I HAVE been ringside at eight of his pro contests, spoken to him countless times on the phone and conducted three lengthy face-to-face interviews with the giant. The first of these took place in February 2011, in Lancaster where then-trainer Hughie mocked the unfortunate photographer’s physique and traveller Tyson flew me down the road atop an old horse cart. Fury was staying in a modest caravan outside his uncle’s home.

“I’ll tell you what makes a traveller,” he told me. “You’re born one, like you’re born black. You can’t just become a black man can you? You can’t just say, ‘I’m gonna be a traveller today. That’s what you are. Jumping in a caravan doesn’t make you a traveller. I’ve got Irish descent, I’m born in Manchester, but I’m not Irish or English, I’m a gypsy.”

Fury back then was uncut, unabridged and far less guarded than he is now. With maturity has come a degree of reticence despite evidence to the contrary. On that occasion, Fury was just 22, not merely proud of his traditional values but raw enough to espouse them to the media.

“How can a woman be as respected as a man?” Fury asked rhetorically. “I know women’s rights and all that and someone’s just been sacked off the telly for saying a woman shouldn’t be doing a referee’s job, but I totally agree with him to be honest. A woman’s a woman – she’s there to be loved and cook some food and have some kids basically. And wash up. Not to get involved in men’s businesses. It’s like we’re talking now and my wife wouldn’t come in and get involved in this conversation because it’s none of her business. But I know your general public woman wouldn’t put up with that ’coz she would want to be involved, she’d want a pair of b******s. She wants to boss a man about and be in control of the money. We don’t agree with that.”

Next – page 4 of 6: Peter Fury takes over

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