Tyson Fury believes he had already beaten Wladimir Klitschko before their 2015 world heavyweight title fight in Germany.
The ‘Gypsy King’ celebrated his four-year anniversary of dethroning Klitschko on Thursday, where he completed one of the biggest upsets in heavyweight history.
Travelling into Dusseldorf, Germany, the unfancied Brit outboxed and outmanoeuvred the unified heavyweight champion over 12 rounds – becoming the first man to beat the Ukrainian in 11 years.
Fury had previously claimed it was his life’s goal to beat ‘Dr Steelhammer’ and after doing so, he slipped into a deep depression.
But the 31-year-old is now back at the precipice of world boxing and gunning for the world heavyweight titles once again, releasing a Christmas single with Robbie Williams and even appearing in the WWE.
And in his explosive autobiography, ‘Behind the Mask’, Fury reveals he knew he would triumph when he met his rival because of an episode in the sauna during a 2010 training camp.
He wrote in his book: “About twenty of us (and my cousin Andy can verify this) went down to the sauna and an old American trainer who worked with Wladimir said to me, ‘You know Wladimir is the Sauna King, so show some respect. He likes to leave last after everybody else has gone.’
“Well, that was music to my ears because nobody loves a challenge more than me and I knew it was a perfect moment to wind up big Wlad.
“So we go in, I’m as fat as a pig and it’s the hottest sauna that I’ve ever experienced, with a big fire in the middle of it. We’re all there naked and they give you this stuff that looks like chocolate sauce to pour over yourself. One by one they all get out, to the point where it’s just me and Wladimir sitting there.
“We were only meant to be in there for twenty minutes but then he gets up and turns the clock back to go for another twenty minutes and I’m thinking, ‘I’m going to die here’. But I wasn’t going to let him beat me.
“I thought, ‘If I pass out, they can throw some water on me and I’ll be alright.’ So I count down the time in my head to keep me focused and then five minutes later Wladimir gets up and walks out in a huff.
“I thought, great, and stayed in for another ten minutes and when I came out I nearly fainted,. The old American trainer who had I had spoken to before I went in was still there and he said to me, ‘What did you say to Wladimir?’ I looked at him, took in a gulp of air and said, ‘Now I’m the Sauna King’.
“That’s how I knew I would beat Wladimir; he knew that I wouldn’t give in to him. Throughout all his camps he would stare at sparring partners, looking to intimidate them.
“He was big into psychology because he knew there was a good chance they would be beaten before the first bell would ring because they would have demons in their head from what had happened in the training camps with him. But he couldn’t do that to me.
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For anyone looking for some weekend reading or listening here’s an extract from Behind the Mask featuring the big dosser Wladimir Klitschko. Order your copy through the link in my bio. It’s currently a great price thanks to #blackfriday
A post shared by Tyson Fury (@gypsyking101) on Nov 29, 2019 at 3:01am PST
“He would stare at me in the gym and I’d shout across, ‘Have you got a problem?’
“I could see that his weakness was that he need to be in control of everything. We both left that training camp knowing he couldn’t intimidate me.
“And we both knew the same thing five years later when the moment finally came to fight for his world titles at the Esprit Arena in Dusseldorf in 2015.”