Fury switches training camps from Big Bear to Los Angeles
By Tim Royner: In a sign that things might not be going hunky-dory for lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury (27-0, 19 KOs), his promoter Frank Warren is reporting that the 30-year-old has moved down from his attitude training at Big Bear, California to Los Angeles to train at Freddie Roach’s Wildcard gym for his December 1 fight against WBC heavyweight champion Deontay ‘Bronze Bomber’ Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) on Showtime pay-per-view at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
This is a move that Fury is making sooner than expected, and it’s unclear if he’s not able to cut it with the high altitude training where fighters need to work hard. Fury leaving Big Bear sooner than what was planned is sign that things didn’t go well for him there.
Whether the altitude that was getting the best of Fury or the possible grueling sparring that he was doing with Joyce is unknown. If Fury didn’t like the sparring with Joyce, he should have pulled trainer Abel Sanchez aside and told him that he can’t handle the power and/or the fast pace that Joe fights at. Sanchez would have made sure that he used a different sparring partner for Fury to make it easier for him.
There aren’t many big heavyweights Fury’s size at Big Bear. Joyce and former IBF/WBA cruiserweight champion Murat Gassiev are special cases. Those guys seem to thrive on hard work. Gassiev comes from Russian, and he’s accustomed to working hard in training camp. Joyce is known as the ‘Juggernaut,’ a fighter that just never stops coming forward. Joyce can throw nonstop punches for a full fight without stopping. He was arguably robbed in the 2016 in his fight against Tony Yoka, who he badly outworked during the fight. Fury would be out of place at Big Bear among Gassiev and Joyce. Those two are like fish that love that Oxygen levels at Big Bear. For Fury, it would likely be very hard as a newbie, going in against guys with great stamina and fighting styles that involve constant action. Fury likes to waste a lot of time with non-fighting in his matches. You’ll often see him moving around the ring, trying to limit how many punches his opponent can throw at him. That’s the complete opposite of how Joyce and Gassiev fight.
You have to wonder whether Fury’s 6’9″ body is unable to deal with the high altitude the way that fitter, younger fighters are. If Fury is already falling apart under the rigors of training camp, then what’s to happen when he gets inside the ring with the 6’7″ Wilder on the night and he pushes a fast pace in their fight next month on December 1? You’d like to have seen Fury stick it out at Big Bear until the last moment so that he can get some more pounds off and work on his conditioning. Fury looked flabby, slow and one-paced in his last two comeback fights against Francesco Pianeta and Sefer Seferi. Fury’s mobility, which was once his biggest asset, is now gone. He now plods around the ring, often fighting against the ropes, and looking like he’s unable to muster the energy to move around the ring like he once could.
“Tyson Fury has come back down from Big Bear,” Warren said in his column at metro.co.uk. “He was training at high altitude, but is now settled at Freddie Roach’s gym in Los Angeles. They certainly came down sooner from Big Bear than they intended, but that’s purely because of the altitude.”
What we don’t know is if the sparring between Fury and unbeaten heavyweight contender Joe Joyce (6-0, 6 KOs) is getting to him or not. Having to spar an in shape 6’6″ 263 lb fighter like Joyce has got to be trying for Fury. Joyce has a way of jumping on his opponents right from the get go, forcing them to fight a full three minutes of each and every round without let up. There’s no breaks when one fights Joyce. He sticks to his opponents like glue, throwing massive shots to the head and body. Fury likes to duck his head and lean over the ropes to keep from taking shots to the noggin. That kind of fighting style wouldn’t work against Joyce. If he has an opponent that leans back against the ropes, he attacks their body with powerful shots that seem to go right through them like a hot knife through butter.
Fury choosing to leave Big Bear early to go down to altitude to train at Roach’s Wildcard gym might be interpreted by some as a sign that he can’t cut the mustard with Joyce, who likely will remain at Big Bear to continue to train with his trainer Abel Sanchez. The question is did Joyce work Fury over too much and make not want to stick at out?
Warren believes that Fury might wind up taking the fight to the unbeaten Wilder (40-0, 39 KOs) rather than getting on his bike and moving around the ringlike most boxing fans are expecting him to do.
“I just feel Tyson might take the fight to him,” Warren said. “Everyone’s got in their mind how this fight will be, Wilder’s going to come looking for the big punches and Tyson’s going to be on the back foot and try to outbox him.”
It might be a self-defeating move on Fury’s part if he goes straight into the teeth of Wilder’s offense on December 1. Wilder is the stronger, faster, more athletic and the better conditioned fighter of the two. Going straight at Wilder on the night would be an insane move, to be sure. It would obviously be the last thing that Wilder would expect, but that doesn’t mean it would be a successful game plan for Fury. Wilder would be surprised only briefly. Once Wilder realizes that he’s got Fury coming right at him, he’ll start windmilling on him with power shots, and the fight could end straightaway with Fury hitting the canvas for the 10 count like so many others have in the past. Artur Szpilka tried to attack Wilder in their fight in 2016, and he was knocked out cold in the 9th round. Szpilka was taken out of the ring on a stretcher.