Tyson Fury has claimed he was strip-searched while attempting to enter the United States and that his struggles to obtain a visa almost led to the cancellation of his fight with Deontay Wilder.
Fury, a former WBA, IBO, WBO, IBF champion, will attempt to win the only belt he has not held when he challenges Wilder for the WBC strap this Saturday in the main event of Showtime Pay-Per-View from Staples Center in Los Angeles.
However, Fury alleges issues with his travel documents put the blockbuster bout in jeopardy, with it taking two and a half years for him to be granted a US visa.
“We started this in February 2016. There were meetings, lots and lots of meetings, at the US embassy,” Fury said in quotes reported by The Daily Mail.
“We got through it. But then when I arrived in America they [the immigration officers] took me away to a back room. Asked a lot of questions and I was strip-searched.
“Why? I don’t really know. I don’t have any criminal record but I still struggled to get the visa. They said they thought I looked a shady character.
“There was some talk of what went off when I went to see one of Wilder’s fights in New York and that I might cause a riot.
“As we all know, these people have the right to do whatever they want. If they say it’s Tuesday, it’s Tuesday. Fight could have been off. That would have been nice. But after more than four hours they let me in.”
Now able to fight in the country, Fury sees his boxing future in America rather than his homeland.
“After I win the WBC belt I will be staying here. You won’t see me fighting in England again. You heard it here first,” added the 30-year-old.
“Once I beat Wilder I will be the next big pay-per-view star in America, the land of opportunity.”