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Tyson Fury: 'I Prayed to God to Kill Me' After Becoming Undisputed Champion

Sports Illustrated logo Sports Illustrated 9/06/2019 Khadrice Rollins
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While speaking with ESPN's Jeremy Schaap on an E:60 special, Tyson Fury shared how his mental health declined after defeating Wladimir Klitschko to become the undisputed heavyweight champion and how he felt he was "robbed" in his draw against Deontay Wilder in December.

Fury took down Klitschko in November 2015 to claim the IBF, IBA, WBO and WBC heavyweight titles. But in the aftermath of becoming the champion, he shot up to 400 pounds and started drinking heavily and using cocaine as he dealt with depression.

"It doesn't get any darker than not wanting to live," Fury told Schaap. "That's as dark as it can go I suppose. And that's where I was at in my life. I prayed to God to kill me. I'd wake up in the morning and I'd say, 'Why did I wake up again? Why am I back in this place I don't want to be?'"

© Photo by Lionel Hahn/PA Images via Getty Images

Fury explained how "nobody" outside his immediate family "will ever really know how far I came back" to get back in the ring and near the top of the heavyweight division.

During his absence from the ring, he was stripped of all his titles.

Fury also explained how he felt he was "robbed" in his fight against Wilder on Dec. 1, 2018, saying he feels he won 10 of the 12 rounds, losing only the two rounds he was knocked out.

"If I lost to Deontay Wilder, I'd say, 'Fair play Deontay, you beat me.' No chance," Fury told Schaap. "I won the fight, 10 rounds to two, but I get a draw. Which only adds cayenne pepper to my story. Because it makes it more watchable, more controversial. After everything I've been through, they robbed me of the biggest comeback in boxing history."

Fury added that he would beat Wilder "seven days a week and twice on a Sunday."

Last month, Wilder tweeted that he has set up a rematch with Fury, reportedly scheduled to take place in 2020.

Fury's next match will be on Saturday against Tom Schwarz.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention and mental health:

Lifeline's 24-hour telephone counseling service on 0800 543 354

Need to talk? 1737 – free call or text any time to talk to a trained counselor

Depression Helpline (8am to 12 midnight) - 0800 111 757

Suicide Crisis Helpline (aimed at those in distress, or those who are concerned about the wellbeing of someone else) - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)

Youthline - 0800 376 633, free text 234 or email talk@youthline.co.nz

Healthline – 0800 611 116

Samaritans – 0800 726 666

If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

Readers seeking support and information about substance abuse and alcohol addiction

Healthline – Speak to a registered nurse, 24 hour health advice: phone 0800 611 116

Alcohol Drug Helpline: 0800 787 797, text 8681

Māori Helpline – 0800 787 798, text 8681

Pasifika Helpline – 0800 787 799, text 8681

Youth Helpline – 0800 787 984, text 8681

CareNZ – Works with people affected by addiction to alcohol and other drugs

Pact – Supports people to overcome alcohol, drug and gambling issues in Wellington and on the West Coast

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