. He rarely drinks alcohol and, although he can sing, he is unlikely to fill any theatre.

Mind you, Hennessy, aware of the physical likeness and heritage shared by them, took the trouble recently to show Fury a documentary made by Irish television on the life of Jack Doyle. It may have provided a salutary lesson in how easy it can be to throw away a God-given talent.

The next year or two are important for Fury. Apart from the Klitschkos – and who knows how long they will go on for, with both of them well into their thirties – there is precious little heavyweight talent around.

There is a great opportunity for this young man to make a mark but he had better be dedicated. He’s got the name but has he got the game?

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet

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