Boxing manager and advisor Asif Vali has been forced to deny sensational internet claims he pocketed money from selling stories on former world champion Tyson Fury and mismanaged the career of current business partner Amir Khan.
Vali, who is a close member of both camps, is pursuing legal action against someone who will remain un-named following an article which was quoted to ‘sources’ when posted on Friday.
Details of the article, stating the Bolton man profited from thousands of pounds for inside information on Team Fury, whilst questioning Vali’s work with Khan, were strongly dismissed as false when WBN caught up with the 48 year-old in the aftermath.
Prior to speaking with the man himself, Vali’s media contact released the following statement: The recent article accusing me of leaking inside information and selling stories to the media with regards to Tyson and Hughie Fury are totally false and baseless.
I have been backed up and supported directly from Team Fury following its publication who know that these accusations are lies and only out to defame my character and reputation.
Furthermore, I am still working with Amir Khan, another fact this unfounded article has got wrong. My lawyers will be taking immediate action to deal with this fabricated story and those behind it.
“Over the years, you get built on reputation so when things like this come out it’s very disappointing,” Vali exclusively told World Boxing News.
“The comments people make on social media, people who don’t see what goes on behind the scenes of any promoter, boxer, manager or fighter – any of it. They just see what they want to see in their own eyes.
“I can say that I am very close to Team Fury, very close with them. Personally, we’ve been through a lot between us. Only I know and they know what we’ve been through.
“I’m also very close with Amir Khan and have recently joined forces with him to organize his future fights and sponsorship deals. We are also very close to announcing something but we just need to get the contracts agreed.
“Now when articles like this come out, it’s disappointing. As people know, we try our best to help anybody and these jealous people should concentrate on what they want to do in life and not try to damage reputations of other people.
“If they have a ‘close source’, I mean I’m the type of person who likes to take what people say direct so they need to reveal these ‘close people’ and don’t just say ‘close source’ – that’s absolute rubbish.
“If you’ve got somebody who has given you a story, then make sure you back it up. My lawyers have gone to them now, so make sure you back it up. I expect a full apology from them on these false claims and I expect them to have it on their website for a certain number of days. I also expect them to make sure the apology is suitable and which I’m satisfied with.”
On his relationship with Team Fury and Khan, Vali confirmed they remained solid as ever and that he’d be reassured by both camps are on his side as preparations for respective bouts continue.
“At the moment, Team Fury have got enough issues going on (with Hughie’s world title fight) so they don’t need to be brought into it. They are the best people in the world, and don’t bring Amir Khan into it. We have enough issues to deal with as we try to build his career back up with some of these fights that are out there,” said Vali.
“One hundred percent this is a personal attack on me, you can see it’s personal from the website. They even mentioned my son’s charity which have paid for sixteen funerals. Sixteen funerals since my son passed away.
“I mean, even now I’m going to dig a grave because somebody passed away this morning. Why have I got this headache now when I’m burying somebody? I’m here with all my volunteers. I drop all my work to dig a grave, bury somebody and I do it three or four times a week.
“I’m a kind natured and heartful person…this just brings me sadness. It makes a mockery out of me helping people. When you’ve got to explain yourself because of what people write you just don’t want to do it.
“It’s just very disappointing. With Team Fury, there’s only two people who know what I went through when my son passed away, so why would I go and sell a story?
“I’ve since received a lovely, lovely message from Team Fury backing me one hundred percent and I’ve spoken to Amir as well. They all give me one hundred percent support against these jealous people out there.
“Regarding Amir, right now we’ve just got to crack on with our job and announce the fight when it’s there,” he added.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay