Tyson Fury fires President Biden a late plea for his fans to be allowed into US for trilogy showdown with Deontay Wilder – with Covid laws still locking Brits out
- Tyson Fury faces Deontay Wilder in their super-fight trilogy on Saturday
- The US are still preventing travellers entering the States directly from Britain
- Those laws are set to be relaxed, but not in time for the heavyweight showdown
- Fury has asked directly for President Joe Biden to give Brits special dispensation
Tyson Fury is making a last appeal for his home fans to be given special dispensation by the US government to fly into Las Vegas for his WBC world heavyweight championship trilogy fight with Deontay Wilder.
America’s prohibition on British citizens travelling directly from the UK is to be relaxed but as of now that will not happen in time for his fellow countrymen to snap up the remaining tickets for the 20,000 capacity T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night or flood the bars on the Strip to watch on big screens.
Tyson says: ‘I’ve still got my fingers crossed that at the last minute President Biden will open the borders to my supporters. I’ve been putting the pressure on for the Brits to be allowed to invade Las Vegas again and make it like my second fight with Wilder.’
Tyson Fury has made a late appeal for British fans to be let into the United States on Saturday
US President Joe Biden’s current laws over Covid travel would shut British fans out of the fight
There was an overwhelming British presence here 20 months ago and extraordinary scenes as Fury’s singing led a riotous celebration along the Strip and then lit up at a roaring after-win party in the hot night spot Hakkasan.
Says Fury: ‘This trilogy fight is huge. The first in the heavyweights since Evander Holyfield and Riddick Bowe, with only Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier before that in modern times. To hold one of the biggest sports events of recent years without the Brits here is crazy.’
Boris Johnson has succeeded in persuading Joe Biden to resume admitting British citizens without the cost and inconvenience of spending two weeks outside the UK before entering America but that is not due to begin until November 1.
Anthony Joshua’s shock loss of the other heavyweight titles to Olexsandr Usyk on September 25 filled the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium with boxing’s first mass crowd since the pandemic.
That demonstrated the enormous appetite for the return of big time spectator sports and Fury says: ‘The fans also love travelling abroad. They are gagging to come here. They will flock over even if they just get a three day pass which would let the fly over this Friday, lap up the fight Saturday night and go home Sunday.’
Fury (right) and Wilder face-off for the third time on Saturday with the Gypsy King the favourite
Biden has authorised the issue of ‘National Interest Exemptions’ for sports stars and others who would bring benefits to the US. Which arms Fury with a powerful argument for a bloc exemption at the weekend.
Vegas is recovering slowly from lockdown but for much of the time still resembles a ghost town with few big shows reopened, while many retails sites and hospitality venues remain closed with some hotels almost empty.
The economy here is still suffering and Fury says: ‘When we English go places we do take over. We do drink a lot. We’re wild and rowdy, screaming and shouting a lot. Lager flying everywhere. And our fight crowds spend plenty of money.’
Ricky Hatton twice brought 30,000 mostly Mancunians here for his fights with Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. The MGM Grand and their other resorts here reported selling out of beer during both those fight weeks. The only time they could remember that happening, before the Gypsy King came to town.
Anthony Joshua’s bout with Oleksandr Usyk took place on front of a packed crowd at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium last month
The electric atmosphere was not enough to carry him to world title victories but Fury learned last time here the value to him of such huge support.
‘I had seventeen and a half thousand cheering for me in the MGM Grand Garden Arena and more than 18,000 at the weigh-in,’ he says. ‘How bad do you think that made Wilder feel as an American in Vegas, the entertainment capital of the world, boxing in his own country and everyone’s screaming ‘there’s only one Tyson Fury?
Imagine how bad I would feel if I was boxing the Bronze Bomber in England and everyone was shouting for him? In his case he might as well have been fighting me at Wembley.
‘It was amazing but Vegas may not see the like of it again in a long time. Unless Mr Biden opens the doors to us.’
Fury still expects to have majority support ‘from all my fans this side of the Atlantic,’ as he did for the first Wilder fight in Los Angeles with the help of a large traveller community in the US.
Fury had the backing of the crowd in their last fight thanks to his huge State-side support
That faction should be in evidence again here, with many beginning to roll onto the Strip in their camper vans and trailers later this week.
There numbers are likely to be boosted by the memory of his seven-round blitzing of Wilder in fight two and now this promise: ‘Just as I told him then I would change my style and go after him with all guns blazing, so now let everyone remember that I’m saying it’s going to happen to him again.
Only this time he won’t last anywhere near seven rounds. He knows what’s coming for him on Saturday night.’
And who is gunning for him. The Gypsy King leading his caravan of faithful followers in from the Nevada desert to occupy this neon Strip.