Dear Fleet Street Fox, I am forwarding this article in response to your article on Tyson Fury, dated the 30th November 2015. I watched the fight itself, and saw one of the statistically greatest heavyweight champions of all time, outmanoeuvred by a young man from Manchester. I read a lot of commentary on the fight over the following few days, and the consensus was that it was a fairly boring fight with little action, but still one in which a young fighter got his tactics spot on in neutralising a vaunted legend.
Your article perplexed me. With this piece, I want to counter every single disrespectful opinion or incorrect statement that you forced into your article.
Let’s start with the title. “Tyson Fury is a heavyweight moron”. Judging by the nature of your article, this is based on a couple of beliefs he has, both religious or social, that are contrary to your own or your peers. Let us be straight here, I don’t agree with a lot of his statements or beliefs, but I don’t perceive them to be evidence for idiocy. His views are shared globally by billions of people, both religious and social, and by people with greater intelligence than you or I. I have researched you and your qualifications, and I don’t see any evidence to suggest that you are qualified to gauge a person’s Intelligence Quotient , regardless of what Tyson Fury says or does. Straight away, you owe him an apology for that one. Sure enough, Fury is not the most educated of men, but if you have listened to him speak, you would find him articulate and sharp. He is perfectly capable of forming an idea, and framing it into words. I simply can’t agree with the implication that he is a moron, despite how much you or I disagree with him.
Your second sentence is extremely demeaning to the sport of boxing. “He’s shown that being an idiot is useful if you want to earn a living by punching people in the face”. The sport of boxing is around hundreds of years, and has a storied history. It is the ultimate sport of courage and endurance and skill, as there are no teammates to fall back on and nowhere to hide. You also imply that his idiocy somehow aided his rise to sporting immortality. Quite the opposite is true in fact, as the man he was facing, Vladimir Klitschko, speaks five languages and possesses a PHD. Fury had to out-think a man with a doctorate thus defying your diagnosis of idiocy. Yet again, I don’t see how you are qualified to proclaim any sportsman an idiot, especially a man like Vladimir Klitschko who dwarves you or I intellectually. A slight on Fury, is a slight on Klitschko.
Immediately after this you imply, that because he shares his name with an emotional response and a former world champion, he was destined to be the best heavyweight boxer on the planet. This is delusional, and it worries me that you write for a living if you believe this to be true. I am going to assume that this was said tongue in cheek for the Mirror’s sake.
Your next move is to accuse him of not being a professional sportsman. He goes to training camp for months at a time, to prepare himself for a sporting event, in which he earns money. He was nominated for the BBC sportsman of the year. He has no other source of employment. Therefore, he is a professional sportsman. I don’t really get what you are trying to imply by saying he is not a professional sportsman.
A little further down, you construct this sentence: “That he hasn’t stood for election, isn’t being asked his views on Syrian airstrikes, and is not trying to be a role model”. It is possible that this is a glitch or your editor has missed something, but I don’t understand what you mean. If this is your actual sentence, and you actually do this for a living, I would be worried if I were you. You expose limitations of your own, in your own profession, whilst pontificating on another person’s alleged flaws, despite his record being perfect.
You quickly cut to a picture of Mohammed Ali knocking out Sonny Liston, implying that Cassius Clay as he was known back then, was a more serious role model for kids than Tyson Fury. Allow me to quote some of Ali’s more memorable quotes:
Ali on racism,
“The white man is the devil…No good in him, no justice. He’s gonna be destroyed. His rule is over. He is the devil. We don’t believe that, we KNOW it”
Ali’s contempt for his peers,
“I know how to talk to a man like you who has less intelligence than myself”.
“You know, you are in the ring with God”
Are these the quotes of a man that is somehow more idealistic in nature for a young person to try and emulate, than Tyson Fury? It is ironic that you would exalt one man from a different time and place him on a pedestal as a role model for youth, whilst denigrating a champion who is following an extremely similar trajectory, in your own time. I hope you have the intelligence and the integrity to spot the similarities between them. I don’t personally mind Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali but I would not be placing him morally or intellectually above a man like Tyson Fury.
Moving along, you next allude to the fact that Mr Fury was named after an “ear-chomping rapist”. Firstly, Tyson Fury was born in 1988 long before Mike Tyson was convicted for rape and a number of years before he lacerated Evader Holyfield’s ear with his teeth. Secondly, Tyson Fury’s father, a former professional fighter himself, named his son for a fighter he admired, not for the crimes that former champion committed some years later. I have never once heard the Fury’s condone Mike Tyson’s crimes, nor celebrate the nature of those crimes.
Following on from the above time disparity, you equate Tyson Fury to ISIS……. I find this hilarious. It is a sublime leap you commit to with that statement. Virtually every religion in the world has a version of how the world will end. Billions of people worldwide(not me I must stress) take various religious texts and teachings to heart, whereas you and I see it, as words on a page. ISIS have demonstrated its appetite for horrific violence, in its attempt to carve out a fundamentalist state, in the heart of the Levant. The only violence, if you could call it that, that Tyson Fury participates in or condones, is the techniques he applies to succeed in his chosen profession/sport. Equating Tyson Fury to ISIS because of his controversial views on religion and homosexuality is outlandish, and until he decides to carve out a fundamentalist empire around Manchester, I certainly cannot follow you down that path.
As the paragraphs roll down, you refer to him as a “pillock” , a “twat” and a “knob”, all because his views on various aspects of the world, are different than your own. The vitriol you regurgitate on the sheet is borderline funny by this point. You continually point to his alleged lack of intelligence when you personally have no access to his intelligence quotient scores. Anytime I have heard him speak, despite some of his antiquated beliefs, or in some quarters offensive remarks, he has given me the impression that he is an articulate man. I disagree with virtually all of his comments as you do, but I don’t believe he should be abused and ostracised in the manner you have gone about it.
Further down again, you wrote a paragraph I deem particularly offensive to a guy who has no platform to defend himself against you.
“Laugh at the fact he wanted to call his son Jesus. Laugh at the fact sports journalists take him seriously. Laugh when he speaks, laugh when he threatens to smack you, laugh until he loses his crown.”
The tone and wording you take here lead me to believe you wish to isolate this man, belittle him and effectively bully him, knowing that within our laws, he can’t defend himself from you. You encourage others to do the same. There is an inherent meanness to your writing that would further alienate any reasonable person from your cause in my opinion. He cannot challenge you and take up the quill to respond to your words. You claim that his opinions and statements give you a reason for you to lambast him, and I personally don’t agree with what he says either, but with the paragraph above, you lower yourself to the level you perceive him to inhabit. You command people to laugh at him when he states that he wants to call his son Jesus. In South and Central America, that is one of the most popular names for male children. Do you mean to belittle hundreds of thousands of people who were named Jesus? I don’t understand your purpose. I don’t believe you thought that sentence through, or else the meaning was lost on me. You say laugh at the fact that sports journalists take him seriously. This is an idiotic statement. He is the heavyweight champion of the world. He has proven himself to be the greatest on earth at his chosen sporting profession, a sport followed by billions worldwide. You say laugh when he speaks yet I see anything but laughter in your piece. All I see is a hate ridden rant at a man you don’t fully understand. You say laugh when he threatens to smack you, when I have never heard him threaten another human being outside of his rivals in the sport of boxing, where ironically you “smack” people. Does he really intimidate you so? You say laugh until he loses his crown whereas most sports people take great national pride in saying that one of their men is the greatest in the world.
From the very top of the piece you have abandoned reason and laid waste to this man’s character and intellectual capacity. Firstly, you have nothing but contempt for the sport of boxing itself and have virtually no knowledge of its history, yet you feel that you are an authority on its morality. I have researched several of your pieces, and despite the fact that you despise the sport, it hasn’t stopped you from using boxing parlance and terminology. You equate those with fundamental views on religion as having limited intelligence, which is a very broad net to be throwing over billions of people globally, all in the pursuit of one man’s character assassination. Are you really in the position to cast aspersions so grandiose in nature? Equating him to ISIS on any level, is laughable. I’m sure if there is some Jihadi mercenary, reading the Arabic translation of your piece, he is unlikely to believe that the heavyweight champion of the world is about to join his ranks, despite the hilarious similarities you point out. Your article is spiteful and hate-filled and needlessly so, when you have the platform, and possibly the ability, to rip this man’s opinions and religious beliefs apart objectively.
Instead you sound like a bully and a pouty child.
I understand that you must have some serious ability as a scribe and journalist, otherwise you would not be doing it for a living, but someone of your alleged calibre should not fire sweeping statements at a guy who can’t defend himself against you. You and I disagree with most of what the new champion says and the majority of his world view, but you’re like a fisherman who throws his net into the sea to catch a particular species and ends up scouring the seabed clean of all life. In the totality of your article, you have probably managed to offend about a quarter of the world’s population, which I find hilarious and in fact I slightly admire the bravado. Anyone named Jesus should be laughed at. Anyone who holds to a religious book is an idiot. Anyone who is uncomfortable with homosexuality is a Jihadi terrorist. I am laughing as I write this. I have a teenage sister who is as polarised as you are. But the difference is, you are an experienced journalist and have the platform and the opportunity to be better than that, to rise above it. At the end of the day, it is strange for me to see one human who is the best at what he does in the world, being destroyed on paper by someone who clearly isn’t the best in the world at what she does.
My hope is that you can reach out to Tyson Fury’s camp and try and actually interview the man and see what he is about, and maybe ask WHY he has the outlandish opinions he does, instead of being a keyboard warrior, smashing his reputation and belittling his achievements, just because you don’t agree with him.
Over and out,
PS: He believes in the end of the world due to a chapter written in a holy book. I concur with you in believing that this is ludicrous, but should what he believes miraculously come to pass, wouldn’t you like to have a few Tyson Fury’s around to protect you!