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Tyson Fury and the SugarHill Gang

A major talking point of the build-up so far is Fury’s coach being replaced by Javan ‘SugarHill’ Steward. Andy Lee, now part of Fury’s team, discusses the switch with Elliot Worsell
DIFFERENT DIRECTION:Fury is working with a new training team
Photo: JOHN McCOY/GETTY IMAGES

LIKE so many relationships, it began with a phone call. More accurately, a call to arms.

The call was received by Andy Lee, a former WBO middleweight champion, and made by Tyson Fury, a former WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight champion. It was unexpected if not unusual. Unexpected because it had been some time since they last spoke yet not entirely unusual because Fury and Lee had long been supporters of one another and in both coming from traveller backgrounds have more than just their profession in common.

Still, when his phone started to ring, Andy Lee was surprised to see Tyson Fury’s name appear on its screen. Confused, too, once the initial wave of small talk subsided and he got to wondering what had inspired Fury to reach out to him. “Andy,” Fury eventually said, “I need a new coach.”

Of all the potential paths their conversation might have taken, this was one Lee didn’t see coming. As far as he was aware Fury was happy with Ben Davison, his current coach, and, moreover, was in the early stages of preparing for a February 22 rematch with Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas. Fury elaborated by saying, “I need to bring somebody into the camp with a bit more experience,” but still Lee was confused. “Okay,” he replied, “but what about Ben?”

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