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‘Stop messing around’ – Frank Warren tells story of Tyson Fury’s ‘hilarious’ first encounter with BT Sport execs before he returned to fight Deontay Wilder in 2018


Tyson Fury’s first encounter with BT Sport bosses before his return to boxing in 2018 was unusual to say the least.

In 2015, the Gypsy King dethroned Wladimir Klitschko and won the WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight titles.

Fury was on top of the world after beating Klitschko, but everything quickly fell apart
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However, his life then spiraled out of control with excessive drinking and drug use brought on by mental health issues which saw him lose all of his titles outside of the ring and also gain weight.

In 2017 Fury decided to make a comeback and in June the following year returned to the boxing ring.

To do so, he signed promoter Frank Warren, who has now told talkSPORT how it all happened.

Warren explained on the talkSPORT Boxing YouTube channel: “It was awesome. I met him, he went down for the first time on his own, then I met him with his lawyer and it was great.

“I could see the enthusiasm was there, but I could see the size.

'Stop messing around' - Frank Warren tells story of Tyson Fury's 'hilarious' first encounter with BT Sport execs before he returned to fight Deontay Wilder in 2018
At the end of 2017, Fury had over 28 stones
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“We worked and said, ‘Okay, we’ll give you three or four comeback fights.

“It’s not like sometimes when a guy is out of the ring and you say, ‘You have a comeback fight and then you’ll fight for the world title.

“He was such a size and carried so much bullshit on him that he needed those fights to keep training and losing weight.

“So it was, ‘Okay, okay, we’ll do those two fights,’ we agreed to that.”

It was the first step, but Warren and Fury still had to convince broadcaster BT Sport.

'Stop messing around' - Frank Warren tells story of Tyson Fury's 'hilarious' first encounter with BT Sport execs before he returned to fight Deontay Wilder in 2018
Fury was never going to use orthodox tactics to get what he wanted in a business meeting
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To do this, Tyson took an unconventional approach by bringing a friend to London to campaign on his behalf.

“Next thing, I gotta air it,” Warren continued.

“We had a deal – and still have it – with BT, so I’m taking him to BT.

“They hadn’t been in boxing that long and basically they’re a communications company that got into the sport.

“They had a few sports people there, but it’s like a really different world for them.

'Stop messing around' - Frank Warren tells story of Tyson Fury's 'hilarious' first encounter with BT Sport execs before he returned to fight Deontay Wilder in 2018
Warren supported Fury’s return
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“It was quite funny for me because I do it every day, it was quite funny to see what happened.

“So we’re going there and bearing in mind that there had been some unsavory things that had been in the papers.

“Tyson, when he was in a bad place, said a few stupid things and some things were taken out of context as well.

“I’m not an apologist for this, it was what it was and it was in a bad place.

'Stop messing around' - Frank Warren tells story of Tyson Fury's 'hilarious' first encounter with BT Sport execs before he returned to fight Deontay Wilder in 2018
Fury didn’t impress Sefer Seferi too much in his comeback fight but proved he’s still elite when he fought Deontay Wilder

“Anyway we went there and with all that in mind we go to this room full of executives and a few guys who work on boxing.

“We had the meeting at the office and Tyson brought his mate Matthew who was a pretty rich guy, a gypsy himself.

“We are in the office and we negotiate the amount to be paid.

“I’m obviously saying, ‘Look, you bought us, we’re partners. With Tyson, I tell you, he will become world champion again. We can do it, it can happen. We want to make BT the birthplace of British boxing.

“I said, ‘In a few years this will be the place to be, especially for heavyweight boxing. This can be done.’

'Stop messing around' - Frank Warren tells story of Tyson Fury's 'hilarious' first encounter with BT Sport execs before he returned to fight Deontay Wilder in 2018
Fury is heavyweight champion of the world again
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“I go on and on and on, and we argue about money, and then suddenly Matthew – I’ve never met him before, he’s a pretty nice guy.

“He just spoke up and said, ‘Stop bothering, do you know who he is? That’s what he should get.

“I’m like – imagine these guys having these conversations with the Champions League and with the Premier League and all that, and now there’s this kind of trade deal going on.

“I found it hilarious and they were like, ‘What the fuck?’

“Anyway, we closed the deal and got him what he wanted.”

Fury returned against Sefer Seferi in June 2018 and six months later shared the ring with Deontay Wilder for the first of their trilogy fights, which would ultimately see him once again become world heavyweight champion.

Boxing on talkSPORT

Visit YouTube for more talkSPORT dedicated boxing content where you’ll find exclusive interviews with Tyson Fury, Eddie Hearn and Jake Paul, plus our very own boxing insider.

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