‘The Gypsy King’ loves a fight, a tear up, a scrap. He’s been doing it from the very second he was born three months premature and weighing just one pound. Forget Anthony Joshua for a second if you can, because Tyson Fury’s latest battle tells you as much, if not more, about the man than any challenge in the ring.
Fury has thrown a big two-fingered salute to the BBC’s (normally) coveted Sports Personality of the Year Award ceremony. Last week the man mountain from Morecambe took to Instagram to ask the BBC (politely) to remove him from their shortlist. Auntie Beeb refused. Brave or foolhardy, you decide?
Now, in corporate speak, Fury has escalated it up, and brought in the lawyers. Chatting to Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain, here’s what the big man had to say, “I don't need any awards from any TV stations or organisations for me to know who I am. I know who I am and I know what I've done, I don't need a pat on the back and I don't need a glass trophy.
“No disrespect to anyone but I see everyone clamouring to get on the list and I'm clamouring to get off it. I don't need gratification from anyone. I'm the people’s champion and the love of the people is worth more to me than everything and I don't need an award. I've asked nicely to be taken off their list and they've decided not to take me off the list so I've had my lawyer send a letter demanding they take me off the list.”
This is not a gimmick, it’s 100 per cent genuine. You see, Fury doesn’t play by the normal rules of engagement, and never has. Think of the threat to walk away from the Klitschko fight just hours before it was all set to go off, unless the canvas was changed. Think of the incredible comeback from a 28-stone mess who was drinking 100 pints a week, to rising off the canvas in the final round after the sweetest of shots from Deontay Wilder in December 2018. Uncompromising, unequivocal, unparalleled.
And think about the Sports Personality of the Year. It’s the golden child of Auntie Beeb, it gives the broadcaster relevance beyond the sport it’s able to actually air these days. It keeps the BBC in the mix with the likes of Sky, BT and newbies Amazon and DAZN. The ones that are actually showing the top sporting events.
Sports stars are normally clambering over themselves to land this award, and nobody has ever had the pure audacity to say ‘this is not for me, thanks anyway’. Nobody but Luke Tyson Fury. For he always plays by his own rules, in and out of the ring.
He is a complete one-off, the most eccentric of sporting superstars the UK has ever known. And we love him all the more for it. Like it or not, you get our vote Tyson.