England’s Tommy Fury, who was scheduled to be at Madison Square Garden in New York on Wednesday for a news conference promoting his recently announced fight with Jake Paul, was barred on Monday from traveling to the United States.
Paul (5-0, 4 KOs), 25, of Cleveland, the popular social media influencer, and Fury, the half brother of heavyweight champion Tyson Fury, are scheduled to fight in an eight-round cruiserweight bout on Aug. 6 in the main event of a Showtime PPV at Madison Square Garden.
Tommy Fury was due to fly to New York for the news conference but was not permitted to board his flight at London’s Heathrow Airport.
“Despite many assurances by Tommy Fury’s team that he was able to come to the U.S., and knowing that Tommy was in California just last month, we were surprised to learn that he had an issue at Heathrow Airport on Monday,” Paul’s promotional company, MVP Promotions, said in a statement on Tuesday. “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.”
Fury (8-0, 4 KOs), 23, said in an Instagram video on Tuesday that he had no idea why he barred from traveling to America.
“So, I just want to come on here and set the record straight before anyone else tries to,” Fury said in the video. “Me and my team (Monday) morning arrived at Heathrow Airport ready for the press conference, ready to fly out. As soon as I entered the airport I got pulled to one side and I was told by a homeland security officer that was there that my ESTA (travel authorization) had been denied and I wasn’t able to travel to the USA for a reason that I apparently know.
“I can stand here and say I’ve done absolutely nothing wrong and I have no clue why I am not allowed to travel to the USA. Like I say, I’ve been training for a fight for 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.
“Now I’m having to go to embassies and all this sort of stuff to try and resolve it, and I’m in the middle of training, guys. I don’t know why this has happened today it’s a massive shock to me and my whole team. Obviously, it’s a matter that needs to be resolved. It’s government issues. You know it’s a lot bigger than the fight right now and I’m just trying to get it sorted.”
There is wide speculation that the reason for Fury’s U.S. entry denial stems from Tyson Fury’s long association with Ireland’s Daniel Kinahan, the powerful boxing manager and adviser who is also a purported organized crime kingpin. The United States government recently sanctioned Kinahan, who was last known to be in Dubai, and several associates and placed $5 million bounties on them. As part of that move, the U.S. also banned hundreds of people believed to be associated with him from entering the U.S.
Paul and Fury were supposed to fight on Dec. 18 in Tampa, but Fury withdrew due to illness and Paul instead faced Tyron Woodley in a rematch on short notice.
Unified women’s featherweight titlist Amanda Serrano (42-2-1, 30 KOs), 33, a Puerto Rican southpaw fighting out of Brooklyn, who is promoted by MVP, is scheduled to defend her belts against Brenda Carabajal (18-5-1, 9 KOs), 31, of Argentina, in the co-feature on Aug. 6.