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Clarification: Tyson Fury is Irish

It seems bizarre and regrettable that we even have to write an article like this in the wake of one of the biggest upsets in heavyweight history, but in light of recent talk we feel we must clarify.

Tyson Fury is Irish.

However, due to birthplace, accent, anthem, antics, ethnicity, or whatever else, many people have come out since Fury’s win over Kltschko on Saturday night to argue that Fury is not Irish.

He is.

He is also English.

A person can have more than one nationality and surely people from this island of all places can understand that.

Millions have left these shores over the centuries and it is insulting to either force the descendants of these people to ‘choose’ a nationality or to ‘deny’ them Irishness because you may not agree or because they embrace another nationality.

There is nothing to be gained by arguing if someone is more Irish or more English. They are Irish and English and the conversation should end there.

In terms of Tyson Fury, there are facts that should be known:
– Tyson Fury was born in Manchester, England.
– Tyson Fury’s mother was born in Belfast.
– Tyson Fury’s father was born in Galway.
– Tyson Fury’s ethnicity is Irish Traveller.
– Tyson Fury is a second cousin to WBO middleweight champion Andy Lee.
– Tyson Fury has frequently travelled between England and Ireland, Belfast especially, throughout his life
– Tyson Fury boxed for both Holy Family BC Belfast and Smithboro BC Monaghan.
– Tyson Fury represented Ireland internationally as an amateur in addition to boxing for Great Britain.
– Tyson Fury wanted to attempt to qualify for the 2008 Olympics for Ireland, however his parents were unable to produce an Irish birth certificate to prove Irish birth.
– Tyson Fury has boxed in Ireland as a professional four times.
– Tyson Fury has been reported on by irish-boxing.com throughout his career.
– Tyson Fury won the Irish heavyweight title in 2012
– Tyson Fury told this website before winning the title that “I think I have showed my true colours over the years. I vacated the British and Commonwealth titles, which some people say are more prestigious than the Irish title, but not to me. I vacated those belts for an Irish title shot because it meant more to me. All my people are from Ireland. I was born in Manchester but I am Irish”
– Tyson Fury wanted a neutral anthem played on Saturday night a-la Barry McGuigan in respect of his dual background, however this was blocked by Klitchko’s promoter’s K2.

And most importantly:
– Tyson Fury says he is Irish.

Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie