Sport

John Fury banned from watching son Tyson fight Deontay Wilder at ringside but dad not bitter after accepting Visa denial

JOHN FURY wants no pity for being banned from the US ringside for son Tyson’s fight with Deontay Wilder on Saturday.

The 55-year-old giant served four of an 11-year sentence for gouging out the eye of a rival in 2010 – costing him crucial years at his son’s side.

The proud Traveller is now a free and very popular man, landing a high-profile BT Sport punditry role and being a smash-hit on YouTube.

When 33-year-old Tyson demolished Wilder in February 2020, his first action backstage was a call to his dad to celebrate and get his approval.

And the pair will be kept apart again this weekend, with ex-fighter John no longer bitter about the visa ban

He said: “It’s my own doing, it was my own choice, I could have walked away and instead I chose to break the rules. I am paying for that and I will keep paying for it but that is up to me.

“I preach to all of my sons how to behave and I did not practice it on that day. I let my temper and pride get in the way of who I am and made the biggest mistake.

“But I am still alive, I have great people around me and I can watch it on TV. So who am I to complain and give it the big’un about not being ringside?

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“My son knows what to do, he doesn’t need me, I have brought him up to  be the man he is and I can just sit back and enjoy it.”

Big John has not seen his son fight in the flesh since beating Francesco Pianeta in Belfast in 2018.

But if he settles the Wilder trilogy on Saturday, he could face Dillian Whyte, Anthony Joshua or Derek Chisora next, back in the UK.

But John will not let himself get carried away with the idea of watching his boy dance under local lights.

He said: “If is the smallest word in the dictionary but it is also the biggest. If Tyson fights Dillian Whyte back in England next then yes I will be there but I will be nervous and jittery.

“It will be all brand new again, it will be like being let out of prison all over again, like a child with a new toy. But Tyson is doing amazing things over in America and has proven he doesn’t really need his dad. I could be the jinx.”

When Tyson accepted the first Wilder fight back in 2018 – just two tune-up fights into a comeback from three years out abusing his body with booze, food and drugs – his dad was fuming.

Despite unwavering belief in the premature baby he named after American heavyweight legend Iron Mike Tyson, he was worried the task was too tall, even for the 6ft 9in ace.

And, when granddaughter Athena was born premature at the start of August, John threatened to pull his son out of the third installment, placing parental duty over money and contracts and now he explains those tough calls.

He said: “My feelings before this fight and that first fight are different, before the first fight I was just angry because I felt he was listening to the wrong people.

“I believe Tyson has learned so much in the last three years, he is no longer thinking everyone is his friend, the penny has dropped. I make it very clear to Tyson that everyone who is employed by him is only there for the money.

“He cannot start laying his heart on the line for these people because they come and go, the only people there until the end are your blood kin.

"I was angry back then because they went against me but I can now admit that I was wrong because the first fight had to happen to bring us here.

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“The world saw the greatest comeback in sport that night. Tyson only had about 50 per cent of his power for that first fight and he still went over there and won – and got robbed for a draw.

“He proved me wrong and I told him so, he did the impossible in that fight but that is what champions do.”

BT Sport Box Office will show Fury v Wilder: The Trilogy exclusively live in the UK on Saturday 9th October. For more info go to www.bt.com/sportboxoffice

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