Tyson Fury has to have for me one of the most talented and unpredictable boxing styles in the sport right now. This ability for Fury to change and experiment with his methods each fight makes him one of the hardest fights for anyone in the heavyweight division.
In this boxing style analysis, I take a closer look at Fury’s patterns and methods in his fighting style that make him trouble for any opponent that comes up against him along with some background and his achievements to date.
Who is Tyson Fury
First up, here is some background on the man they call the “Gypsy King”!
Born in Manchester in the UK, Fury was named after the “baddest man” on the planet at the time, Mike Tyson. Fury started boxing at the age of 10 and soon went onto represent both England and Ireland in the Amateur system. Fury had his fair success, winning and earning bronze at the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in 2006 and multiple national championships in England and Ireland.
Fury missed out on the 2008 Olympics to David Price (one representation per weight division) and instead of waiting till the 2012 Olympics, decided to turn to the professional game in 2008.
Tyson would quickly start to rise through the ranks from his time winning the English title, before going onto fight Derek Chisora for British and Commonwealth titles in a unanimous decision victory. After some title defences and rising up the world ranking he would go on to fight Chisora for a second time for the European, and vacant British title again in another dominating display.
In 2015, Tyson Fury finally got his shot at the world title against 10 year heavyweight world champion Wladimir Klitschko, where he once again dominated throughout the whole fight winning a unanimous decision ending the so-called ‘Klitschko Era’ once for all to become the new undisputed champion!
After this fight a rematch was scheduled, however due to his battles with mental health, Fury took a hiatus from the sport for a couple of years. After he had overcome a lot of his personal battles, a couple comeback fights proceeded before he got his chance to become a 2x world champion against Deontay Wilder. This turned into a classic heavyweight bout where Fury came off the deck twice to earn a dramatic draw.
After a couple more fights the ‘The Gypsy King’ finally got his chance against Wilder in the rematch where he absolutely dominated in a new pressuring style, which resulted in Fury becoming a world champion after battling so many demons.
Tyson Fury’s Achievements
The Ring Magazine title x 2
WBC heavyweight world title
WBA heavyweight world title
WBO heavyweight world title
IBF heavyweight world title
British heavyweight title
Commonwealth heavyweight title
European heavyweight title
Tyson Fury’s Boxing Style
Fury’s boxing style is a hard one to pin-point exactly as he can be very unpredictable in nature while in the ring. You would think because he is 6ft 9 he would try to use his size and come forward. That however is very much the opposite for the most part and you would have to say he has one of the best boxing IQ’s, making him a complete boxer that adapts to any situation that is in front of him.
Whether that be to swarm his opponent disrupt their rhythm, counterpunch or use fancy footwork to outmanoeuvre and create angles. Fury really can do it all while in the ring as he changes his approach for each and every opponent he has comes across – very much like Terrence Crawford in that respect.
Below I will go into detail of all these elements that make Fury such a cultivating fighter to learn from.
One of Tyson’s best attributes is his use of constant feints which is very similar to some of the greats, one being Joe Frazier, in terms of his constant head twitching that helps keep the opponent rhythm off check to create hesitation.
Fury will quite often use multiple feints before throwing a simple jab while other times he will not feint at all. By fainting so often this also gives him the opportunity to vary up his attack by throwing different punches to create an opening. This results in his competitors unable to predict Fury’s rhythm and timing, making them guess or cause hesitation to what Fury will throw next.
Like with any great champion the jab is absolutely crucial in their success in the ring. In the case of Tyson Fury, this is arguably one of his great weapons in the ring. This is because Fury understands how to throw the jab in a variety of ways including:
- Flick jabs, disrupts his opponent’s rhythm and timing
- Straight jabs, to create a rangefinder and to occupy the guard
- Low jabs, from the waist to attack from different angles.
Once again, Fury will constantly vary these jab attacks along with feints to constantly keep his opposition guessing what his next move will be.
Now in terms of Fury’s footwork, it is probably most likened to Muhammad Ali as he dances around the ring. A brilliant example of this is against Klitchko, where he was constantly moving his feet by side stepping, using L-steps and even shifting off into Southpaw going the opposite direction he would be as an Orthodox fighter.
Fury will use his footwork to help reset his position so he can attack in more comfortable position while his opponent has to reset again causing them to overthink in term of where and how they should attack Fury next!
Defensive Boxing IQ
For me Tyson Fury has the best defense in the heavyweight division and has certainly almost mastered this within his boxing style.
“He’s a free flowing giant with many looks to his game” – (MindSmash)
It’s definitely an underappreciated element of his boxing skill set and he uses his genetics to his advantage. Standing 6ft 9 he has a tremendous reach which definitely helps, but also the fact that Fury has developed his footwork and feints to keep his opponents always guessing as they can’t seem to figure out his timing.
This therefore makes his opponent overcommit with big shots, that forces Fury to move out the way using footwork, slipping, shoulder rolling or using a huge frame to tie them up.
Tyson Fury’s hip movement and ability to duck quickly is one of the most extraordinary things for his size. Especially against Wilder in their first bout where he was able to duck against his huge right hands that came towards him while pivoting out the way from follow up left hook or flick jabs. This is something similar to what Canelo will do when multiple jabs or punches are thrown at him.
Check out this great video of Hanzagod showing some of Fury’s best defensive moves.
Fury for the most part doesn’t throw huge power shots all the time and this is so he doesn’t overreach his power, but uses his body mechanics and size with his punches to do just enough to make his opponents respect his power so that they don’t over commit when they do attack him.
Another element of Tyson’s game is on the inside, and due to him being so much bigger than the majority of his competitors in the heavyweight division. He will use his body weight to discourage them from getting too close, but Fury also uses this as a brilliant opportunity to use his forearm to set up shots when up close! See fight Fury’s against Cunningham as he took advantage of size against the smaller man.
Pressure “Kronk” Style
Now the only reason I have put this in here is mainly because of Fury’s display in his last bout against Wilder in their rematch. In this fight we saw Tyson come out in a very different manner where he applied pressure and looked for the KO from the outset, pushing the American KO artist on the back foot.
For this fight we saw Fury take on Sugar Hill as his coach, nephew of world renowned trainer Emanuel Steward of the Kronk gym. In this fight we saw Tyson adapt this ‘Kronk Style’ where you apply pressure by using a rangy and consistent jab as you walk down your opponent to set up a straight powershot to KO your opponent.
Now I’m not saying Fury was like the great Thomas Hearns who applied this style throughout his career, but it was very different to his usual footwork, light jabs and counter punches. It will be interesting to see if he applies this in his potential fight with Joshua.
Here is the fight so you can see the difference:
Tyson Fury’s boxing style for a boxing purist makes him one of the most fascinating fighters to watch today. Although he may not be the biggest puncher in the world, you will certainly get to see something different each time you watch The Gypsy King.
The biggest lesson I think you can take is his use of feints and ability to constantly keep your opponent guessing. Fury’s ability to make his opposition constantly think what his next move is of course his biggest asset in my opinion. By having your opponent thinking too much thus leave the space and opportunity for Fury to take advantage and control of the fight.
Hope you enjoyed this boxing style review and make sure to let me know if there are any more boxing styles you would like me to feature in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!