Fury was 'just playing a part'

Tyson Fury
Tyson Fury
Image: REUTERS/Steve Marcus

London - Former world heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury said his outspoken remarks, which have caused huge offence to many, are down to the racism aimed at Travellers he experienced as an amateur.

The 31-year-old Briton - who is of Irish Traveller descent and is nicknamed The Gypsy King - drew a hail of criticism with controversial comments such as "a woman's best place is in the kitchen" and claiming it would only take the legalisation of paedophilia in addition to the decriminalisation of abortion and homosexuals to see "the devil come home".

However Fury, who has battled demons such as substance abuse and mental health issues, says he made the comments to fulfil the role of being an outsider.

"I started playing this part, being arrogant and cocky," Fury writes in his autobiography Behind The Mask, which comes out today.

"I went into the paid ranks off the back of an amateur career during which I was aware of racism against Travellers.

"This made me an outsider and so I felt that for me to get the attention I needed to be an attraction in the sport, I had to play the outlaw."

Fury, who is due to have a rematch with WBC world heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder on February 22 after their thrilling first bout ended in a draw, said he became unable to distinguish between reality and the role-playing. 

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