TYSON FURY could be crowned the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year next week, despite urging his legions of fans NOT to vote for him.
Four years on from becoming Public Enemy No1, following a string of homophobic and sexist comments, the Gypsy King is the undefeated WBC heavyweight champion of the world and a celebrated mental health campaigner.
Tyson Fury could be crowned the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year next week[/caption]
But the father of five has no interest in landing the showbiz gong and even claimed the popularity contest was fixed after he was overlooked in 2019 following a stellar 12 months.
But that has not stopped the proud Traveller from ordering the Beeb to remove him from their shortlist – a request they rejected – and asking fans not to contribute to the poll.
It should come as no surprise then that he refused to attend Anthony Joshua’s fight with Kubrat Pulev, even though promoter Eddie Hearn said his spot in the VIP seats would help hype their potential 2021 double header.
And even Hearn’s nemesis Frank Warren, who is Fury’s co-promoter and helped guide him back from his 2016 mental health breakdown, assumed he would be happy to be nominated for the prize.
The Queensberry boss said: “I’m absolutely delighted for him.
“To even be nominated for Sports Personality of the Year, firstly you have to be an outstanding athlete – and he is the best in the boxing business.
“And then you have to have a personality and he certainly has that and I am sure he will get a big public vote.
Most read in Boxing
EYE EYE EYE
Hughie Fury suffers horrific gash with eyebrow hanging off after head clash
“If he had boxed on December 5, I think he would have been a shoo-in for it because he would have been fresh on everybody’s mind.
“Winning it would be great for boxing and it would be great for him.”
AJ spent most of the Pulev build-up straight-batting questions about Fury and by Thursday he was sick of mentioning his name.
Fury’s magnificent February win over Deontay Wilder, just a few months after AJ needed a cautious points win to recover his WBA, IBF and WBO titles from Andy Ruiz Jr, have put them on par for popularity.
But Joshua wants the world to remember that Fury only has one elite-level KO win on his record, while he has been stopping some of the biggest names in the game since he turned pro after the 2012 London Olympics.
And, until Fury signs off on a date and location for their mouth-watering potential fights, AJ insists he will be persona non grata as far as he is concerned.
He said: “He’s a good fighter. He came into the game very early on as a professional, probably around the time that I’d just started.
“I’ve watched him, he’s done well. But I’m just focusing on my career right now. Good luck to him, but Saturday night is my night.
“Kubrat Pulev is my only focus right now. I’m not worried about any comments from any heavyweight at the minute. I never have been.
“I know how tough this game is. Good luck to them all but, until I fight them, they’re irrelevant.”
Fury was supposed to box on December 5 in the UK but he wanted his usual mega-money for fighting a C-list opponent – without a live gate and at a bad time for his huge US fanbase to catch on TV – so the bout was scrapped.
Wilder is still claiming they have agreed a trilogy fight and that Fury will be hit by a big legal bill for avoiding their third clash.
But Hearn has insisted he will not be allowed a warm-up bout in the Spring or AJ will face the WBO’s mandatory challenger Oleksandr Usyk.
And three scorching Middle East nations are leading the race to host the all-English clash.
Hearn said: “I’ve mentioned it to Team Fury, if he has a warm-up fight then we fight Usyk.
“He’s not got the style that he needs a warm up. Straight in, and I think he’s happy with it.
“To have this fight in the UK we are dependent on having 90,000 here at Wembley.
“It’s going to be Saudi, Qatar and Abu Dhabi – they will be the three bidders from the Middle East.
“If we do the fight here we are totally dependent on the crowd.”