A reporter's account of what heavyweight boxing champ Tyson Fury wanted to do to him...
London: Tyson Fury threatened to shove a pen up a reporter's nose in a bizarre 'meet and greet' afternoon in Birmingham on Friday. The world heavyweight champion also claimed to be the best boxer that Britain had ever produced in an outspoken interview, writes Mike Lockley of the Birmingham Mail: "Someone take that pen and shove it up his nose," snarled Fury. "I'll shove it up his a***.
"Take a picture of his face," smirked the world heavyweight champ as he strode the room, "in case he writes bad stuff about me." "I'll rearrange his face," announced his friend. This is the Court of King Fury, a bizarre audience peppered with outrageous comments, ludicrous anecdotes and profanities galore.
The larger-than-life Mancunian had clearly adopted a tongue-in-cheek approach to our interview prior to Friday's 'meet and greet' at Birmingham's Vox Conference. It soon became apparent I was the recipient of a Romany "rise", though Fury's burly brothers Hughie, a promising pro-fighter, and Shane remained poker-faced as the 27-year-old's stories plunged from strange to downright surreal. Hughie and Shane, both built like bears, possess the brooding presence that could persuade the most belligerent residents to have their drives tarmaced.
"You want to talk to him," said Fury, pointing to Shane. "He breeds bullfrogs and rare hedgehogs for eating." Shane nodded, his stern features betraying not a hint of humour. "I've eaten hedgehog," continued Fury. "It's like nothing you've eaten before." "Bit like chicken," droned the individual who, only minutes before, had offered to help me with my Biro. "Marinate them in honey," continued Fury, his long, six foot 9ins frame squeezed in a chair, "put them on a clay tray and bake in the over. Mind you, you should hear them squeal when you close the oven door."
Winning the world title made Fury a household name, but it has not changed the man. That, alone, has proved something of a PR nightmare. "I'm a little bit richer, a little bit older and, some say, a little bit tighter," he said. As the enigma that is Tyson Fury prepared to meet his adoring public, I realised it's probably best he hasn't invested in a dedicated PR assistant.