Only six or seven years ago, Tyson Luke Fury (30-0-1) was known only in British boxing circles as he mostly faced journeyman and reliable losers while building his record.
At that time, he wasn't considered as a world force, based on his out of shape looks and foul-mouthed tirades. His memorable September 11, 2009 performance against an unfortunate John McDermott for the English heavyweight title showed a lot of flaws in his game and the scores were such a travesty that the Board ordered an immediate rematch.
It was only in 2012 that the entire country was calling for a fight between Fury and David Price to decide who was the best in Britain, with many siding with Price to win. He was also largely written off against David Haye in the fight that never happened.
Now that same man is called the best heavyweight boxer in the world, having won every world title there is, and the question is, 'What has changed - the perception or Tyson himself'?
If Tyson Fury ever watched early fights of the legendary fighter he was named after, he knows that the press can be so cruel.
When 'Iron' Mike Tyson was knocking down respectable journeyman and contenders on his way up, they were all suddenly called bums. But, when they lasted more than a few rounds than expected, it was that 'Iron' Mike was not good enough. No matter what happened, it took some time for everyone to realise that he was one of the greatest fighters in history. Like his namesake, Fury kept knocking down the opponents, once fighting six times in seven months.
He proved his worth against respectable contenders like Stevie Cunningham, coming back from a knockdown, and Dereck Chisora twice, who was unbeaten and considered the favourite in their first fight in 2011. Fury won the British and Commonwealth belts that night in Wembley Arena, as he went 12 rounds for the first time in his career. He settled the controversy of the first fight with John McDermott by knocking him out in the second fight. Still, no one gave him a chance against Wladimir Klitschko, especially in his own back yard in Germany, who was undefeated for more than a decade.
Fury was dominant and confident during the fight, and easily won the biggest bout of his life on points, which later led him to two epic duels with Deontay Wilder, that were as exciting as the best of fights.
It was his return to Britain as the Lineal heavyweight champion that saw his downfall, unfortunately. The media and general public didn't accept Fury's incredible feat and chose to vilify him instead. In interviews, he was questioned on his views on homosexuality and women's place in society. He answered these questions honestly and the answers didn't bode well. His viewpoint on gays, women, sex games were not well received and he soon spiralled into a state of depression, ballooning to 28stone after drug and drink binges, subsequently losing all his world titles.
Reach - 85 inches to be exact.
Movement - Despite his large frame and bulk, Fury is a heavyweight that can move like a middleweight. It's his biggest attribute and frustrates his opponents, driving them mad!
Awkwardness - Fury's ability to make life difficult for his foes is unparalleled. When they come in to try to land against him, his lengthy arms paw at them and tangle them up and they come away from their attacks with nothing!
Ring IQ - Fury is at home in the ring. A natural fighting man, he knows that rin like the back of his hand. Fighting is in his gypsy blood and there's none that can better him for ring generalship.
Chin / Recovery - We have seen Fury decked by Stevie Cunningham and Deontay Wilder, and we have seen him get up from both knockdowns to almost immediately come back out on top. Only moments later from being knocked down by the world's most fearsome puncher, he was hanging his chin out with his hands held behind his back, taunting Wilder who had literally knocked him out cold a minute earlier! In their rematch, he took a big shot on the temple in the first round from a much heavier Wilder, but shrugged it of like it was nothing.
Mental Strength - The man is larger than life. He simply cannot be intimidated our affected by mind games. Of which, he is actually the master of... enter Joker! He doesn't try hard to get into his opponent's head, he just manages to do so without even trying.
Cut - Fury has suffered from some bad cuts, most notably against Otto Wallin during their bloody battle in September 2019. He required plastic surgery afterwards and has since had some sort of protective mesh placed underneath the skin to avoid it opening up as easily again. Clearly anxious about it, he hired the world's best cutman, Jacob 'Stitch' Duran for his last fight.
Power - Despite his size and weight, he hasn't got considerable power like his closest rivals, Wilder and Joshua, have. There's considerable weight behind his blows, but he doesn't manage to ice his opponents cold like other heavyweights can. A lot of his victims choose to retire after sustaining too much damage, but they are not often carried out on their backs.
Activity - Fury's defensive style means that he is often on the back foot, countering his opponents and causing them to make mistakes. As such, a lack of activity has allowed his rivals to take some of the rounds from him. It was a different story in hislast fight, of course, but he has been known to give away rounds that he could have won by not beig busy enough.
Focus - His showman antics and taunts in the ring has sometimes cused him to lose focus. The 12th round knowkdown at the hands of Wilder was initiated by a hard jab that visibly caught his attention, but he stayed in range and was caught again, but by a devastating combination. Sometimes, his showing off can cause a slight lapse in concentration.
So, what has changed? When you look at Fury, his body is still not athletic. He certainly doesn't cut the same figure that Brit rival Anthony Joshua does. He doesn't have an adonis-like body, but at the same time, he doesn't want or even need one. The 6ft 9" giant can move slicker, swifter and smoother than any other heavyweight in the world, defying the laws of physics.
All he changed from his early days is how to slim to his ideal weight and the way he perceives boxing. AJ fans may disagree that Fury is the world's best, but when it comes to mental strength, he is definitely No.1.
Consummate professional and long-reigning world champion Wladimir Klitschko was visibly disturbed by Fury's antics in the build up to their November 2015 fight in Dusseldorf. Then, when he got in the ring with the man himself, he was even more bamboozled, shocked and confused. Fury was effective with his mind games pre-fight and effortless in easing his way to a comfortable victory against a formidable champion who had defended his reign successfully 20 times until Fury dethroned him so dramatically.
Post-fight, the critics were out in force, and the win was mostly put down to an ageing Ukrainian beginning to decline at the advanced age of 39. Yet, Dr. Steelhammer had a life and death battle with Anthony Joshua almost two years later in an epic heavyweight fight at Wembley Stadium, where AJ was very lucky to survive parts of it. Klitschko was even leading on one ringside judge's scorecard until the dramatic 11th round stoppage.
While fighters need to be showmen to sell the arenas, you can see that among heavyweights, only Fury knows how to do it. Poster boy Joshua has obviously sold out arenas and smashed attendance records, but that's largely down to the Matchroom Boxing machinery.
Fury self-promotes and spends planning his ring entrances as much as his tactics for the next opponent, but this is what makes him motivated. The natural showman loves being the centre of attention, he lives for the limelight, he wants that microphone all the time, playing up to the cameras and the adoration of fans.
He doesn't need to do that now because of the behemoth he has now become, but it's something that he enjoys and wants to share with the world. We can say that his passion for entertaining is what will keep him at the top. Once the adulation goes, so too will Tyson, but it's already spoken that he has an exit plan and won't be hanging around much longer in boxing.
But the most significant legacy of Tyson Fury will be that he redefined the rules about how heavyweight champion should look. He proved to everyone that you could truly be the people's champion - someone that acts and looks like a blue-collar worker, just one of the lads.
While he is still spending hours training, while others spend time on Chaturbate, that doesn't change the fact that he is a unique fighter that will be remembered for more than his titles.