It’s not usually a story when a world champion boxer makes his way down to the track on a weekend, but Tyson Fury’s trip to Churchill Downs on Saturday is breaking that expectation. The lineal heavyweight champion of the world will be heading to the Kentucky Derby to see if a horse with his namesake, King Fury, will win the Run for the Roses.
King Fury currently sits at 20-1 odds for the first Triple Crown race. As for the where the name came from, trainer Kenny McPeek apparently decided upon it during Fury’s fight against Deontay Wilder last February.
“That was such a great fight and so fun to watch, and he seems like a really fun guy,” McPeek said, per ESPN. “The other thing is when you name colts, especially really well-bred, expensive colts, you want to name them with a strong name.”
Other names that McPeek was mulling over were “The Gypsy King,” and “Gypsy King Fury.”
It wasn’t until Tuesday that Fury even became aware of this horse’s existence. McPeek offered the boxer VIP tickets to the big race so that he could bear witness to his namesake, an offer that Fury simply could not refuse.
“It’s always something I’ve been interested in, the biggest horse race in the world,” Fury said. “I’ve always wanted to go to the Kentucky Derby, never had the opportunity to do so. This is the opportunity to do so.”
“I’m really looking forward to going down there and meeting King Fury and getting a win because we only do winning, we don’t do losing here at Gypsy King Headquarters. I hope it’s a big colt. I will see him Saturday. Looking forward to going down there.”
Fury is currently in talks to take on Anthony Joshua, the actual holder of the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO title belts — Fury is known as the “lineal” champion because he never lost them in the ring, but was stripped one and he vacated others. The Kentucky Derby is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 1 and has a posted starting time of 6:57 p.m. ET.