Tommy Fury claims he was denied boarding an aircraft at London’s Heathrow Airport on his way to the United States for a press conference to publicize his boxing battle versus YouTube celebrity Jake Paul on August 6.
On Tuesday, Fury revealed on Instagram (via ESPN) that a Homeland Security official notified him that his travel visa, an electronic system for travel authorization (ESTA), had been refused but did not explain why. He called the scenario “massive shock.”
“I can stand here and say I’ve done absolutely nothing wrong and I have no clue why I am not allowed to travel to the USA,” Fury had said. “Like I say I’ve been training for a fight for this whole time, and that’s all I’ve been doing. I have no clue why they would not allow me to travel today, and neither does any of my team or my lawyers.”
Fury, the younger brother of veteran heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury, stated that he is working with embassies to resolve the travel issues.
“Obviously, it’s a matter that needs to be resolved, it’s government issues,” he remarked. “You know it’s a lot bigger than the fight right now and I’m just trying to get it sorted.”
According to ESPN, Paul’s organization, Most Valuable Promotions, has decided to postpone Wednesday’s press conference until further information is available.
“Despite many assurances by Tommy Fury’s team that he was able to come to the U.S., and knowing that Tommy was in California just last month, we were surprised to learn that he had an issue at Heathrow Airport on Monday,” the statement mentioned.
The bout is planned for August 6 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. It’s unclear whether there are backup arrangements if Fury isn’t approved to fly.
Paul and Fury were supposed to fight in December, but the British fighter backed out due to a bacterial lung infection and a damaged rib.
Both fighters are unbeaten, despite diverging early in their professional boxing careers.
Paul (5-0, 4 KO) has won fights against fellow YouTuber Ali “AnEsonGib” Al-Fakhri, former NBA player Nate Robinson, and a pair of former MMA fighters, Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley, whom he defeated twice.
Fury (8-0, 4 KO) has won his fights against lower-level professional opponents, most recently defeating Daniel Bocianski by decision in April.
If their long-awaited fight takes place in August, it will be full of intrigue.