Tyson Fury backed over right to free speech but warned of 'responsibilities'


Tyson Fury will face no punishment from the British Boxing Board of Control for his controversial remarks relating to women and homosexuals, but he has been reminded of his ''heavy responsibilities''.

Fury faced a backlash for comments he made before and after his upset victory over Wladimir Klitschko in November to capture the WBA, IBF and WBO heavyweight titles.

He was summonsed to explain himself to the BBBoC, which has acknowledged Fury, who has since been stripped of his IBF title for unrelated reasons, has not broken any laws and is entitled to free speech.

A statement on Wednesday read: ''Tyson Fury has made comments in the media that have caused offence to members of our society. However, there is no suggestion that he has broken the law by exercising his right to freedom of expression.

''In such circumstances, the stewards of the British Boxing Board of Control have been advised that it cannot interfere with his basic human rights.

''Having said that, the stewards of the board have made it clear to him that as world heavyweight champion, arguably the holder of the most prestigious title in sport, there are heavy responsibilities upon him to avoid making controversial, non-boxing comments.

''He has assured the stewards that he understands the responsibilities upon him and has expressed regret that he has caused offence to others, which was never his intention.''

Fury provoked outrage when he equated homosexuality and abortion with paedophilia and saying a woman's "best place is on her back" - although he repeatedly denied he was a homophobe.

His achievements in outpointing Klitschko earned the 27-year-old a place on the shortlist for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, although a petition to have him removed exceeded 140,000 signatures.

His inclusion on the list was also discussed by MPs, with shadow culture secretary Michael Dugher calling for him to be dropped and sports minister Tracey Crouch saying she would remind him that as a sports star, he is a role model.

At the awards themselves, Fury apologised if his comments had "hurt anybody" as he came fourth in the vote.

While contractually obliged to face Klitschko in a rematch this year, Fury has also been linked with a unification bout against WBC champion Deontay Wilder.

The pair had a heated confrontation at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn earlier this month after Wilder had retained his title by stopping Poland's Artur Szpilka, with Fury saying: "Like I did Klitschko, I'll beat you, you bum, You're a bum."

Wilder responded: "I'm not scared of anybody. We'll come to your backyard. This is just an act - you're not a real fighter. I don't play. This isn't wrestling. This isn't the WWE. When you do step in that ring with me I promise you I will baptise you."