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Tyson Fury given a split decision over views - sporting personalities have their say

Published 08/12/2015

Champion: Tyson Fury laps up the applause in Germany
Champion: Tyson Fury laps up the applause in Germany

World heavyweight champion Tyson Fury’s place on the list of potential winners of the BBC’s Sports Personalityof the Year award has caused some controversy.

Here 10 top Ulster sporting personalities have their say on whether or not he should be withdrawn from the BBC’s list.

Michael Conlon - Amateur boxer from Belfast. World, European and Commonwealth gold medalist.

When you talk about personality, Tyson has certainly got it and he's a top sportsman. He went to Germany and beat a boxing legend in Wladimir Klitschko to win the World heavyweight title which  was amazing.Tyson does say some silly things at times, but I think he's great and his achievements cannot go unnoticed so, yes, he has to be on the list.

If he hadn't have become World heavyweight champion he wouldn't have been on the list in the first place. The things he has been saying lately are just the same things he has said before.

He gets asked questions and he answers them honestly, which is refreshing and look at his personality - before the Klitschko fight he was in the dressing room singing songs!

Brian Magee - Boxer from Lisburn. Former WBA super middleweight champion of the world.

Tyson should stay in the running for the Sports Personality of the Year award because of the achievement of winning the heavyweight championship of the world - which is the biggest prize in boxing.

He has some views that not everyone would agree with but having met him on Saturday night at a show in England, I found him to be a great lad.

Everyone was queuing up for photographs and autographs and he didn't turn one of them away - and not many elite sportsmen in the world would do that.

Beating Wladimir Klitschko, a great World champion, was an amazing achievement.

He went to Germany and his tactics were absolutely perfect, so he should be on the list.

Neil McManus - Antrim GAA star who plays his club hurling for Cushendall and represents Ulster.

I am a massive fight fan and even though I don't think Tyson is the most technically gifted boxer there ever was, I was delighted to see him win. If the heavyweight division ever needed a shake-up, it has happened.

At the same time, whenever you see the comments he has made, he has really undone a lot of the good work he did in winning the World title. Those views are not only completely outdated, but there is no place for them.

I don't think you can generalise a sport as saying one group is more qualified to give opinions than another, but his views in my opinion are completely wrong. He is a massive personality, I would go as far as saying he is three or four personalities, and one or two of them could win Sports Personality of the Year. He should not be removed from the shortlist.

Adam Keefe - Hard-hitting Belfast Giants captain who hails from Brampton in Canada.

Tyson Fury is an opinionated guy and everyone has their own opinions. Sometimes I think that it's better for people to keep those opinions to themselves and not come out with them in public. I disagree with the comments made and I am sure that he regrets making them.

I'm not sure about the award. I don't know the ins and outs of the criteria, but I know the ceremony is taking place in our arena and that it's a prestigious award which the BBC will want to uphold.

Claire Curran - Former tennis player who represented GB and also Ireland in the Fed Cup.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but Tyson Fury's views do not reflect my own or many others given the outcry over his controversial comments.

I thought his comments were appalling and genuinely felt we had moved on from that.

As for his boxing achievements, you have to give him credit for becoming heavyweight champion of the world.

And in relation to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, he has been shortlisted for the top 12. It is now up to the British public to assess the qualities of those 12, including Tyson Fury. The public vote will be interesting.

Scott Young - Footballer from Scotland who made 143 appearances for Glentoran.

Life is all about opinions. I give mine on Irish League football to this newspaper every week, but surely you can't go around saying the things Tyson Fury has in recent weeks.

His comments have been unacceptable and disrespectful.

I'm not surprised so many people want him off the Sports Personality of the Year shortlist.

I would not be disappointed if that happened.

Tyson Fury is now the king of the world in boxing terms and his views are heard around the globe.

He needs to be more responsible in what he says. I hope the outrage he has caused makes him think before he speaks in the future.

Billy Hamilton - 1982 World Cup hero with Northern Ireland. Played for Burnley.

I think that Tyson Fury's comments were very ill-advised. He's not helping anyone's cause with the things that he has said.

After winning the World heavyweight title he was in a position to maximise his income, but potential sponsors will now run a mile rather than want to get involved with him.

It's sad in a way because right now he should be getting publicity for the right reasons.

I think keeping him on the BBC Sports Personality of the Year list would be better than taking him off it. It will let him reflect on the number of votes that he has lost because of what he has said and that will reflect the general public's opinion.

If he turns up on the night the audience's reaction will reflect what they think of his comments.

Willie Anderson - Former Ulster and Ireland rugby captain who famously stood up to the All Blacks.

I think Tyson Fury is a great champion and he clearly sees himself as a bit of comedy artist too.

His antics outside the ring have his opponents at a psychological disadvantage all the time.

That's worked brilliantly for him and you saw how important it was against Wladimir Klitschko.

Something that we see in boxing is controversy bringing fighters publicity and that's what has happened again but, when it has nothing to do with his opponents, I must say that I really do think the things he comes out and says aren't in very good taste at all.

Aisling Reilly - World champion handballer who is from Belfast and plays for St Paul’s GAC.

His views should certainly raise questions over how suitable he is for an award on Sports Personality. If that's his personality, that's the way he feels about things, then it should raise questions.

Should sports stars be role models? To a certain extent. Young people look up to their sporting heroes and try to emulate what they do. Tyson has just won the World Championships in Boxing. If he is coming out with comments like this then kids at school are going to pick up on it.

I am sure if he was standing face to face with Katie Taylor, he wouldn't be so quick to spout that!

Emma Higgins - Northern Ireland women’s football goalkeeper who has a record 77 caps.

I think that Tyson Fury's comments are extremely sexist and also out of date.

In sport and in life in general, women have progressed and deserve as much recognition as their male counterparts.

That's how I was brought up and that's certainly what I believe.

In his sport, male and females compete at Olympic and world level, how does he think those women at the top in boxing feel?

Maybe he said what he did for effect or to get himself some more publicity, but there are others on the Sports Personality of the Year shortlist who haven't done that, even though they all deserve a great deal of recognition for their achievements.

Belfast Telegraph

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