TYSON FURY revealed trainer Sugar Hill Steward treated him “like a piece of s***” to spark his rise to the top of the heavyweight world.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
The Gypsy King’s win over Dillian Whyte at Wembley on Saturday saw him tighten his grip as the division’s true star.
It has been a rollercoaster ride for Fury, who started his career as a gangly annoyance of a fighter on small shows.
He was even knocked down by a couple of underdogs and gifted a decision over brawler John McDermott.
But the most embarrassing moment — that may have been British boxing’s first viral clip — was when he hit HIMSELF with an uppercut in his 2009 clash with Lee Swaby.
Yet that now-famous stick-and-move style got him a couple of wins over Derek Chisora and then the 2015 points victory over Wladimir Klitschko for his WBA, IBF and WBO crowns.
But the second he was handed a cruel draw in his first clash with Deontay Wilder — after somehow clawing his giant frame up and off the canvas twice — he knew he had to throw everything he had learned out of the window.
It meant Fury had to reinvent himself completely, to be moulded into a big-punching master-blaster.
And only one man was up for the role of mentor.
Enter Sugar Hill Steward, the nephew of the great Emanuel Steward, the mastermind of Detroit’s notorious Kronk Gym.
Before he headed to a Hertfordshire pub to celebrate yesterday morning, Fury said: “When I brought Sugar in for the last few fights, he made me feel like a rank novice.
“He made me feel like a piece of s***. He made me feel a terrible boxer. He took the undefeated lineal heavyweight champion of the world and made me feel like a bum — like I had never had a fight in my life.
“He’s the only man in the world who could ever have done it. It takes a special mentality to strip it all back to basics and start again.”
Fury, 33, was clever and cautious in the first three rounds — and he coped with the Brixton Body Snatcher’s roughhouse attacks in the fourth.
The punch that ended the contest in the sixth round will sit alongside the Carl Froch stunner that destroyed George Groves in the same English stadium eight years ago.
That really did send the Cobra off into a happy retirement.
The combination of freakish height, Mensa-level boxing IQ and new-found dynamite in his gloves, make Fury an unquestionably special fighter.
He added: “Fair play to Dillian, he did try to rough me up. But have you ever tried wrestling with a dinosaur? I am a T-Rex in there, 6ft 9in and 270lb.
“He tried hitting me with his head and elbows — but when you try to cheat in a fight you always come off second best.
“However, boxing is not belly dancing, so I am not complaining.
“Dillian deserves his credit, he made millions, thanks to me.
“But he didn’t fight a world champion in there, I’m no world champion, I am a legend in this game.
“There is no denying it, I am the best heavyweight there has ever been, there has never been one to beat me.
“This isn’t just confidence. I have a 6ft 9in frame, weigh 270lb, move like a middleweight and hit like a thunderstorm.
“I have the balls of King Kong, the heart of a lion and the mindset of the Wizard of Oz.”
As well as being part Jurassic terror, part tornado and part jungle king, Fury is now also a part-time estate agent for old friend Chisora.
Del Boy had a high-risk bet with his two-fight foe Joseph Parker — who has just spent a year training alongside and sparring Fury — that Whyte would win the £31million showdown, with both men staking their HOUSE on it.
And now the ever-caring Fury, who beat Chisora in 2011 and 2014, is going to help rehome the North London brawler, who has lost back-to-back fights to Parker — and a mansion on top.
He grinned: “I made Derek Chisora homeless, unlucky. He lost his house to Joseph Parker.
“Don’t worry though Derek, I have a spare house next to mine in Morecambe — and you can come there and live in it anytime, brother.
“The moral of the story is — never bet against me.”
Another fighting fable might be, ‘Beware the uppercut of any man willing to uppercut himself.’