Sunday 23 October 2016

The world champion we don't want to claim as ours

Published 06/12/2015 | 02:30

Tyson Fury celebrates
Tyson Fury celebrates

Tyson Fury is the anti-Jack Grealish. While both England and Ireland fought a public battle over ownership of that kid, the boxer is in the unusual position where neither country wants to claim him as their own.

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Frankly, it's a bit like watching a bitter divorce battle with both parents insisting the other one takes custody of their unloved child.

It's probably a first in Anglo-Irish relations, and I've never seen so many Irish bandwagoneers recoil from a world champion's claims of Irishnness.

If it was anyone else, you'd feel sorry for him, but let's be honest, the bould Tyson is a hard guy to warm to.

His biggest mistake was going on a demented rant about gays and paedophilia and Devil worship and generally sounding like a mad preacher from the Deep South of America - or the nuttier fringes of those Northern Irish tent revivals.

Frankly, I was more annoyed that he tried to say the journalist had misquoted him.

Accusing a reporter as respected as Oliver Holt of telling porkies has pretty much guaranteed that the press pack will now be even more inclined to have a cut at him in the run up to his return bout with Klitschko.

Here's the thing - his views were idiotic and contemptible. But he is not a role model, as some people have claimed - he is a boxer.

Anyone who says that he is an unsuitable person to be champion of the world should have a look at some of the things Mohammed Ali said about women, white people and homosexuality.

You see, when it comes to throwing out idiotic slurs, Fury is merely a featherweight in comparison.

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