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Tyson Fury explains why he couldn’t walk away from boxing, guarantees dad would ‘rip Jake Paul’s heart out’

Tyson Fury was ready to hang up the gloves for good until he wasn’t.

Eight months after his most recent fight and four months after announcing his retirement from competition, the heavyweight boxing star returns to the ring to fight Derek Chisora in a trilogy bout that takes place Saturday at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London.

Fury (32-0-1, 23 KOs) explained why his retirement was so short-lived during an appearance on The MMA Hour on Monday.

“I need this,” Fury said. “I need this more than I ever thought I’d ever need something and I still have a lot to give, so here we are giving again. Giving more blood.

“I need it mentally, physically, emotionally, I’m not ready to let it go right now. Hopefully, it’s going to be in the short distant future there’s going to be a time where I’m ready to let it go, but I ain’t ready to let it go right now. I was watching Larry Holmes last night and he was 43 years old, still kicking ass. I’m only 34, so there’s still plenty left in the tank. For now, I’m not ready to let it go and we’ll see what the future holds.”

According to Fury, he was genuinely happy and satisfied with his career after defeating Dillian Whyte this past April, a win that followed back-to-back victories over rival Deontay Wilder. He relinquished his The Ring heavyweight title, though he heads into Saturday as the defending WBC champion.

Though Fury was looking forward to dedicating more time to domestic life, the itch to fight never left and he eventually gave in.

“I was at home, I did everything I wanted to do,” Fury said. “I wanted to spend some time with my family. I wanted to be that father. The kids, the school runs and all that, the dog, I wanted to do all that sort of stuff. Then I realized that’s for normal people and I’m anything but a normal person. I’m like an abnormal alien. I only thrive when I’m in training camp for a fight. I really don’t know what’s going to happen in the future when that is not an option anymore. I’m pretty f***** up, I think.

“I’m very worried because I can’t let go just like most of the great champions throughout history. Look at Floyd Mayweather. The guy’s 45 years old taking f****** fights against YouTubers and stuff because he can’t let it go. It’s a very difficult thing to let it go. Very difficult.”

Though Fury only recently turned 34, he feels that his lifestyle has added to the toll that boxing has already taken on him. In the past, Fury has been open about his struggles with substance abuse and he has been an advocate for mental health.

“I was happy,” Fury said. “I wanted to retire. I thought that I could be happy with what I’ve done and how many fights I’ve won and belts I’ve won and what I’ve done in my career and I was happy with that, didn’t want to box. But I sort of need to box now. I know I need to box. For the short distant future I need to box.

“You can say I’m young at 34 but let’s face it, I’ve been a professional since 20. I’ve been boxing since I’ve been knee high. I’ve got a lot of wear and tear on the joints and I haven’t lived the cleanest life ever. I ballooned up in between fights, I’ve been on drugs, I’ve been on alcohol, I’ve had s*** food. I’ve done all the things that athletes shouldn’t do and I’m still 34, so it’s pretty old for the way I’ve lived my life.”

For now, Fury insisted that he’s “just following God’s path” and that until a higher power removes boxing from his life then he is likely to continue fighting. Even with Fury seemingly having one foot out the door, in recent years he has been tied to major fights with heavyweight boxing stars Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua, as well as a crossover bout with UFC heavyweight king Francis Ngannou.

Fury made it clear that he’s focused solely on Chisora — an opponent he’s defeated twice — and then ringing in the New Year in style.

“I don’t overlook people,” Fury said. “I’m looking at this fight with Chisora, that’s it. That’s my world title fight. My defense. I don’t give a f*** about Usyk. I don’t give a f*** about A.J. I give a f*** about Derek Chisora, who’s coming to take my brains out on Saturday night. That’s the fight that I’ll be giving a damn about.

“After that I’m going to give a damn about Christmas. I’m going to get drunk every day, I’m going to eat s***, I’m going to be with my family, I’m going to party. I’m going to do what human beings do. I’m going to enjoy the spoils of war. Then after all of that I’ll rethink what I want to do after that. Who knows? I might retire again.”

That said, there is one Fury fight forecast he was willing to offer: How his father John would fare against YouTuber-turned-boxing star Jake Paul. The two were recently involved in an animated conversation that saw John tear his shirt off and challenge Paul to fight at a Global Titans boxing event in Dubai.

“I think my dad would rip his heart out and feed it to him and the man is nearly 60 years old,” Fury said. “I think my dad and Jake Paul should have a bare-knuckle fight to the end. That would be a spectacle and I would give $100 to see it, pay-per-view.”

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