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Mick Hennessy: I'd be finished if it wasn't for Tyson Fury

Nick Potts / PA Archive/PA Images

Mick Hennessy admits he would be finished as a boxing promoter had it not been for Tyson Fury's loyalty.

Fury (24-0, 18 KOs) challenges IBF-WBA-WBO world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko (64-3, 53 KOs) on November 28 after once offering to box for nothing during a difficult time for Hennessy.

After Hennessy was left without a broadcaster and top fighters had left his stable, Fury promised the British promoter his loyalty and likened their situation to the film Jerry Maguire, which is about a sports agent -- played by Tom Cruise -- struggling to make his business work with a single client, an NFL footballer played by Cuba Gooding Jr.

Fury, 27, has stuck by Hennessy since his professional debut on the undercard of Carl Froch's first world title triumph in 2008, which was live on ITV with an audience of over five million viewers.

"I lost the ITV contract through no fault of my own because they were cutting back and had finished with Formula 1 and we were left in no man's land, with no TV," Hennessy told ESPN.

"A lot of people wanted Tyson at the time because he'd had a good build up on ITV and was looking really good.

"Tyson came to me and said 'Are you having problems?' I explained the situation to him and told him it would be hard to get back on track, it would be tough.

"He made it clear to me, that after telling him the proper picture, he believed in me after I had given him such a good a deal and shown belief in him when others wouldn't. He said he didn't care how bad it got and said 'I will be with you until the end'. He said, 'If there's no money on the table I will fight for nothing'.

"It was after our last show on ITV late in 2009, and 2010 was tough until we got back on TV in 2011.

"At the time Carl Froch was world champion, Darren Barker was European champion and not far off a world title fight and John Murray was also not far off a world title fight. They all left me but there was something telling me that Tyson was different.

"Tyson was the highest profile fighter who stuck with me through really tough times. He showed me what he is made of, which is unique. It was loyalty. "It was Tyson that told me about Jerry Maguire, and said 'Mick, that's me and you'. There's a line in the film that says 'my word is stronger than oak,' and there's no truer thing than that with Tyson. Tyson wouldn't sell people down the river for money, he's a generous person.

"I was left for dead at one point. I think it would have been hard for me to stay in the game without Tyson because I was disillusioned and beginning to dislike the sport and lot of people in it.

"There wasn't much that motivated me but to see a raw, 6ft 9in young heavyweight who could talk and fight kept me motivated. It was something I hadn't achieved before, bringing a young heavyweight from the amateurs through to the world heavyweight title, the biggest prize in boxing.

"That challenge and because of the way Tyson was and he went above the call of his duty by saying what he did to me, that gave me the inspiration to come through that period."

For former British champion Fury, the toughest times were last year. "We've had a few setbacks with [David] Haye pulling out twice, and that pushed us back a year," Hennessy said.

"If you look before that Haye fight was supposed to happen, Tyson had a final eliminator with [Kubrat] Pulev to fight Wladimir, which Pulev ended up doing a year ago. We let that go because Tyson had always wanted to fight Haye. In hindsight we should never have done that and taken the Pulev fight and then Tyson would already have been world champion.

"Without question that period when Haye pulled out was a low point. He's had four fights in two years postponed.

"There have been lower points because he lost his uncle Hughie last year and they also went through the situation with his wife [Paris] and the miscarriage after five months of being pregnant. Tyson and his uncle had been in each other's pockets and losing the baby was another really sad blow. They were hard times for the family. It was a really, really hard period for Tyson physically and mentally."

"It was Tyson that told me about Jerry Maguire, and said 'Mick, that's me and you'"

Mick Hennessy

But after the tough times, Hennessy is convinced the good times are about to roll. Ukrainian Klitschko, 39, is world No.1 and has reigned as world heavyweight king for nine years. Most of his career has been spent boxing in Germany and when Manchester's 6ft 9in Fury steps in the ring to face Klitschko in Düsseldorf he will do so as underdog. Hennessy believes the timing of the bout -- pushed back a month after Klitschko suffered a calf injury in training -- is perfect for Fury.

"I probably would have expected the world title shot sooner than now but the timing is right for this," Hennessy said. "I would never have taken the Klitschko fight if I didn't think he could do it and all our dreams are going to come true.

"I think about what we have been through together, and it will make it sweeter when he wins the world titles because we've had it hard.

"Tyson may swear and go over the top but what people have to realise is that he is an honest person. He's not trying to manipulate the public for the most money he can get out of them. It's refreshing and people are taking to him now because they realise he says it how it is."