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Heavyweight boxing champion Fury banned from award ceremony


Tyson Fury (R) was awarded the fight in Duesseldorf 115-112, 115-112 and 116-111 by the judges PHOTO: AFP

Tyson Fury (R) was awarded the fight in Duesseldorf 115-112, 115-112 and 116-111 by the judges PHOTO: AFP

Newly crowned world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury was in the spotlight again on Wednesday as Britain’s Sports Journalists’ Association (SJA) told him to stay away from its annual awards ceremony.

Fury has come under fire over his views on women and homosexuality, with over 120,000 people signing a petition calling for him to be removed from the shortlist for the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year award.

He is being investigated by Greater Manchester Police after a member of the public reported him for committing a “hate crime” and the SJA has now withdrawn an invitation for him to attend next week’s British Sports Awards.

“The officers of the SJA took the decision reluctantly, since the British Sports Awards seek to recognise the year’s great sporting achievements, which include Fury’s heavyweight world title win,” the SJA said in a statement.

“But the decision was made as a consequence of threats made by Fury against at least one sports journalist, an SJA member, who has written about the boxer’s repugnant comments on homosexuality and women.”

The journalist in question, Oliver Holt, conducted an interview with Fury for the Mail on Sunday in which the boxer likened homosexuality to paedophilia.

Fury, who is a born-again Christian, said that three things needed to be accomplished “before the devil comes home.”

“One of them is homosexuality being legal in countries, one of them is abortion and the other is paedophilia,” he said. “Who would have thought in the 50s and 60s that those first two would be legalised?”

After the article was published, Fury appeared in a video published online in which he suggested Holt would be beaten up by members of his entourage.

Fury has also been accused of sexism, having notably stated that a woman’s place was “in the kitchen and on her back”.

The Manchester-born boxer, who is of traveller heritage and styles himself as the ‘Gypsy King’, has denied being homophobic or sexist and says that his views merely reflect what is written in the Bible.

Fury stunned long-standing champion Wladimir Klitschko in Duesseldorf at the end of last month to win the WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight belts.

But the International Boxing Federation has confirmed that Fury has been stripped of its version of the belt for electing to grant Klitschko a rematch rather than face mandatory IBF challenger Vyacheslav Glazkov.

Fury took to Twitter on Wednesday, publishing a picture of him celebrating victory over Klitschko that carried the message: “Take my belts, sign your petitions, but you will never take this night from me.”

The British Boxing Board of Control was due to hold a meeting on Wednesday when Fury’s recent remarks were expected to be discussed.

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