Wednesday 22 November 2017

Tyson Fury targets Croke Park for Klitschko rematch and denies £200k bet on world title victory

Tyson Fury celebrates after defetaing Wladimir Klitschko in Germany.
Tyson Fury celebrates after defetaing Wladimir Klitschko in Germany.
Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

New heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has admitted he would love to face Wladimir Klitschko in Croke Park if the defeated Ukrainian seeks a title rematch.

Fury pulled off one of the most sensational upsets in the history of boxing's heavyweight division when he took the WBA, WBO and IBF belts at the ESPRIT Arena in Dusseldorf, Germany and the Manchester-born fighter says it is a result that has sent ripples through the sport.

"It was one of the biggest upsets in heavyweight history. I believe it went down at number four," he told RTE Radio's The Sean O'Rourke programme.

"I could have boxed 15 rounds. I was fit, I was on my feet all night. I could have went on all night to be honest. He was a lot more tired than I was. Everyone said I couldn't last the distance with Wladimir Klitschko."

Fury took the opportunity to put to bed rumours that he placed a £200,000 bet on the correct outcome of the fight to take advantage of the long odds available before Saturday.

"I'm not a gambling man, it was all a bit of propaganda from the newspapers," he insisted.

A contractual clause stipulates that Klitschko is entitled to a rematch as speculation mounts over Fury's next challenge. He has already dismissed the prospect of facing David Haye and 2008 Olympic bronze medallist Deontay Wilder.

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Fury, who represented both Ireland and Great Britain as an amateur, would relish the opportunity to box at GAA headquarters.

"I don't know if he [Klitschko] is going to take the rematch," he said. "There is a contract to say he is entitled to a rematch.

"I've always said I'd like to fight in Croke Park. Maybe that can be a reality one day.

"I've always said there's a couple of venues that I want to box in in the world. One of them is Madison Square Garden, I've done that one. One of them is Old Trafford, I haven't done that one. The other one is Croke Park.

"That's the three venues I want to box in."

Fury has always championed his Irish background and admitted that missing out on the chance to represent Ireland at the 2008 Olympics was a difficult time for his family, and ultimately cost the country a gold medal.

"It was heart-breaking, it was heart-breaking for my family and my dad. They tried to deny his Irish heritage and it was very upsetting time for the family.

"You can take the man out of Ireland, but you can't take the Irishness out of the man.

"Growing up, I was always brought up around Irish music and traditions, even though I'm not Irish. I'm born and bred in Manchester with Irish heritage and roots. It was very hard for my dad to see that.

"I was eligible to qualify through my father being born in Ireland but there was a lot of politics going on.

"Ireland was denied an Olympic gold medal."

When pressed on his post-fight celebrations in Germany, the 27-year-old admitted they were low-key, with his biggest splurge a 1950 Traveller caravan he is going to refurbish.

"I don’t drink, I don't go out," he told listeners. Basically when I got back to the hotel, I thanked the Lord. That's all I did.

"I haven't been anywhere celebrating or doing anything different.

The boxer hit the headlines over alleged homophobic vies expressed earlier this year, but Fury insisted he was misquoted in the media.

"It's all misquotes. I don't have any hate for anybody, I'm not homophobic, I'm not racist. All I have for people is love."

Fury has been included in the shortlist of 12 for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2015. The fighter, who could never be accused of being short on 'personality', is 4/1 with the bookmakers to win.

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