If things had gone their way Carl Frampton and Tyson Fury could have been part of a very successful 2008 Irish Olympic team.
Speaking recently in his role as a BT Pundit, the retired former two-weight world champion recalled how if both, he, and the current WBC heavyweight champion of the world, had been given box offs by the IABA, they may have had the opportunity to qualify for the Beijing Olympics.
‘The Jackal’ has always been vocal about how he felt he was denied the chance a box off with David Oliver Joyce for the right to be Ireland’s #1 going in that Olympic year.
Indeed, having beaten ‘DOJ,’ a friend and regular pro sparring partner, in the 2009 Seniors final, he turned over happy feeling he had proved the IABA powers that be wrong.
Speaking with Fury’s father John, who was born in Tuam, Frampton realised the Bolton big man found himself in a similar position ahead of a Games that saw Paddy Barnes, Kenneth Egan and Darren Sutherland win medals.
Fury has previously discussed a failed attempted to fight for Ireland in Beijing – an Olympic Games in which David Price represented Great Britain.
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.”