Road to Redemption is a 45-minute documentary which follows a career retrospective of Tyson Fury. The main focal point of the documentary is Fury’s battle with his mental health following his victory against Wladimir Klitschko in 2015. It depicts the highs and lows Fury has faced in the build up to his title fight against Deontay Wilder for the WBC Heavyweight title in 2018.Embed from Getty Images
The documentary was produced by BT Sport, Fury signed with BT Sport in early 2018 to broadcast his return to boxing with two warm up fights before the big headline fight with Wilder. This is important because it instantly changes the dynamic of the documentary. BT Sport have a desire to produce content that shows Tyson Fury in a good light, they want to market him as an exciting character with an interesting story in order to sell a pay-per-view. Whilst Tyson Fury has a truly heartfelt and emotional story with his mental health, this documentary dramatized that by picking the emotional taglines and highlighting them.
BT Sport do this in a plethora of ways. Firstly, they have a quick minute long intro to his story which lays out his timeline. They have dramatized his story through the use of quick edits and dramatic music. Tyson Fury is a unique character because he can be marketed in multiple ways, his natural talent, his controversial characteristics and his mental health struggles. All of these facets of Fury are shown within the first minute, making the documentary interesting and engaging.
The next way they build up the fight is by having Fury talk about Wilder, and give him a small career retrospective of his incredible knockouts with Fury giving a voiceover of the challenge that he will be. This is important in BT Sport’s ultimate aim of selling the pay-per-view. They have to build Wilder as a formidable opponent otherwise the casual viewer wouldn’t care and wouldn’t buy the event. They use the tagline in the closing sequence of it potentially being “the biggest win in the history pf boxing.” They give the title fight a monumental feel because it makes it a must-see event and the knock-on effect of that is more pay per view buys and more profit. This is wrapped up in BT Sports aim of promoting the event by finishing the documentary by having a final promo piece of the fight.
In regards to authenticity from the side of Fury’s story, it can be entirely seen as accurate due to the nature of what he is talking about. He has been extremely transparent with the struggles he has faced mentally, the basis of his return fights promotion before the Wilder fight were focused on his struggles and resurgence. Whilst this documentary was produced in 2018, Fury still prominently speaks about his mental health ordeal. Many of the stories that are spoken about in this documentary are also spoken about in his autobiography, released in late 2019. Furthermore, the documentary interviews people who are closest to Fury. They add their points of view to the story which give it a well-rounded arc. Each of the main 3 interviewees also help in showcasing Fury’s personality. Firstly, his brother is interviewed and gives no sympathy or empathy. This highlights the ruggedness the Fury family is known for. Next, his trainer at the time Ben Davison showed that behind everything there is a talented boxer who needs an end goal. Finally, the documentary interviews Fury’s wife, Paris. This is important because it humanises Fury further as she speaks about her family.Embed from Getty Images
Tyson Fury speaks a lot about his family in this documentary, and it is intertwined into the narrative at key points to dramatize the piece. This is explicit towards to the end of the documentary when Fury is asked how he can be defeated. To which he replies very bluntly that he needs to be knocked out. Immediately after that, the documentary cuts to elsewhere in the interview timeline where Fury speaks about how all he wants in life is to be happy and healthy, and that the best thing he can do is take his kids to school. The documentary does this because it wants to show you how ferocious of a fighter he is, which is what people want to see in fighters. But also, it humanises Fury and makes him seem like any other person, which people want to support. Not only that, but he has also got the biggest underdog story. BT Sport know that they have a multifaceted character in Fury, and by showing as many sides of him as possible, the good and the bad, they know that people will support him which is the end goal for BT Sport as that results in more pay per view event buys.
The Road to Redemption documentary has a very authentic story, that cannot be understated. However, the way that it is presented is with the intention of putting Fury in the best light possible in order to persuade the consumer to buy his next fight.