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Christian Boxer Tyson Fury Refuses to Retract Anti-Homosexuality Comments despite Being Stripped of Heavyweight Title, Publicly Shamed

( [email protected] ) Dec 10, 2015 11:36 AM EST
Despite being stripped of his IBF title and publicly shamed because of his opposition to homosexuality and abortion, world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has refused to back down or renounce his Christian worldview.
WBA, IBF, WBO & IBO Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury speaks at a Homecoming Press Conference at the The Whites Hotel, Macron Stadium, Bolton on Nov. 30, 2015. Action Images via Reuters / Alex MortonLivepic

Despite being stripped of his IBF title and publicly shamed because of his opposition to homosexuality and abortion, world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has refused to back down or renounce his Christian worldview.

According to a report from the BBC, the 27-year-old titleholder was relieved of his International Boxing Federation (IBF) crown on Wednesday -- less than two weeks after beating Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko to win four of the boxing world's five heavyweight titles.

The Briton had the IBF belt removed after it emerged that the contract for last month's title fight in Dusseldorf, Germany included a clause for a rematch, and Klitschko announced last week he would take up the option.

At the time, Fury ended the nine-year reign of Klitschko by claiming his four versions of the world heavyweight boxing title with a huge upset victory, winning the bout on points 115-112, 115-112 and 116-111.

Speaking after his dramatic victory, the boxer testified, "I used my jab, I used my agility. But it was with the power of Jesus that I won this fight. My Lord, my savior. In the mighty name of Jesus, I thank you."

In a statement released earlier this week, Tyson's uncle and trainer, Peter Fury, denounced the decision to strip the fighter of the IBF title. 

"It's absolutely scandalous," he said. "We've got a rematch that we're tied to. We have to take that fight. A fight of this magnitude, the IBF should only be too happy to be involved in such a megafight."

Fury, who is a husband and father-of-two, remains the WBA, IBO and WBO heavyweight champion, while the WBC title is held by American Deontay Wilder.

Meanwhile, Fury, who has been short-listed for the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year award, remains at the center of another controversy due to his comments regarding homosexuality and abortion.

In an interview with the MoS's Chief Sports Writer Oliver Holt last month, Fury compared homosexuality to pedophilia and charged that both should be illegal.

"There are only three things that need to be accomplished before the Devil comes home," he said. "One of them is homosexuality being legal in countries, one of them is abortion, and the other is pedophilia."

Defending his comments on BBC Radio 2 a few days later, the fighter said his views stemmed from his strong Christian faith.

"Homosexuality, abortion, and pedophilia, them three things need to be accomplished before the world finishes...that's what the Bible taught me," he explained. "Let's not try and make me out to be some evil person and I hate gays because I don't hate anybody. I can actually say I don't hate anybody."

In turn, an online petition calling on the BBC to de-select Fury because of his comments has gathered more than 125,000 signatures. Additionally, the Greater Manchester Police are investigating an allegation of hate crime against the fighter after a complaint was received following his comments regarding the issues.

Despite such backlash, Fury has refused to back down or renounce his worldview: "They can try & bring me down, with the hatred & their evil ways but i still love my brothers & sisters no matter what, Jesus loves you all," the fighter wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

He later shared a follow-up tweet which simply reads, "Matt 10 :22 - You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved."