Tyrone Spong enters the ring at GLORY 15 Istanbul looking to claim the GLORY Light Heavyweight Championship once and for all, but there are three other men looking to win that Championship as well. The event will air Saturday night on Spike TV here in the United States at 9pm Eastern/8 Central, but leading into the fight Tyrone Spong hasn’t had it easy. In fact, he lost two people close to him in the past few months; a former training partner in Tarik el Idriss and his uncle. Both were murdered within weeks of each other, which left Spong reeling.
“He was actually my first training partner,” his tone begins to shift a bit, reflecting on his deceased friend. “He was a great fighter, I learned a lot from him. He was one of the best out there and he was a big supporter of me, too. You know, he had to stop fighting because he broke his shin bone twice, so he had to stop, but he still supported me. He loved me and he was so supportive of me because, you know, we were just boys, like fourteen years old when we were training together. For him to pass away in such a tragic way — it wasn’t like an accident or anything — but just being murdered, killed like that, my uncle as well, it fucked me up a lot.
“You know, my family is hurting right now,” he explains in regards to his uncle, who was murdered just two weeks later in South Africa. “It has been a tough time and I wasn’t ready to show all of that. So that’s why there hasn’t been a new King of the Ring, but there will be one soon. I’ve gotten a lot fans out there and they all want to know more, so they won’t have to wait much longer.
“It was really hard for me to get going, though,” he explains about his training for GLORY 15. “Especially with my uncle, I was so close to him. I spoke to him a lot and he was very proud of me, so, yeah,” he pauses. “It was very rough to wrap my head around training and fighting again. It’s part of life, but for me to lose two people so close to me in that way, that close together, man,” he takes a deep breath. “It was something else, but now I’m focused on what I have to do, which is to win that title.”
Check out the entire interview with Tyrone Spong at LiverKick.