LONDON (Reuters) - World heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has apologized for offensive remarks he made in an online video last week, insisting he is ‘not a bigot or a racist’.
The outspoken Briton, preparing for a re-match with Wladimir Klitschko who he surprisingly de-throned in Dusseldorf in November to win the WBA, WBO and IBF belts, caused controversy with homo phobic, sexist and anti-Semitic comments during an Q and A session with his uncle and trainer Peter Fury.
“I apologize to anyone who may have taken offense at any of my comments,” Fury said in a statement.
“I said some things, which may have hurt some people, which as a Christian man is not something I would ever want to do.”
“I mean no harm or disrespect to anyone and I know more is expected of me as an ambassador of British boxing and I promise in future to hold myself up to the highest possible standard.”
Fury has made almost as many headlines with his behavior outside the ring as with his performances in it.
In January, the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC) reminded him of his responsibilities after he made derogatory remarks about women and criticized homosexuality and abortion.
Last year 130,000 signed a petition calling for the BBC to remove Fury from its shortlist for Sports Personality of the Year, prompting another apology from the fighter.
Fury faces Klitschko for the WBA and WBO belts in Manchester on July 9, having rescinded the IBF belt because of a contractual dispute.
Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ian Ransom