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Stroud composer hoping to hit the right notes with Tyson Fury

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By Max Waller

Much like heavyweight champion boxer Tyson Fury, Romany Gypsy composer, Stroud’s very own Crimea Butler Downton, knows a thing or two about coming back from adversity, writes Max Waller.

Having been born with several physical defects, including congenital cataracts and partial blindness, he was then given up for fostering by his Romany family at a young age.

Crimea then suffered a near-decade of institutional bullying and cruelty at several institutions for blind and disabled children in the 1970s.

His latest plan is to compose Tyson Fury’s ring walk anthem for his scheduled return fight against undisputed heavyweight champion from Ukraine, Oleksandr Usyk.

The bout will take place on December 21st in Saudi as part of the Riyadh Season and will be very much a career defining fight for Fury who had never lost to an opponent prior to his meeting Usyk in the ring last month.

Like many people, Crimea first came to properly hear about Tyson Fury when ‘The Gypsy King’ rose like Lazarus from his first 2018 fight with WBC Champion Deontay Wilder and delivered one of the great fairytale moments of boxing history.

“In my own way I know what it takes to come back against the odds. I think most of us do. I’ve never thought of myself as a victim but more as someone who is trying his best to shine his own little light in this dark world. Tyson has certainly shone his magnificent light for others and now I want to help him shine it even brighter this time round.

“Sending out his song ‘The Victor’ is important to me because I relate to his suffering as I also know what it is to come back from the darkness with God’s help. As a gypsy brother, I hope he’ll appreciate this gesture from the heart and take it with him, whether on his ring walk or in life itself. It’s scored for voice (preferably a folk singer), violin, accordion and Celtic drum but could be later orchestrated for larger forces, including choir and orchestra.”

With his own neurological cocktail of Tourettes, OCD and ADD, composer Crimea has found a common affinity with the Gypsy King who has openly talked about his battles with bi-polar depression and anxiety and now wants to play some part in helping spur the British fighter to his ultimate victory over his opponent from Ukraine.

“Having heard that Oleksandr Usyk channelled the ancestral spirits of his Cossack lineage for his ring walk in the first fight with Fury, I believe Tyson needs to do the same with his own Gypsy history. I am writing ‘The Victor (‘Tyson’s Theme’) to tell both his story and the Travellers’ story so that he can take the energy of his people with him into the ring in December. Then he’ll have his own ancestral army joining forces with him to secure the ultimate victory for all time.”

“Cossacks and Gypsies, while distinct in many ways, share commonalities in terms of their cultural and historical traditions, including nomadic and semi-nomadic lifestyles, strong cultural identities and tight knit, well organised communities. Perhaps the most significant similarity between the two groups is that they’ve both often been persecuted throughout history and yet always found a way to survive and adapt against threats to dismantle them.

“We know how to survive in the hardest of circumstances and keep our sense of pride amidst life’s perilous storms. I know I have the ancestral spirit deep within me which has helped me through many difficult times.”

Crimea will be adding the finishing touches to ‘Tyson’s Theme’ before hoping to present it to him either via video message or in person.

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