Boxing: Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury sorry for video rant

British heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury speaking during a press conference to publicise his forthcoming world heavyweight title fight against Ukranian heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko, on April 27, 2016.
British heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury speaking during a press conference to publicise his forthcoming world heavyweight title fight against Ukranian heavyweight Wladimir Klitschko, on April 27, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - World heavyweight champion Tyson Fury insists he is "in no way a racist or bigot" after apologising on Monday for comments he made in an hour-long video rant.

Fury caused controversy after making homophobic, sexist and anti-Semitic remarks in the interview last week, which led to widespread calls for him to be banned from boxing.

"I apologise to anyone who may have taken offence at any of my comments," Fury said in a statement.

"I said some things, which may have hurt some people, which as a Christian man is not something I would ever want to do.

"Though it is not an excuse, sometimes the heightened media scrutiny has caused me to act out in public. I mean no harm or disrespect to anyone and I know more is expected of me as an ambassador of British boxing and I promise in future to hold myself up to the highest possible standard.

"Anyone who knows me personally knows that I am in no way a racist or bigot and I hope the public accept this apology."

Fury has previously been accused of sexism and homophobia and also made controversial remarks about Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill.

In his latest outburst, he claimed "Zionist, Jewish people ... own all the banks, all the papers, all the TV stations".

He made personal attacks against Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko in the run-up to their rematch fight in July and voiced views on bestiality, paedophilia and women during the 57-minute clip.