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If you thought the life of heavyweight champ Tyson Fury is wild and unpredictable – it is nothing compared to the murky pasts of his father and uncle.
Dad John famously gouged a man’s eye out over a fight that started over a bottle of beer but his brother Peter also spent years behind bars.
And while we are accustomed to seeing Tyson Fury drive around in super cars, Peter Fury was doing so decades before his nephew, although unlike the boxing legend, his wealth was not accumulated through sporting means.
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Instead, his name was one that came with an infamous reputation in the North West of England where he rose up in the underworld.
Speaking to BoxingScene, he once said: “I was wild when I was younger. I’d see someone with a nice pair of trainers on and want to have a fight with them.
“Then anyone who wanted protection would come to me because I was seen as a tough young fella. One thing led to another. I went from looking after people, to looking after other areas to looking after cities.”
Despite only being a young lad in his 20s, Peter became a kingpin for a crime gang where he headed up a supply chain of illegal amphetamine. He helped smuggle it from Belgium into the North West where it was cut and prepared before being distributed to buyers.
Before justice caught up with him, flashy Peter enjoyed the luxuries he earned through his criminal activity and he owned both a Ferrari and a Porsche 911 with a personalised registration plate. His lavish motors didn't change him much though – as he continued to live in caravans to keep in tradition with his traveller background.
But his life in the fast lane began to derail when he was caught collecting a rucksack containing 10kg of speed in 1994. Rather than admit his wrong doings, he tried to fool the courts by saying his riches came from boxing, bare knuckle brawling and from flogging used cars.
Despite pleading his innocence, he was caged for 10 years for possession of amphetamine with intent to supply after evidence found he was making dodgy deals using bank accounts in America, Spain and Ireland.
The savvy former criminal continued to run his empire behind bars and he was later sent back inside in 2008 for money laundering and was ordered to pay back almost £1 million in assets.
At the time, Alun Milford, head of the CPS Organised Crime Division, said: “It is clear from his realisable assets that Fury has enjoyed an extremely comfortable lifestyle and we will work vigorously to ensure he pays the court’s order.”
Eventually, he did manage to turn his life around in prison, and he went on to achieve lofty heights by training his nephew Tyson to become a world champion boxer.
But giving a stark insight into his time in jail, he told BoxingScene: “You’re on a knife edge. They soon get to know if you can fight and stand up for yourself. If you are weak in prison then you get quickly found out.
“I was regarded as dangerous, so I was locked up with IRA members and lifers. It was like being in the dark for 24 hours a day. You can get beaten up in prison, you can get stabbed, but you can get all that on the streets as well. I’d dealt with that growing up.
“You sweat blood and tears in those cells. All those people who stick their chests out and say jail is easy are lying because there is nothing worse than being away from your family. Someone could put a million quid into a bank and ask me if I’d do my time over again for it – I wouldn’t.”
He went on: “You’re in hell on earth. That man sat next to you can easily put a knife through your neck because they’re in for life and are in despair with nothing to lose. People have no idea what it’s like. Going inside made me realise what life was about and what I was missing.”
He also said he became a changed man because of the experience, adding: “You move on, learn from it and it makes you a humble person. They say that some bad things can turn into good things. Unless you’ve had that experience, you don’t realise how good life can be.”
And life certainly became good for Peter who trained his son Hughie and nephew Tyson ever since they were little kids. This paid off in November 2015 when Tyson was crowned heavyweight champion of the world when he dethroned the once formidable Wladimir Klitschko.
Giving praise to his uncle, Tyson said: “If it wasn’t with Peter, I wouldn’t be boxing. I wouldn’t train with anyone else.”
But his past came back to bite him two years before Tyson’s title triumph after he was denied entry into America for one of his nephew’s professional bouts. He was also once denied entry into New Zealand when his own son was fighting for the world title before this decision was reversed.
After prison he went on the straight and narrow and moved to the French Riviera where he owned a villa in Cannes and enjoyed a millionaire lifestyle.
Posting on X, formerly known as Twitter, in 2016, he stood beside a swanky McLaren 570S Coupe sports car and wrote: “Wonder who’s just bought this super machine?”
And in an interview with Boxing Monthly, he told the publication his life of crime was over, saying: “I’ve just finished paying nearly a million quid to the Government. Now I have to show people that I don’t get into anything, I’m a recluse, really. The police have a lot of informants and intelligence, so they know I’m not active in anything. I’m happy with that.”
However, despite now being an upstanding citizen, he is still not a man to be messed with. In 2017, during a heated press conference involving his son.
He stood up and and told promoter David Higgins: “Who gives a f*** about you or your f****** bodyguards? We come from the street, f*** off d***head, squealing like a pig. You don't belong in fighting circles, let the men fight, f****** dummy!”
Although he has not trained Tyson for a long time, Peter has enjoyed great success in women’s boxing. He has worked alongside Savannah Marshall for years and has guided the ‘Silent Assassin’ to undisputed world titles.
Speaking earlier this year before Savannah’s victory over Franchon Crews, he said: “No trainer has got a key in a world class fighter’s back and keeps turning it. We’re here to advise and point out things but, ultimately, it comes down to who is the best fighter.”
And taking to Twitter earlier this month, Peter gave an insight into what are the most important things in his life as a man in his 50s.
Writing to his 143,000 followers, he said: “Life is good when your family’s life is good, safe secure and respect is not easily achieved, some get one, but seldom them all. As the sand runs out the bottle , I look back on what I’ve really achieved & it’s family, friends and good people. The rest is just a dream we forget.”
- Tyson Fury
- Prison News
- Wladimir Klitschko
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