Editor’s view: Tyson Fury’s considerable accomplishment soured by media vilification

Phil Jay 16/12/2015

Any budding world heavyweight champion would have been pleased when his defining victory meant the media were hanging on his every word…but not Tyson Fury.

The 27 year-old defeated Wladimir Klitschko in the greatest away performance by a British fighter in recent times – by some distance, but it was only negativity that was seized upon by plenty in the mainstream UK media.

By all accounts, those reporting on Fury daily since his professional debut in 2008 are quite used to his highly controversial and offensive outbursts, which have been a regular occurrence since his very first social media post in 2010.

A lot has been focused on and scrutinized from a few words said by Fury in an interview last November, which the three-belt world title holder wore his heart on his sleeve for and was definitely way too honest for his own good.

Fury is a ‘Man of the Lord’ as he continually professes, so to take things he say which are directed from his faith, travelling culture or teachings from The Bible, can’t really be seized up as anything but ‘his belief’ alone.

Anyone who wants to put forth their own message, not matter how controversial – within reason – even on the streets of London or any other major city, would have the right to do should they feel the urge and most would be able to gain the council’s blessing beforehand.


Now, whether you listen to that view is entirely down to you, but to vilify a man who has only just fulfilled his lifelong dream is something that should be laid out ahead of time and not resurface once that person becomes a hell of a lot more famous.

Does it seem like journalistic attention seeking – certainly when put in that context, although the message sent out by Fury is not one that should be aired out in public by a contender who was hoping to become a flagbearer for the UK – and eventually did.

Paedophilia and homophobia are especially touchy subjects and should not be pushed into unsuspecting faces lightly, something Fury in hindsight has no doubt learned the hard way and will keep to himself in future.

That said, causing a massive uproar over one sportsman’s beliefs is in no way going to go anyway to changing that person’s views, so to then slander him with labels is equally not how a fighter at the top of his profession should be welcomed home from his most glorious night.

Upon making his Bolton homecoming two days after defeating the best heavyweight of his generation, Fury walked into a press minefield and spent the first week and a half of his reign defending comments made weeks before his victory.

Add to it the fact that interviews from 2013 were then brought up in an attempt to further drag his name through the mud and it all adds up to what could be construed as some sort of reputational damage campaign against Fury since his triumph.

Twitter rants in similar ilk have happened many, many times before and will not shock most who are amongst the followers of the new heavyweight king, although the nature of the most recent headlines mean those who are not accustomed to Fury got a first-hand crash course in his ways.

But if you ask 99% of boxing people who have known Fury over the years and you would be hard-pushed to find many who say a bad word about him – even those who have felt the wrath of his considerably vicious tongue, which at times can be unforgiving.

The fact that Fury is so open with all media should really be applauded – even though we don’t agree with everything he says, but staining his greatest moment of celebration is not something that can now be undone and could have easily backfired if the new top division king had decided to withdraw himself from interviews in future.