Tyson Fury on his new book, mental health and advice from Arnie

Virgin Radio

13 Nov 2020, 16:34

The only thing most of us have been furiously doing recently is eating and drinking. So get off the sofa, dust off your biscuit fingers and take some well-needed advice from the inspirational new book from the People’s Champion, Tyson Fury. At 32, he’s a two-time heavyweight world champion and now it's time for the professional British boxer to do a few rounds against our mental health issues.

The Gypsy King is back with a second book, ’ and the sportsman is aiming to help other people fight their own inner demons and navigate through to victory - not just in the ring.

Speaking on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show With Sky today, the star spoke about his latest literary offering and said: “I was working on this from the beginning of lockdown - the first one. It came to me, I was thinking right now’s the time to write another book. 

"The reason being, lockdown’s happening and I know there’ll be a lot of people struggling with mental health and just an insight into how I dealt with my problems when I was going through all the hard times and bad times, document it all down and hopefully it can help other people control or help people with their mental health problems.”

Chris asked the ‘King of the ring’ how to make a plan that’s right for each person and he replied: “A routine regime is how I live these days. For the last two years I’ve had a maintainable regime that I’ve stuck to on a daily basis and it’s really, really helped me. 

"Especially someone like me who’s always up and down in mindsets. If I keep my mind focussed on targets and goals I don’t have much time to have downtime in my mind.” 

And what about the worry of decision making? Fury shared: “It can be exhausting. There is a lot of decisions out there you think about and it takes all your energy away and by the time it comes to making that decision you’re still in the same boat where you don’t know what to do anyway. 

“With me, it’s like overthinking things all the time. I’ve learnt from one of my friends, Shaun, who I mention in the book. He always tells me to try and not to think about things I can’t control and that's what I’ve been trying to do the past couple of years.”

The last place most of us want to be is in a gym. Host Chris, 54, asked if there were any tips for the more mature of us and getting fit. Tyson advised: "There’s no limit on exercise because each individual can do just the amount they need to do. A man at 54 wouldn’t have to necessarily do the same workout as a man of 19.

“With exercise it’s tailor-made for everybody, you can just do what benefits you. I think it’s still a vital, important thing to do, no matter how old you are because it always gives you that endorphin release in the brain and makes you feel good after a workout." 

Chris quizzed the boxer about a section in the book called Schwarzenegger. Tyson told him: “He’s a very influential person, a very successful person and he says it how it is. There’s always going to be naysayers out there and people who are hating on others because they are trying to follow their dreams and goals. We just need to ignore these people and crack on with your life and set your targets, set your goals.”

He went on to say how his nutritionist George Lockhart taught him a saying from a book to keep him mentally focused. “I can’t remember which one so don’t quote me on it! It was something like, If you don’t set a target, you’ll just be shooting at things and missing everything. 

“In life if we set a target, no matter how far away this target is or how unreachable it is, at least you’ve got something to aim for. And eventually you are going to hit this target, no matter what it is as long as you believe and trust in yourself and you keep following your dreams to hit that target, eventually you’re going to hit it.”

He continued: “It’s like if a cruise ship was just travelling round with no destination point, it would just travel round and would never get anywhere. Nine times out of ten it will reach the destination point where it’s headed to.”

Aside from getting a captain for your cruise, Tyson recommended: “It’s all about working towards what you want. Set your targets, set the long term goals, having a regime and routine planned.

“I think especially as someone who’s suffering with mental health problems, the best advice I can give to anybody is to have a structured routine. Set your day out in advance and try and follow the script.”

While Tyson is in peak condition now, he wasn’t always so fit having ‘ballooned’ to 28 stone with his self esteem at rock bottom. He said: “You have to figure out where you want to be, set your goal and try and achieve it. No matter how low you are in life there’s only one way you can go and that’s upwards and get better and better and better.”

And how does he cope with being judged by others? He explained: “As for other people and peer pressure, people are always going to peer pressure you, but it’s how we take it on, especially in the world today of social media and all that sort of stuff.

"There’s a lot of negative stuff, if people post stuff and other people comment on it, I mention that in the book as well, it’s not to be taken too seriously because one thing I’ve learnt in this world is you can’t please everybody. No matter what you did, if you’re great every day, you’re going to upset somebody. 

“You can’t make the world happy, one individual saying everything correct every day, so I think you’ve just got to worry about what’s important in your life and not worry what other people are thinking or saying about you too much. I talk about blocking out the negativity in here and haters and all that sort of stuff.”

Even with temptation, Tyson keeps his eye on the trophies. He said about his regimented way of life: “I live a strict lifestyle, the past few years. I’ve never ballooned up overweight. I’m living a clean, healthy life. It’s good for my own mental health problems and it’s good for my physical and mental side as well."

Rather than relaxing and eating Quality Street for breakast, Tyson has a big fight coming up in three weeks - but it’s not against Anthony Joshua. He said: “I’m hoping to fight on the 5th December back in the UK… so at the moment I’m in a strict training camp for this fight, supposedly that’s going to happen. I’ve been in camp now 10 weeks. I've got another 3 weeks left so I’m in full swing at the moment of camp life." 

And how’s he feeling with it all? “I’m feeling good. I’m injury free, I’ve been working hard all year since my last fight, waiting on a date, just trying to dot the ‘i's and cross the ’t's." 

As well as writing the book, the no-frills fighter managed to achieve even more during the initial barricade. 

“Lockdown in general has been an eye opener. Me and my wife Paris did a training video six days a week for the full duration and that was really good for our relationship, really good for our fitness, our health, our mental wellbeing. 

“It was really good time to spend with the family and stuff like that. Out of every negative you can take positives. And again with this lockdown now, we’re in the same boat and it’s a good opportunity to work on our goals and try and achieve them while we’ve got this time to do it.”

Best get reading quickly.