Tommy Fury is signed and ready to face Jake Paul at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Aug. 6, and a press conference to fully and officially announce the fight was set for Wednesday.
But Fury now says via his Instagram that he has been denied entry into the United States.
“Me and my team this morning arrived at (London’s) Heathrow Airport, ready for the press conference, ready to fly out,” he said. “And as soon as I entered the airport, I got pulled to one side, and I was told by the homeland security that was there that my (visa) had been denied, and I wasn’t able to travel to the USA for a reason I apparently know.
“I can stand here and say I’ve done absolutely nothing wrong, and I have no clue why I’m not allowed to travel to the USA. I’ve been training for a fight 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 called it “a massive shock to me and my whole team,” and said they were working on resolving the situation.
Without meaning to speculate, we should note that Tommy’s half-brother Tyson was reportedly denied entry to the U.S. recently as well, due to past connections with Daniel Kinahan, whose alleged crime cartel is the target of coordinated action between Irish, British, and American law enforcement.
Tyson and others in boxing formerly represented by the now-shuttered MTK Global are part of a reported list of more than 600 people who have been put on a travel ban list. For another recent example, former fighter and current Sky Sports pundit Matthew Macklin, who started MTK Global with Kinahan in 2012, was denied entry in April.
In short, Tommy may not have to have actually “done anything” here; this may be another part of his family’s past ties to Kinahan — and to be clear, we’re saying through boxing, not anything to do directly with the alleged international crime cartel.
Jake Paul was, of course, quick to respond in usual form:
Tommy, no matter how hard u try to get out of this fight, I’m going 2 do everything in my power 2 not let u weasel ur way out. My team & my partners have made it clear the steps u need to take 2 solve ur latest excuse. Take them or admit ur a scared little bitch. #TommyFumbles— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) June 28, 2022
Paul’s promotional company account was a bit more diplomatic, even though it’s probably the same person Tweeting from both, because everything is some level of grift or work in the “influencer” world:
As a result of circumstances out of our control, the scheduled press conference for Wednesday at MSG has been postponed. We are working with our partners at SHOWTIME and Madison Square Garden and will share more information as soon as we are able.— Most Valuable Promotions (@MostVpromotions) June 28, 2022
One would expect Fury and his lawyers, with some likely help from the U.S. partners involved in this event, to eventually be granted entry. But also, maybe not. This is a major issue that governments are taking seriously, and Fury may simply be caught up in the wake of something far beyond his control.