Things have been fairly fraught in the aftermath of Tyson Fury's ascent to the top of the heavyweight boxing heap. A compelling individual and a great fighter who's proud of his Irish roots, that would usually be enough for the entire country to roll out the red carpet and jump onto the bandwagon without a second thought. That's not really been the case with Fury.
Rightly or wrongly, a lot of people have been critical of his personal views and, as such, have been reluctant to embrace him as a sporting hero. His achievements deserve such recognition but sometimes it's just too difficult to put your moral compass to one side and only see what happens on the field or in the ring. Floyd Mayweather's turn as the pantomime villain is another example of that. He might well be the world's greatest boxer but his history of domestic violence precedes him and right minded fans will always remember that.
We've been getting a fair amount of stick for addressing the fact that Fury holds some horribly offensive views on homosexuality, and that's okay. As has been the go-to defence for Fury, everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, Fury's response to Oliver Holt, the Daily Mail journalist at the centre of the controversial article, goes past a differing of opinion and jumps into the territory of fairly blatant threats.
A few days before the big fight in Dusseldorf, Fury sat down for an hour-long interview with iFL TV and there was a number of interesting things to come of it. Among them is Fury's response to Oliver Holt (or 'wank stain' as Fury refers to him as) and, as you can see, he was in mood for diplomacy.
You'd have to think that there was a certain amount of exaggeration in that but the implication from Fury is nonetheless clear: Oliver Holt is not exactly welcome at the Fury household for Christmas drinks.
For what reason he wants his entourage to send a message to Holt is not overly apparent to us. He may be backtracking in recent days but Fury holds the view that homosexuality is inherently wrong and he told Holt that in no uncertain terms. Holt, who probably couldn't believe his luck, duly reported what Fury had to say on the subject.
The world heavyweight champ continues to suggest he was misquoted or mislead in some way. Holt spoke to Off The Ball on Newstalk on Tuesday to clarify exactly what went on during the interview and, as you'd expect, it's very much at odds with what Fury had to say on the matter.
See also: Tyson Fury Backlash Continues As British MP Offers Very Strong Homophobia Warning
You can watch the full hour-long interview here and it's well worth it as Fury, beginning around the six minute mark also offers an explanation as to why he's sticking to his views on homosexuality and the devil.