Nick Matthew column: There are worthier winners of BBC prize than outspoken Fury

There has been a lot of furore over Tyson Fury, especially since he became heavyweight champion of the world.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 15th December 2015, 9:57 pm
Tyson Fury
Tyson Fury

I think most of the time Fury comes across as a bit of an idiot. He is very outspoken and I certainly don’t condone his controversial views on women, homosexuality and abortion. The way he conducts himself is an act as he wants that extra exposure.

Fury is not stupid. By saying outlandish things, he knows that is going to make him a lot of money. He wants the attention and is quite happy playing the role of pantomime villain.

Most of the things revolving around Fury are non sports related so I would much prefer to concentrate on sporting achievements in this topical column.

More than 120,000 people have signed a petition calling for Fury to be removed from Sunday’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) shortlist but I think he deserves to be there for his sporting achievement. Becoming a world champion in a sport is a brilliant feat. Fury beat a boxing legend in Wladimir Klitschko, who has dominated his division for the last decade. Nobody can take that away from Fury.

But there are multiple winners on the 12-strong shortlist competing for the prestigious award.

Long jumper Greg Rutherford, who threatened to pull out of the shortlist after a public row with Fury, is an Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth gold medallist.

Andy Murray helped Great Britain lift the Davis Cup on the back of him winning two Majors and Olympic gold. Our very own Jessica Ennis-Hill won her third global title, Lewis Hamilton claimed his third Formula One crown and Mo Farah is Britain’s best distance runner of all time.

The point I’m getting at is that Fury could be a flash in the pan. Look at Buster Douglas or Hasim Rahman who stopped Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis respectively. They didn’t last two minutes as world champions so let’s reserve our judgement on Fury being one of the great British boxers until he has defended his title half a dozen times.

At the moment, Fury has had one great fight at that level. As a three-time world champion, I feel qualified to say the second and third times are even harder than the first!

There are people on that shortlist who should win the prize over Fury. Clearly I’m biased but I hope it is Jess’s turn this year.