Boxing comeback king Tyson Fury inspired us to lose weight and get in shape

BOXING comeback king Tyson Fury has inspired ordinary blokes whose fitness was on the ropes.

Like the heavyweight champ, who lost 9st before defeating Deontay Wilder again earlier this month in Las Vegas, fight fans have been hitting the gym to turn their lives around.

The Gypsy King has certainly come a long way since reaching 28st and losing his boxing licence in 2016.

And he also won admiration for opening up about his drink, drug and depression troubles.

Tyson said in his book The ­Furious Method: “In the depths of my depression I was suicidal.

“But thanks to support from my family and friends, and by seeking professional help and focusing on a positive outlook on life, I got healthy in body and mind.”

His candid, go-getter attitude has led to Fury fever catching on across the UK, with the number of amateur boxers in clubs rising by 15 per cent in the past five years, according to market analysts ­Statista.

Here, three men tell KATY ­DOCHERTY how Tyson inspired them to turn their lives around, and we reveal how boxing can help you get fitter.

‘He inspired me to address my problems’ – Jordan 'The Masher' Maddison

WEIGH-IN: Then: 21st 10 Now: 15st

JORDAN, 26, went from Xbox to boxing in a bid to turn his life around.

The warehouse operative from ­Doncaster wanted to be a better dad to his newborn son Harry, now one. But at 21st 10lb and a size XXXL, he struggled to get up from the sofa, where he spent hours playing video games.

After watching videos of the Gypsy King, Jordan decided to take control of his health, both physical and mental. He headed to the gym to try boxing.

Jordan said: “Fury inspired me to really address all my problems and change my life and stop feeling sorry for myself.

“He had a goal he was working towards his whole life. Then he achieved it but had to conquer his demons to come out on top again.

"That inspired me to overcome my struggles and make the best of my life for me and my son. Now I can match my little boy’s energy.”

Like Fury, Jordan suffered from depression and struggled with loneliness after his relationship with his son’s mother broke down.

But boxing and running brought him focus as he shed 7st.

He added: “I listen to Fury’s ‘motivation compilations’ when I’m on a run. ­Sometimes they bring a tear to my eye. He’s an incredible guy.”

Now a trimmer 15st, Jordan has his first boxing bout a few weeks from now.

He said: “I just need to pick a walk-out song – and if I’m allowed to be in fancy dress like Fury, try stopping me!”

‘Do the best you can do… that’s good enough’ – Mark 'Hulk' Hudson

WEIGH-IN: Then: 19st 5lb Now: 16st 5lb

MARK toned up after becoming inspired by Tyson’s ­transformation.

The dad of two, 37, has lost 3st in six weeks while preparing for a bout, going from 19st 5lb to 16st 5lb.

And his sudden weight loss has made him proud of his dad bod.

He said: “Tyson’s totally outclassed Deontay Wilder, who has the most powerful punch ever in the last 40 years yet has been outboxed, outmanoeuvred and outfought.

“Tyson is quick on his feet and he’s got jiggly bits. That sends me the message that you don’t need to be perfect.

“You don’t need to have this David Beckham’s six-pack or anything like that. You can just do the best that you can do and that’s good enough.”

HR manager Mark first picked up mixed martial arts and boxing after splitting with his wife in 2017.

He said: “I didn’t want to quickly jump into some-thing else with someone while trying to heal. I thought I’d like to learn some- thing new and fighting seemed like a decent skill.”

He took up jiu jitsu and kickboxing but in lockdown and over the Euros his exercise routine stopped and the weight began to creep back. Now he says he is happy for it to fluctuate.

Mark, from Welwyn Garden City, Herts, said: “With blokes you tend to just see the before picture and then the after picture. The assumption is that I, and they, lived happily ever after and they were thin for the rest of their life.

“I was always fat, then got myself in shape, then I got fat again. To know you can still keep coming back, as long as you work hard, feels much more realistic and attainable than everything else I’ve seen before.”

Now Mark has been training for a fight since May and hopes to take some of the Gypsy King’s moves into the ring with him.

He said: “Tyson is not just someone I look up to – he’s also someone all my mates look up to.

“It’s rare that you have role models people will openly talk about.

“And when he gets into the ring, he’s so skilled and so determined. It’s really difficult to not be inspired.”

Gloved up for giving

MARK and Terry are taking part in Media Fight Night on November 4 to raise funds for In Your Corner, a charity run by qualified boxing and healthcare professionals.

It aims to improve the health of children and adults in London and Kent.

Advertising heavyweight John Maloney set up Media Fight Night in 2015 and will this year surpass £1million in funds raised.

Fighters in the white-collar boxing event are being trained by ex-amateur champ Mark Reigate, head coach of Fitzroy Lodge, a 111-year-old boxing club in South London’s Lambeth.

The club developed pro champs including David Haye and has helped thousands of disadvantaged youngsters and ex-offenders find purpose in their lives.

To donate to Terry and Mark’s fights, go to

‘ He’s so open about struggles. Each day is an opportunity ’ – 'Triple T' Terry Heath

WEIGH-IN: Then: 16st 10lb Now: 13st 10lb

TERRY says Tyson is helping men to open up about their feelings.

He suffers from anxiety and admires the boxing champ for talking about his bouts of depression.

The 39-year-old, who works in advertising, says: “Tyson’s so open about his struggles.

"Every day is an opportunity to better yourself and he’s proof you can go on and do more.”

Terry, from Buckhurst Hill, Essex, started boxing in 2019. At first, going to the gym was his worst ­nightmare.

He said: “The first time I went to the gym to spar, I looked at the door and thought, ‘I can run away from this’. It’s an environment I’d never been in before so it was massively uncomfortable.

“Yet it became natural very quickly. So instead of the fear of the unknown, now it’s almost the joy of the unknown.”

Terry’s training was interrupted by the pandemic but since the end of lockdown he has dropped from 16st 10lb to 13st 10lb.

Healthier and happier, Terry hopes speaking about his own anxiety will encourage other men to get help.

He said: “People can refer back to someone like Tyson being in the public eye. But it took me ten years of knowing I had an anxiety problem to speak to a counsellor.

"There needs to be more awareness around mental health. Blokes are murder because we don’t talk.

“If the heavyweight champion of the world can speak up on mental health issues, anyone should feel comfortable speaking about them as well.

“For his work on overcoming his own demons, Tyson should be seen as a pin-up for what can be achieved when you accept you need help and ask for it.”

Terry’s wife Becca, also 39, has seen her husband grow in confidence since taking up boxing.

She said: “Terry is a beautiful person, he always has been. We’ve been together since we were 16.

"But he struggles to see how amazing he is and sometimes lets his doubts hold him back, letting his ­anxiety get the better of him.

“Since he started training he now has a belief that if he reaches for the stars, he will be able to grab them with both hands.

“Boxing isn’t just a sport. The process of it can also become a therapy.”

Health benefits

BOXING has millions of fans worldwide and can deliver a great night out.

Throwing a few punches can improve your physical and mental health too.

Boxing provides a form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which reduces the risk of heart disease.

It also boosts aerobic fitness and lowers blood pressure – benefiting heart health.

It can aid weight loss as well. While you might think a punch comes solely from your arms, the exercise is actually a great workout for your whole body.

It requires pushing your lower body against the ground and engages your core to keep you stable, boosting overall strength as well as balance.

What’s more, it is a great way to release stress in a positive way, helping to improve mental health.

Personal trainer Will Duru, 27, uses boxing with many of his clients.

And he reckons it is one of the best ways there is to get fitter, stronger and leaner.

Will said: “Boxing is a sport of self-confidence and self-determination.

“It’s helped me to understand myself as a person during the most stressful and difficult times of my life.

“And it gave me an outlet for my fears and worries.

“It can have a really positive impact on your physical health but also your mental health.

“If you’re a beginner, find a good local boxing gym and invest in some decent gloves and running shoes, then master the basics like jab, hook and cross.”

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