who is Love Island contestant Tommy Fury’s brother – and why is boxer so controversial?

Updated: 05/12/2022


In brief

  • Tommy, 20, is former heavyweight champ's brother
  • Tyson has a long history of both success and controversy

Love Island‘s brand new bunch of boys were rocked by a big right hook at the end of the series 5 premiere, as Tommy Fury was sent into the villa.

Fury, a 20-year-old boxer in his own right, took little time in mentioning he was the younger brother of former world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury – a bombshell which impressed his fellow Islanders.

Tommy’s professional career is still in its fledgling stages – he’s had just two fights, winning both.

But 30-year-old Tyson’s is a very different story – and it’s one full of incredible highs and debilitating, controversial lows.

Tommy Fury entered the villa on day one
Tommy Fury entered the villa on day one (Photo: ITV)

Tyson Fury’s heritage

Fury was born and raised in Wythenshawe, Manchester, and weighed just 1lb at birth after being born three months premature. His father John named him after Mike Tyson.

He is of Irish traveller heritage, and in boxing uses the nickname “Gypsy King”.

He has spoken at length about his traveller roots in the past. In 2016 after his world title win he said: “I am a gypsy and that’s it. I will always be a gypsy, I’ll never change. I will always be fat and white and that’s it. I am the champion, yet I am thought of as a bum.”

Boxing career

Fury is undefeated in 28 professional fights, winning 27 with 19 knockouts, and drawing once.

He is considered one of heavyweight boxing’s biggest names, alongside fellow Brit Anthony Joshua and American Deontay Wilder, and is ranked fourth in the world by BoxRec.

Fury during his world title fight with Wladimir Klitschko
Fury during his world title fight with Wladimir Klitschko (Photo: Getty)

His most famous victory came in 2015, when he stunned longtime champion Wladimir Klitschko to win the WBA, IBF and WBO world heavyweight titles.

He was forced to vacate the belts because of issues with drugs, alcohol and mental health, and did not fight again for more than two years. Most thought he was done with boxing forever.

However, in January 2018 he announced his intention to reapply for his licence, with his eyes set on fighting Wilder for a world title.

Fury lands a punch on Deontay Wilder during their bout in December 2018
Fury lands a punch on Deontay Wilder during their bout in December 2018 (Photo: Getty)

Fury defeated two challengers and set up a bout with the undefeated Wilder for the WBC world heavyweight title on 1 December 2018.

The fight – at Los Angeles’ Staples Center – was an instant classic, ending in a split decision tie. On 1 June it was announced a rematch between the pair was officially on.

Drugs and depression

On 24 June 2016 Fury was charged with using a prohibited substance by UK Anti-Doping, a claim he strenuously denied.

He twice had to reschedule a rematch with Klitschko, citing health reasons, and on 22 September 2016 it emerged he had failed a drugs test.

Fury was forced to pull out of a rematch with Klitschko
Fury was forced to pull out of a rematch with Klitschko (Photo: Getty)

Fury went on to openly discuss problems with cocaine, alcohol and depression. In 2018 he told the Joe Rogan Experience podcast how he “wanted to die so bad” and described how once in 2016 he nearly deliberately drove his Ferrari into a bridge at 190mph.

After getting up off the canvas to draw with Deontay Wilder – recovering from what looked a certain knockout – he said: “Everybody out there who has the same problems I’ve been suffering with, I did that for you guys. You know the truth, everybody out there knows I won the fight, and if I can come back from where I’ve come from, then you can do it too.”

Controversial comments

Fury has a history of making deeply controversial statements, on subjects including homosexuality, women, Jewish people and abortion.

Before his title fight with Klitschko in 2015 he compared homosexuality and abortion to paedophilia, saying: “There are only three things that need to be accomplished before the Devil comes home: one of them is homosexuality being legal in countries, one of them is abortion and the other one’s paedophilia.”

He was accused of sexism when he said of British heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill ahead of the 2015 BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards, for which they were both nominated: “That’s the runner, isn’t it? She’s good, she’s won quite a few medals, she slaps up good as well. When she’s got a dress on she looks quite fit.”

Fury made sexist comments about heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill (Photo: Getty)

In April 2016 he said of boxing promotor Eddie Hearn that he would like to “give him a slap around the ear like we do to our bitches”.

And in May that year footage emerged of a 57-minute rant filmed at his training camp, in which he spoke about his extreme views.

It included a segment where he described his views as “draconian”:

“Draconian, living in ancient times where we don’t like women to be whores opening their legs for every Tom, Dick and Harry, we don’t shag men, we don’t shag kids, if that’s draconian then I suppose I like being a draconian. They should call me Tyson ‘Dracula’ Fury because I’m still living in those times.”

Quotes about bestiality:

“I think it’ll be perfectly normal in the next ten years to have sexual relationships with your animals at home – you know, your pets, your cats and dogs and all that, so that will be legal.”

And anti-Semitic remarks about Jewish people:

“Everyone just do what you can, listen to the government follow everybody like sheep, be brainwashed by all the Zionist, Jewish people who own all the banks, all the papers all the TV stations. Be brainwashed by them all.”

Fury later apologised for the comments, saying he was “in no way a racist or a bigot”.

He said: “I apologise to anyone who may have taken offence at any of my comments. I said some things, which may have hurt some people, which as a Christian man is not something I would ever want to do.

“Though it is not an excuse, sometimes the heightened media scrutiny has caused me to act out in public. I mean no harm or disrespect to anyone and I know more is expected of me as an ambassador of British boxing and I promise in future to hold myself up to the highest possible standard.”

This post first appeared here

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