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08th Aug 2023

Tyson Fury discusses not representing Ireland at the Olympics

Rory Cashin

Tyson Fury

“I just always believed that they robbed Ireland of an Olympic medal.”

Tyson Fury has won just about every major title going, but one of the biggest gaps in his career is not getting to win an Olympic gold medal. The closest he ever came was when he was almost chosen to represent Ireland for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, but unfortunately it never became a reality.

JOE recently caught up with Tyson and his wife Paris for the impending release of their new Netflix reality show At Home With The Furys, and on top of Tyson hinting at working with writer/director Guy Ritchie on a potential sequel to Snatch (more on that here), we had to ask about that history of Ireland and Olympics.

Tyson told us: “Going back, a long time ago, I think I moved to Dublin in 2007, after I went to the World Championships. I was training in a couple of boxing clubs. I was originally with the Holy Family in Belfast, but then I changed to a Smithboro boxing club in Monaghan.

“And I was in Dublin with a couple of relatives of ours, training, and I moved over to [private address] in Dublin, and I actually found my Irish driver’s licence last week. It was this little pink picture card licence, it was paper and folded over, and it had me picture and address on it.

“And in that time I went to America and I boxed for Ireland, and I went to Poland and I boxed for Ireland, and then when it came to the National Championships in 2007 or 2008, they decided then to say ‘Oh no, Tyson is not Irish anymore’. I’d already represented Ireland twice internationally. So it caused this big stink, this big scene.”

Paris interjected: “It was your heritage that was brought into question, wasn’t it? It was the fact that your granny was Irish and your grandad, but they didn’t have birth papers, because being from gypsys, they didn’t have birth papers. So there was no way of proving it.”

Tyson then continued: “There was a lot of stuff, and it was quite political back in them days. And I just always believed that they robbed Ireland of an Olympic medal in ’08, because years later, in 2012, it was probably the hardest title I ever had to win, because there was so much behind it, that went into. So much effort that went in to get it. I won the Irish title in 2012. So it was very refreshing for me to get that.”

At Home With The Furys arrives on Netflix on Wednesday 16 August.

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