For those fighting in the blockbuster night of boxing on Saturday, December 1 from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, this year’s Thanksgiving will come during the tail end of training camp for their respective matchups. While the fighters may not be able to surround themselves with their loved ones or enjoy a traditional holiday meal, they still have plenty to be thankful for.
Fighters who are competing in the Wilder vs. Fury SHOWTIME PPV and SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION from STAPLES Center discussed what they are most thankful for this time of year. The SHOWTIME PPV begins at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT in an event presented by Premier Boxing Champions. The night kicks off with SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION at 6:45 p.m. ET/3:45 p.m. PT live on SHOWTIME and on SHOWTIME Sports YouTube channel and Facebook page.
Tickets for the event, which is promoted by BombZquad Enterprises and Queensberry Promotions, in association with TGB Promotions and DiBella Entertainment, are on sale now and are available via AXS.com. Wilder vs. Fury will be produced and distributed by SHOWTIME PPV. The suggested retail price (SRP) for the pay-per-view telecast is $64.99 for standard definition.
The event is headlined by a heavyweight world championship showdown that pits WBC champion Deontay Wilder against lineal champion Tyson Fury on SHOWTIME PPV®. The PPV undercard features unified super welterweight world champion Jarrett Hurd returning to take on Jason Welborn, Cuban heavyweight slugger Luis Ortiz facing-off against Travis Kauffman and rising heavyweight Joe Joyce battling Joe Hanks. In action on SHOWTIME BOXING: SPECIAL EDITION are former champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and hard-hitting Alfredo Angulo in a super middleweight clash. Non-televised action will see the return of former multiple-division champion Robert Guerrero.
Here is what the fighters said they are thankful for this holiday season:
“I’m just thankful for my beautiful family – my wonderful children and my beautiful lady. I’m just so thankful for all the positive energy that I’ve been receiving from my family. This is the happiest I’ve been in my life – career wise and in my personal life. I don’t have any drama and I’m ready to go December 1.”
“I’m most thankful for being alive, for being healthy and for being in a right mind. Business and jobs are very unimportant when you’ve got no health. You can be a billionaire but dying inside. It’s all irrelevant if you haven’t got your health. Because your health is your wealth. I’m very qualified to say it because I’ve been in some tough positions before. I’m just thankful to be alive.”
“I’m thankful for my family, my team, my health and the chance to get back in the ring and do what I love on December 1. Unfortunately, no Thanksgiving for me this year. I think I’ll even be on the plane on the holiday, which is fine for me so I don’t get the urge to eat. I’m also going to do a Turkey Drive in my community and make sure that I’m giving back as much as I can.”
“2018 has been my year. I’m thankful for my family – my wife, children, my dad and my Mom who looks over us all.
“I became British Champion in 2018, defended my title and now I’m going to shock the world in L.A. to cap a wonderful year.”
“First and foremost, I’m thankful for my daughter’s health and well-being, along with my whole family. I know that in boxing, there are no holidays. Thanksgiving will be whenever it lands and whenever I have the opportunity for it. Boxing is my first love and I’m happy to be training even during this time of year.”
“I’m thankful for this opportunity against Luis Ortiz; I’m thankful for my family and my three children, plus the blessing of having another baby on the way.
“I’m away from my family training in Texas and I’ll be sticking to my meal plan through Thanksgiving. This isn’t the first Thanksgiving I’ve missed though, it’s just a part of this sport. This is an opportunity of a lifetime and I’m staying focused on that. After this fight is over, I’ll make sure I get a Thanksgiving meal.”
“I am thankful for the people I have in my life, my mum, my dad and my brothers. I’ve got a great team and my career is just taking off. I am also about to be a part of a huge event on December 1st so for all this I am very thankful.”
“I’m thankful for family, friends and the ability to help provide for my family doing by doing what I love.
“I am actually going to have a little turkey on Thanksgiving. That’s part of the whole heavyweight lie. I’m still sacrificing every day in camp and I’m looking forward to the fruits of my labor. We’ll give up Thanksgiving to have a good Christmas.”
“I’m thankful for many things this year, but at the very top of that list are my wife and kids and especially my newborn son, Alfredo Angulo Jr., my biggest blessing. I’m thankful to my team for the opportunity to compete in this great fight in December. I’m going to repay with a huge win.”
“During the holidays, I’m always grateful that I’m able to spend time with family and friends. In addition, I’m grateful for all the blessings boxing has brought me, especially this latest journey that I’m excited to start on December 1.
VIDEO: Tyson Fury opens up ahead of his fight against Deontay Wilder
“If mental illness can bring someone as big as me, as strong as me… to my knees, then it can bring anybody to their knees” – Fury
Lineal heavyweight champion Tyson Fury opened up to SHOWTIME Sports® announcer Mauro Ranallo about his years-long struggle with mental health in what Ranallo deemed the most important interview of his career. The two sat down in Big Bear, California where Fury has been training for his December 1 showdown against WBC Heavyweight World Champion Deontay Wilder live on SHOWTIME PPV®.
Fury, who shocked the world in 2015 with a unanimous decision victory over former world champion Wladimir Klitschko, details his swift rise to the upper echelon of the heavyweight division, all while battling crippling depression and anxiety that diminished his love of the sport. He recounts his apathy toward boxing leading up to the Klitschko fight and the downward spiral he endured following his historic win.
Following his win over Klitschko, Fury would fail to face his mandatory challengers and attempted to combat his mental struggles with alcohol and drugs, eventually ballooning to 400 pounds. The self-proclaimed “Gypsy King” hit a turning point in October of 2017, when he began to seek help for depression and anxiety and was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, which Ranallo also suffers from.
Ranallo’s battle with mental illness was recently chronicled in the SHOWTIME documentary BIPOLAR ROCK ‘N’ ROLLER, where the combat sports announcer showcases his struggles and advocates for the shattering of stigmas surrounding mental illness. Like Ranallo, Fury aims to raise awareness of his own struggles and encourage others to seek help.
“It was like having a fight in my own mind,” Fury said. “[Mental illness] is a silent killer. It is almost like carbon monoxide poisoning because you can’t see it. My calling card is to spread the word on mental health.”
Fury’s journey back to stardom began with back-to-back wins in his first two fights this past summer. He knocked out Sefer Seferi in June of 2018, and followed suit with a unanimous decision win over Francesco Pianeta in August. His August victory culminated with an in-ring confrontation with Wilder, where the two announced their upcoming heavyweight blockbuster fight.
The heavyweight showdown headlines the December 1 SHOWTIME PPV live from STAPLES Center in Los Angeles (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT). Wilder, who has knocked out all seven challengers of his title, will attempt to make his eighth WBC Heavyweight defense. In the third fight of his comeback, Fury has the opportunity to become a two-time heavyweight world champion.