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‘You’re always struggling’ - Tyson Fury speaks candidly about mental health and success

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“You’re always drifting in and out of sanity.”

Tyson Fury with the WBC heavyweight title belt.
Tyson Fury with the WBC heavyweight title belt.
Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Inc via Getty Images

Over the past three years, two-time heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury has been candid about his mental health struggles. “The Gypsy King” dealt with bouts with depression, alcoholism, and drug addiction around 2016 when he said he “gave up on life.”

These days, Fury says he’s become a more content man. As he told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s MMA Hour episode, training’s been greatly helpful in keeping him balanced.

Over the last few months, I’ve been very stable. You’re always drifting in and out of sanity, I believe. If you’re a mental health struggler, then you’re always struggling with reality and your own world inside your head. But most days, I’ve learned to manage and maintain the problem.

What I do is I keep active, I keep busy, and I keep focused on training. And all the time I’m training and I’m going to the gym, and I’m letting out that energy, I’m letting out a bit of steam, I feel good. But if I don’t do it for a week or so, I feel terrible. And everyone’s (telling) me, ‘You never have time off. You’re gonna overtrain.’ I can’t afford to have time off, ‘cause it’s not me body I’m training, it’s me mind.

So if I have too much time off, I go backwards. Not in physical strength or mental strength. Training’s like my place of solitude, me happy place that I need. I need to go there every single day of me life. Mostly twice a day. Because once I train in the morning, it gets to about 7 o’clock and it starts wearing off. Then I need to go again.

So people say, ‘What are you gonna do if you can’t train anymore?’ Well, I’m planning on training ’til the day I die. Or whichever day that might be.

Those years of struggle also prompted a switch on how Fury views success.

Coming up, you wanna buy things. You wanna be successful, or this cliché of what is successful.

Success, to me, is waking up in a good mood, having a good day, surrounded by people you wanna be surrounded by. Kids, family, that sort of success. Success, to me, isn’t measured in how much money you’ve got, or what business ventures you’re into.

Success, for me, is being happy in your home. With your wife and your kids, or your partner, whoever you’ve got. Being happy with those people. That’s success to me.

But I suppose it’s easy for me to say that it’s not all about that, ‘cause I’ve made a lot of money in me life. I’ve worked hard for it. God knows (what) I have is blood money. Look at me face smashed to bits.

The 33-year-old Fury will defend his heavyweight titles in a third fight against Deontay Wilder this Saturday.