Tyson Fury says he’s in the best shape of his life ahead of Saturday’s comeback bout against Sefer Seferi in Manchester.
The 29-year-old heavyweight will fight for the first time since triumphing over Wladimir Klitschko to claim the IBF, WBA and WBO titles in November 2015.
Wythenshawe-born Fury has looked sharp in workouts and was in buoyant mood ahead of his long-awaited return to the ring.
“I don’t ever remember feeling any better than I do now,” he said.
“I feel like I’ve been a goldfish in a tank, trapped, and now I’m getting released back into the river where I belong – watch me swim!
“I feel faster, sharper than I’ve ever been, with more power.”
Fury made brief reference to his absence during the press conference, describing a “rollercoaster” period which saw him lose his boxing licence, come under an investigation from UK Anti-Doping and battle with depression.
— Oscar Lynch (@oscarlynch) June 6, 2018
This turbulent time saw him balloon to over 27 stone, though the self-styled ‘Gypsy King’ expects to register at around 19 and half stone at Friday’s weigh-in.
He has also admitted to binge drinking and using cocaine during this period.
Fury added: “I fell out of love with the game. It’s no secret that I couldn’t be bothered with boxing anymore.
“Now the love is thriving, we’re back on fire for each other.
“It’s like any good relationship, all you’ve got to do is spice it up.”
Though Seferi comes to Manchester Arena having spent most of his career fighting at cruiserweight, Fury insisted the 39-year-old will provide a suitable challenge.
He said: “I look at Sefer like I look at Wladimir, Joshua, Wilder, anybody – he’s a dangerous puncher with 21 knockouts, and he’ll be coming to knock me spark out on Saturday.”
Seferi – who concedes five stone and nearly a foot to his opponent – told of his respect and admiration for Fury, but assured reporters he has “come to Manchester to win”.
The Albanian has won 23 of his 24 fights, with the sole defeat coming at the hands of Manuel Charr in September 2016.
Fury’s absence left a power vacuum at boxing’s summit, allowing Anthony Joshua to ascend to top of the heavyweight division and become the face of British boxing.
“Tyson Fury is all talk”
“Tyson Fury is finished”
A 6″9 man has no right to be that quick on his feet
— Tyson Fury returns… live on BT Sport (@BTSportBoxing) June 4, 2018
But Fury – who is still unbeaten in 25 fights – said he would not be looking to send a message to the division’s contenders with his performance.
“They know the message already – I’m back.”