Boxer Tyson Fury, who lives with his family in Morecambe, will face the fight of his career later this year as he competes for the World Heavyweight title by taking on opponent Wladimir Klitschko.
Aasma Day talks to Tyson’s wife Paris Fury about the family’s turbulent year and what it feels like to see Tyson so close to achieving his lifelong ambition
Whenever Paris Fury sees husband Tyson fill in a form and scrawl the word ‘boxer’ in the space for occupation, she finds herself suppressing a giggle.
“Before Tyson was well known, putting down boxer as occupation looked like something made up. I always thought people were looking at him thinking: ‘What kind of job is that?’
“Even now, it makes me smile although there’s no doubt whatsoever that boxing is Tyson’s job as he has achieved so much already and is very well known.”
Indeed, professional Great Britain and Ireland boxer Tyson may see his star ascending even further this year if he is successful in dethroning Wladimir Klitschko of his World Boxing Organisation (WBO) heavyweight title.
This fight is the biggest moment of Tyson’s career and is something he has been working towards for years.
Tyson, the undefeated British, European and WBO international champion, will take on the Ukrainian later in the year as he is the mandatory challenger for Klitschko’s WBO title.
Paris loyally believes Tyson will finally be crowned world champion as it is something the 26-year-old has aspired to and worked hard for since he was a young lad.
Paris, 25, who lives in Heysham, near Morecambe, with Tyson and their two children Venezuela, five, and Prince, three, explains: “Tyson is now training for the heavyweight world title and the fight will hopefully be held in England in September or October.
“This fight is the biggest moment of Tyson’s career and is something he has been working towards for years.
“From being a young boy, the only thing Tyson has said is that he wants to be the heavyweight champion of the world.
“Somehow, through hard work and determination, he has managed to get within reach of it.
“It does seem a bit surreal to suddenly get so close to something you have wanted for such a long time.
“When there are about seven or eight billion people in the world and only one heavyweight champion, to get that title would be such an amazing achievement for Tyson.”
Paris, who first got together with Tyson when she was 16 and has now been married to him for six years, is convinced Tyson will achieve his dream as she says he has always been a man of his word.
Paris says: “When I first met Tyson, I was attracted to him as he was just totally different to anyone else I knew.
“I strongly believe he will do it with the heavyweight title because he has always said he would.
“Tyson always puts all his effort into doing something he has set his mind to.
“This fight, if it comes off, will be the fight of Tyson’s career.
“However, Tyson does not really get pressurised in the run-up to a fight.
“He enjoys the build-up and thrives on it.”
If Tyson becomes the world heavyweight champion following the showdown with Klitschko, it will be a joyous conclusion to what has been a turbulent and rollercoaster year for the Fury family.
The family home in Morecambe was targeted by arsonists in February last year while Tyson was training in France.
Luckily, Paris and the children were with him in Cannes.
The couple received a telephone call telling them two cars on their driveway – a £12,000 Volkswagen and an older BMW estate – had been torched.
Paris also became ill last year and had to undergo surgery. Later in the year, she suffered a miscarriage.
Around the same time as Paris’s miscarriage, Tyson’s uncle Hughie, who he was very close to, became extremely poorly in hospital and, as a result, Tyson pulled out of a scheduled heavyweight clash with Alexander Ustinov. Hughie later died as a result of his illness.
Paris recalls: “There was a lot going on at that time as Tyson’s uncle Hughie was in intensive care in a coma.
“It was a real shock as he had actually gone into hospital for a routine operation after breaking his leg. But he was diabetic and suffered blood clots due to his leg being in a cast and that led to him going into a coma and dying.
“When you list all the things that happened to us last year, it was a rubbish year. But you have always got to be thankful for what you have got.
“We have been through highs and lows. Everyone’s life goes through this from time to time.
“I think this year is going to be a better year for us. Hopefully, we will have a clear run now.”
Paris admits the arson attack was a shock, but feels it would have been a lot worse if they had been at home.
And she has revealed they are looking for a new home as they feel they are too much on show where they are.
Paris says: “Too many people have easy access to us where we are now.
“A lot of people who come to our home are fans wanting autographs, but we have sometimes had people coming at all hours of the night. We have also had people going through our bins looking for personal details.
“It was worrying when we discovered someone had petrol bombed two cars on our drive.
“We realise the arson was just a jealous act by somebody.
“However, it does concern you if something like that happened while we were at home. Especially as Tyson is away fighting a lot while I am at home with the children.”
The couple have begun the search for their dream family home and although they have looked all over the country, they have not yet found the perfect house.
Paris says: “With what Tyson does and us having to go away so much, ideally we should live in London.
“But neither of us want to do that as we are Northerners at heart.
“I am originally from Yorkshire which is not that different from Lancashire and Tyson is originally from Manchester.
“We are looking everywhere for a new home, but it would be nice to stay in the area.
“We feel Lancashire has become our home.
“I do feel it is more hospitable in the North and people are friendlier so you make friends more easily and it is a laid back lifestyle.
“We will have to see where we end up after finding our perfect family home.”
Paris and Tyson have enjoyed a rare two months together in Morecambe as a family as Tyson was home for a longer stint than usual after winning his fight against Christian Hammer in London at the end of February.
Paris says: “When Tyson is at training camp, he is lucky if he gets to come home at weekends.
“So it was lovely for him to be at home and just do normal things with the kids and see them in the morning and at night and laugh and play with them.
“Like anyone else whose husband works away or is in the Army or is a sports personality, it does sometimes seem that I’m left alone to run the home like a single parent.
“Tyson and I enjoyed having time together and feeling like a married couple.”
Paris confesses that Tyson, who suffers from bouts of depression, is a much happier person when he is boxing and has a fight to focus on.
She explains: “Tyson is a far happier person when he is in training camp. When Tyson is not boxing, he is not working and he is a bit lost without it.
“Tyson has been all right with his depression for a while.
“I have to be a stronger person to be with him and around him when he is going through the dark times.
“A weak person couldn’t be with a sports star.”
Paris says people in a relationship with someone who has achieved stardom face many difficulties, but she just takes it in her stride.
“I can see why so many relationships in the limelight fail because every little thing gets turned into a mountain.
“It can be hard being with someone who is always in the papers and has so many Twitter followers.
“Everybody wants to know Tyson and have their photo taken with him.
“I often get people asking me if I get jealous when I see pictures of Tyson with other women.
“But I know he’s going to get attention from other women – it goes with the territory.
“I know there is no harm in it.”
Paris says Tyson can be a very spontaneous person and she never knows what to expect.
She says: “Tyson suddenly does things on a whim. Things just happen.
“You never know what you’re going to be doing or where you’re going to be.
“I find it very exciting and just go with the flow.
“If Tyson suddenly says: ‘Let’s go to LA.’ I’ll just pack a case and get on with it.
“Recently, Tyson woke up and said: ‘I fancy buying a Rolls-Royce’ and just went and bought a Rolls-Royce Phantom.”
If Tyson does achieve the title of World Heavyweight champion, Paris is adamant it won’t change them.
“If Tyson wins, I don’t see our lives changing dramatically,” she says.
“We are both very adaptable to change and just roll with the punches.
“Tyson already has a lot of stardom and that hasn’t changed us, so why would this?
“The only thing that will alter is the bank balance and I don’t see money changing us.
“Tyson always says: ‘Money will come and money will go’. The only thing it does is make life a bit easier.
“I’m not the type of person who is going to walk into a shop and say: ‘I want that because I can have it.’
“I still look at price tags and wait for things rather than just buy them because I can.
“We are also trying to bring our children up to appreciate the value of money.
“People say footballers get paid too much and I’m sure they say the same about boxers.
“But these people work hard and train relentlessly for years and the lifespan of their career might only be 10 years so they have to earn as much as they can in that time.
“Hopefully, this will be the year of highs after all the lows we’ve had.
“It would be wonderful if Tyson won his fight and achieved his dream.”