Tommy Fury has compared mastering ballroom dancing to learning to speak a foreign language, saying that it is “one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life”.
The boxer and his Love Island co-star Curtis Pritchard, a dancer, swap jobs in their new TV series, set to air on ITV2 next week.
Called The Boxer And The Ballroom Dancer, the three-part series will see Fury try professional dancing while Pritchard takes to the boxing ring.
Fury, the younger brother of former IBF, WBA and WBO heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, said that learning to twirl, waltz and foxtrot on the dance floor was one of the most difficult things he has ever done.
He said: “Ballroom dancing is very different to what I do in my profession as a boxer, but it’s been a lot of fun.
“I didn’t realise how much time and effort you have to put into it, and the skill you need. Dancing is something where you only get out what you put in. It’s super hard, I’ve only realised that now from doing it.”
He added: “For me, it was like learning to speak another language. I didn’t have a clue! I didn’t know where to start or where to finish. I really had to knuckle down and take my time to learn it.”
Pritchard – the brother of Strictly Come Dancing’s AJ Pritchard – previously appeared as a professional dancer on Dancing With The Stars, Ireland’s version of the dancing show.
He said that learning to become a boxer has been “absolutely incredible”, although it has been challenging.
Pritchard said that “getting punched” is the easiest part of the sport, adding: “Once you realise that you’re not made of glass, it’s not even for a split second, it happens and then you’re back on.
“I then started to let go in the sparring and not be afraid.”
However, Pritchard revealed that he has sustained some injuries along the way.
“I injured my shoulder and my knuckles were completely swollen,” he said. “Apart from that, my nose has been bruised!
“I’ve got pantomime four days after the fight so hopefully that doesn’t happen again on the night of the fight.”
The duo have been supported along the way for the show by Fury’s girlfriend Molly-Mae Hague and Pritchard’s girlfriend Maura Higgins, their partners from this year’s Love Island.
The pair, who became close friends while in Love Island’s villa this year, follow in the footsteps of previous contestants who went on to score their own TV programmes for the channel, including 2017 islanders Chris Hughes and Kem Cetinay.
The Boxer and the Ballroom Dancer airs on ITV2 at 9pm from December 16-18.