Politics denied Ireland a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics claims Tyson Fury.
The new heavyweight champion of the World attempted to fight for Ireland in Beijing – an Olympic Games in which David Price represented Great Britain – but had paper work issues.
Fury’s father was born in Galway, and his Mother hails from Belfast, but his team struggled to prove that prior to the Olympics.
Indeed it took a legal affidavit from the father of Ireland’s WBO middleweight champion, Andy Lee, for Fury to finally get the paperwork needed to secure a BUI license back in 2011. Fury then went on to claim the Irish title defeating Martin Rogan in Belfast, and last weekend claimed three of the four World titles available to heavyweights.
The ‘Gyspy King’ believes that politics pre-2008 left him heartbroken and denied Ireland an Olympic gold medal.
“It was heart-breaking, it was heart-breaking for my family and my dad. They tried to deny his Irish heritage and it was very upsetting time for the family,” he told RTÉ.
“You can take the man out of Ireland, but you can’t take the Irishness out of the man.
“Growing up, I was always brought up around Irish music and traditions, even though I’m not Irish. I’m born and bred in Manchester with Irish heritage and roots. It was very hard for my dad to see that.
“I was eligible to qualify through my father being born in Ireland but there was a lot of politics going on.
“Ireland was denied an Olympic gold medal.”
Looking back with hindsight, those who now argue that Fury is not Ireland’s third pro World champion would not have been able to make the ‘Fury is not Irish’ claim if the big man had joined Kenny Egan, Darren Sutherland and Paddy Barnes as medal winners in Beijing.