Sport

Tyson Fury: The Gypsy King and his Irish roots

Fury will face Oleksandr Usyk for the title of undisputed Heavyweight champion of the world this Saturday in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Undated Handout Photo from At Home With The Furys. Pictured: Tyson Fury. See PA Feature SHOWBIZ TV Furys. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature SHOWBIZ TV Furys.
Tyson Fury will fight Oleksandr Usyk

Born in Manchester, Tyson Fury is deeply proud of his family ties to Ireland.

The 35-year-old’s family are part of the Irish Traveller community and Tyson refers to himself as the Gypsy King.

Roots in Ireland through his Irish Traveller parents

Tyson’s father, former heavyweight boxer John Fury, was born in Tuam, Co Galway, but moved to England to seek work, while his mother, Amber Fury, was born in Belfast and her mother was from Co Tipperary.

Tyson was born in Manchester and as a young fighter always made clear his wish to represent Ireland as an amateur.

He told RTÉ Sport that he would like to win a world title at Croke Park in Dublin.



Representing Ireland as an amateur and his citizenship issues

Tyson Fury with Nicolai Firtha at the King's Hall in Belfast in 2011. Picture by Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Tyson Fury with Nicolai Firtha at the King's Hall in Belfast in 2011. Picture by Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

The Gypsy King represented both Ireland and England at national amateur level before turning professional in 2008.

He represented Ireland three times at a national underage level.

He fought in a double international match against Poland, winning both his bouts but the Irish team lost 12-6 overall.

He also won gold and silver respectively at the EU and European junior championships whilst representing Ireland.

He also represented Ireland in an international match against the USA, again winning his match but the team ultimately lost to the Americans.

Fury was a member of the Holy Family Boxing Club in Belfast before switching to the Smithboro Club in Co Monaghan.

Tyson Fury file photo
Tyson Fury was denied Irish citizenship before turning pro (Bradley Collyer/PA)

Fury wanted to go so far as to represent Ireland at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing but there was a dispute over his citizenship. It has been reported that the birth of Fury’s father had not been registered with the state.

After becoming world heavyweight champion, having beaten Vladimir Klitschko, Tyson declared that becoming world champion was “easier than proving my Irishness”.

Despite their pride and strong links, the Furys have not always been happy with the Irish boxing scene.

John Fury told the Irish Post that he feels Tyson should get more respect from Ireland and England but that his son is seen for his Traveller roots and not the fighter he is.

At Home with the Furys is out on Netflix from August 16
Tyson starred in his own Netflix Docuseries called 'At Home With The Furys' documenting his transition from boxer to retirement and then back to an active career

Tyson Fury v Oleksandr Usyk

Tyson Fury will fight Ukrainian challenger Oleksandr Uysk at the Kingdom Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in a bid for either fighter to become the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.

The Gypsy King holds the WBC heavyweight title, whilst Usyk holds the WBA, IBF, WBO and The Ring heavyweight belts, all five belts make up every world championship you could win in professional heavyweight boxing.

Fury and Usyk will meet in a 12-round heavyweight clash on Saturday May 18 with the ring walks for the main event expected at 11pm Irish time.

How Fury will emerge from the dressing room is an event in itself if his previous ring walks are anything to go by - he has entered the ring dressed as Apollo Creed from Rocky 4 and as a Spartan warrior, while for his second meeting with Deontay Wilder he was carried in on a throne.

Before the unbeaten rivals collide they will come head to head twice, at a Thursday evening press conference and a weigh-in the following day.

When asked if he would be looking to wind up his opponent at the first of those opportunities, the 35-year-old hinted that he would look to unsettle Usyk.

“I’m always on the wind up, aren’t I? I think I was born winding people up,” said Fury, who was watched intently by Usyk as he completed his public workout.

“Keep tuned and keep your eyes peeled, we’ve got some big stuff coming over the next few days.

“I always have a crazy little ring walk and you wouldn’t expect anything different for the biggest fight in my life, would you?

“I don’t think it’s ever been done before so it’s definitely going to be a surprise.”

Gypsy King and family on Netflix show

Following his shocking retirement in 2022, Tyson Fury and his family took part in a Netflix documentary series showing the former heavyweight champion of the world trying to take a step back from the spotlight and stepping into a more family-orientated role.

The series was a Netflix hit, with Tyson’s wife Paris and their children Venezuela, Prince Tyson II (Tutti), Prince John James, Valencia, Prince Adonis and Athena. Their youngest, Prince Rico, was born after the series aired.

Tyson Fury’s sons are named Prince, when asked why in an interview with the Daily Mirror in 2020, he said that he was a king and they were all his princes until they earned their rightful name.

Frequently asked questions

Who is Tyson Fury’s mum?

Amber Fury is Tyson Fury’s mum, born in Belfast, Co Antrim, to a mother from Co Tipperary.

Is Tyson Fury retired?

Tyson Fury has toyed with the idea of retirement before, even announcing so and starring in a Netflix series to document his transition, but then realised that he did not want to retire and stepped back into the ring to fight Derek Chisora.

How old is Tyson Fury?

Tyson Fury is 35 years old. He was born on August 12 1988, in Wythenshawe, a suburb of Manchester, England.

How tall is Tyson Fury?

Tyson Fury is 6ft 9in and has an arm reach of 85in.