Britain’s newly-crowned WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has been invited to the White House and to the Vatican his promoter told The Daily Telegraph although the boxer appears keener to go touring in his beloved caravan.
The 31-year-old’s demolition of American Deontay Wilder on Saturday captured the imagination of the general public as it represented another step on the road to redemption for the complex character.
His promoter Frank Warren said the high profile invitation reflected what an extraordinary journey his fighter had travelled.
In two years, Fury has gone from contemplating suicide after his shock defeat to legend Wladimir Klitschko which led to drinking 18 pints of beer a day and taking cocaine to beating Wilder in a seventh-round TKO in Las Vegas.
Some highly controversial remarks about women and homosexuals have also led to him being criticised.
“US president Donald Trump has invited Tyson and Wilder to the White House,” Warren told the newspaper on Monday.
“Also the World Boxing Council have got an invitation from the Pope too. It shows you what can happen in the space of two years. The journey he has been on has been an amazing thing.
“He’s turned his whole life around.”
– ‘Light the old gypsy fire’ –
Warren said Fury bore comparison with the one considered widely to have been the greatest heavyweight fighter of them all Muhammad Ali.
“I hope he gets seen as a great figure not just in sport but in society,” Warren said.
“In my lifetime Muhammad Ali was my hero, but they hated him at the start. He was a jumped-up black man and people hated that.
“He still became… a champion for peace and for unity. He’s (Fury) quite articulate and thoughtful. He’s funny, but he’s a deep thinker. We should admire him for what he is.
“He’s up there with Ali and all those guys. I think he stands with all of them.”
Fury, who is reported to have earned £30 million ($39 million) for the Wilder bout, has more modest plans on returning to England with wife Paris and their five children.
“I’m going to take a break now,” Fury told the paper.
“Go home and get my caravan back out again. Might tour the country. Light the old gypsy fire. Get the kids running round the fire. I don’t think there is any greater freedom than that.
“With all the ambitions and grand plans people have, I don’t think there’s any greater sense of freedom than laying in a caravan in the middle of nowhere listening to the stream or the fire crackling.
“It’s in me. It’s been bred into me. Even if I lived in a castle, I’d always want to go sleep in a caravan.”