The Gypsy King has no criminal record, but said immigration officers thought he looked a ‘shady character’ and strip searched him and questioned him for hours
In just a few days time, Tyson Fury will face Deontay Wilder in a mega fight for the WBC heavyweight title, but has sensationally claimed the bout was almost called off.
Fury began the process of getting himself a US visa, three months after he beat Wladimir Klitcshko in November 2015 to become unified heavyweight champion.
Hoewever, having stormed the Barclays Center ring in New York to confront Wilder after the American’s devastating knockout win over Artur Szpilka in January 2016, Fury believes this may have played a part in the authorities’ concerns in granting him access to the States.
“We started this in February 2016. There were meetings, lots and lots of meetings, at the US embassy,” Fury told the Daily Mail.
“We got through it. But then when I arrived in America they (the immigration officers) took me away to a back room. Asked a lot of questions and I was strip-searched.
“Why? I don’t really know. I don’t have any criminal record but I still struggled to get the visa. They said they thought I looked a shady character. There was some talk of what went off when I went to see one of Wilder’s fights in New York and that I might cause a riot.
“As we all know, these people have the right to do whatever they want. If they say it’s Tuesday, it’s Tuesday. Fight could have been off. That would have been nice. But after more than four hours they let me in.”
One person who will not be ringside at the Staples Center on December 1, is Fury’s father John, but this came as no surprise to the 30-year-old.
“There was never any chance of my father coming here,” Fury added. “Not with his criminal record. He has a section 18 on his record and he knows that’s too serious for him to be allowed in.
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“So he didn’t even think about trying for a visa. No point. I don’t know why there was suddenly a story about me being upset. We knew the position all along.”
Despite being the underdog, so confident is Fury, he has said he will continue to box in the US and become the country’s headline attraction.
“After I win the WBC belt I will be staying here. You won’t see me fighting in England again. You heard it here first. Once I beat Wilder I will be the next big pay-per-view star in America, the land of opportunity.”