Hughie Fury is set to challenge WBO heavyweight champion, Joseph Parker, in New Zealand on May 6th. However, he will now enter his first world title bout without the guidance of his father and trainer, Peter Fury, who has been refused entry into New Zealand.
Shadows loomed over Fury’s visa application due to his previous criminal convictions, and he was not at all enthused by the application process. However, he was confident his past wouldn’t be an issue in this instance.
“The slightly disappointing thing is we have to go through the visa issues again, but what can we do?” Fury told Kugan Cassius of IFLTV. “The visa now has been lodged by the way. We’ve put it in, so we’re optimistic.
“It’s a Commonwealth country. I’ve been to Canada, that’s a Commonwealth country – I had no problems there, so I’m optimistic it will be okay.”
When asked if he thought the application might be denied, Peter said “It’s down to New Zealand immigration, I can’t say.
“Whatever their decision is, I’ll respect it. They’ve got a lot of paperwork. I’ve covered every detail, all my past record – when, what, if. I think it has taken about three weeks to get it all together.”
Unfortunately for the Fury’s, New Zealand immigration chose to deny Peter entry on “character grounds.”
New Zealand immigration released a statement confirming that Fury had requested an exemption, which is compulsory for anyone who has served more than five years in prison. Sadly, that request was denied.
“Mr. Fury was ineligible for a visa unless granted a special direction,” said the statement.
“His case was fully considered, and all representations submitted on Mr. Fury’s behalf were taken into account before a decision was made to decline his request for a special direction.”
Fury suffered a similar setback in 2013 when he was refused entry into the USA to work the corner for Tyson Fury’s contest with Steve Cunningham at Madison Square Garden.
Although Tyson suffered an early knockdown in that fight with Cunningham, he went on to claim victory with a seventh round knockout.
Hopefully, that fact will boost Hughie’s confidence somewhat, as he takes on the biggest challenge of his professional career without his father in his corner.