Tyson Fury claims he may retire from boxing if he fails to beat world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and is left feeling like “a fraud” on Saturday.
The 6ft 9ins Traveller challenges Klitschko for the Ukrainian’s WBA, WBO and IBF belts in Dusseldorf insisting the bout is “just another fight”.
He is understandably confident of beating the odds at the ESPRIT Arena and claims, truthfully or not, that failure would make him consider walking away.
“If I lose on Saturday, I’m a fraud.
“I won’t be the champion I think I am. It would mean I’m no good. Simple. If I can’t beat Wlad, it means I’m no good. And I’ll be the first person to say that.
“I’d think about retiring, for sure. Because make no mistake, there’s nobody out there other than Wlad that’s any good. I think Wlad could beat the rest of them out there.
“It is what it is. if I don’t beat him then I’m obviously no good so I’ll think about doing nothing and just put my feet up.”
While he is willing to consider the fact he may lose, 27-year-old Fury, who weighed in one pound heavier than the champion at 247lbs on Friday, is by no means expecting it.
“I think it’s going to be really easy to be honest,” he said. “One of my easiest fights.
“It’s just another fight for me. They’re all must-wins. This fight is no more important than my last one or the one before that because every one is just a piece in a jigsaw puzzle and if I hadn’t won those ones before I wouldn’t be in this position.
“To me it’s just a boxing fight. Two men, two pairs of gloves. That’s it. We’ll go at it and may the best man win. I have no hard feelings towards Wladimir, and I hope he performs to the best of his ability.”
Fury (24-0, 18KO wins) labelled 39-year-old Klitschko “mutton dressed as lamb”.
“He’s old. He looks pretty, he looks the part, but we know mutton isn’t lamb,” he said. “You can taste the difference. We all know an old, 10-year-old sheep is not a nice young spring lamb in a field. That’s what Wlad is. He looks okay on the surface, but deep down he is an old, veteran fighter.”
Klitschko, for his part, rates Fury as his biggest challenge since he fought David Haye, despite Fury’s fellow Briton whimpering to a lop-sided defeat when they met in 2011.
“I would say so,” said the Ukrainian (64-3, 53KO wins). “I had some challenging fights before that and then again with Haye.
“There is a lot of noise, there is a lot of tension and pressure (against these fighters).
“But pressure is actually a positive thing, you perform better under pressure.”
The odds will be firmly stacked against Fury when the first bell sounds and while the challenger undoubtedly has a puncher’s chance, a late stoppage would be the safest bet.