Tyson Fury defiant as BBC award controversy continues

Defiant: Tyson Fury
Defiant: Tyson Fury

Tyson Fury remained defiant after another day of controversy which saw Olympian Greg Rutherford reveal he had asked to be removed from the Sports Personality of the Year shortlist in protest at the world heavyweight champion, only to later change his mind.

Rutherford said he was subsequently convinced to withdraw his request after meeting BBC executives but retains grave concerns over "very out-dated and derogatory comments" made by Fury regarding the role of women and homosexuality.

But Fury responded on Twitter, writing "There only 1 TYSON FURY", and "He's 1 of our own, he's 1 of our own, Tyson fury,s 1 of our own" while also retweeting a suggestion that Rutherford was using the controversy to seek attention.

Fury has claimed he is not interested in winning the BBC prize, insisting he has "more personality in the end of my little finger" than his shortlisted rivals, but has not ignored the controversy about his candidacy - which began when he said that heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill "slaps up good" and "looks quite fit" in a dress and that a women's place is in the kitchen.

Fury then said in an interview with Jeremy Vine on BBC Radio 2 this week: ''Homosexuality, abortion and paedophilia - them three things need to be accomplished before the world finishes. That's what the Bible tells me.''

Rutherford said on Wednesday that he had asked to have his name taken off the shortlist as he did not want to appear alongside Fury, but added he changed his mind after talks with the BBC.

Rutherford wrote on his Twitter feed: "I have opinions, of which I was privately clear. I DID pull out of SPOTY, on Sunday I wrote to the BBC requesting removal.

"Throughout the next 2 days the SPOTY team asked me to stay on. Also, I realised my nomination meant so much to my family.

"I then asked myself, do I really want to disappoint my own family just because of a bigot's views? The answer was no."

Also on Wednesday, the Sports Journalists' Association said it had withdrawn its invitation to Fury to attend the British Sports Awards in London over his views and threats made to one of its members, while Greater Manchester Police (GMP) confirmed they were investigating hate crime allegations against the boxer.

Fury could yet face action from the British Boxing Board of Control, which met on Wednesday to discuss the situation but declined to comment on the outcome of those discussions until Fury had been consulted.

In an unrelated move, Fury has been stripped of the IBF belt he claimed following his sensational victory over Wladimir Klitschko at the end of last month.

The IBF said it acted because Fury turned down a fight against its mandatory challenger Vyacheslav Glazkov. Klitschko has exercised a rematch clause in the contract for his original fight with Fury, who still holds the WBA and WBO belts.