Boxer Tyson Fury has built a reputation for his ability to attract attention. Sometimes it's good attention – such as beating Wladimir Klitschko and becoming heavyweight champion – but most of the time it's bad attention, such as his fondness for comments that have been described as anti-semitic, sexist, and homophobic.
But even for an attention magnet like Fury this past weekend was especially busy, with a cancelled title fight, allegations of doping, and a supermassive bar tab keeping him squarely in the public eye.
On Friday (June 24), Fury announced that an ankle injury had forced him to postpone his highly anticipated rematch with Klitschko. Fury defeated the Ukranian in Düsseldorf last year and was set to defend his WBA and WBO heavyweight belts on July 9.
But he's been forced to pull out with a "badly sprained" ankle, which he says he suffered while "running in the Lake District". However, The Sun claims that the injury was actually sustained at a "Welsh techno rave", with a source alleging, "Tyson was really partying hard, then seemed to slip."
There has been no mention of techno raves – Welsh or otherwise – from the Fury camp.
"I've had x-rays and MRI scans and all that stuff, and they said it's not broken but badly sprained and to keep off it for six or seven weeks," Fury said in a social media post. An October date is expected to be announced for the fight.
More worrying, Fury is also being forced to deny allegations of doping after The Mirror revealed that "unacceptable levels of nandrolone" had been found "in a sample taken before he won the world title from Wladimir Klitschko."
The Mirror says that officials will investigate the Fury case further and that the 27-year-old is likely to face an independent panel to explain the high traces of a banned substances. His cousin Hughie – a fellow heavyweight – is also alleged to have tested positive for the substance.
In response, Fury's promoters, Hennessey Sports, released a statement saying they were "baffled" by the allegations. "Tyson Fury absolutely denies any allegation of doping," they continued. "He looks forward to recovering from his injury and defending his titles against Wladimir Klitschko in October."
Perhaps it would be cynical to suggest that, with two bad news stories doing the rounds, Fury was advised to do something that would attract headlines for the right reasons.
Whatever motivated him – and, honestly, it's a fool's errand to work out what motivate Tyson Fury – it is a recorded fact that he bought a round of drinks for England fans in France ahead of the Three Lions' Euro 2016 clash with Iceland. According to Sky Sports:
"[Fury] turned up in Nice's historic old town on Sunday, clad in an England jersey and, having led a group of fans into a nearby bar, he proceeded to buy a huge round of Jaegerbombs, which comprise a Jaegermeister mixed with an energy drink." Fury then posted the receipt on social media.
Consider that scene for a moment: Tyson Fury arriving in a historic French town, England top stretched over his baffling frame and, in Pied Piper fashion, leading fans into a bar to buy them all a Jaegerbomb. It sounds entirely unbelievable and – let's be honest – pretty staged.
Not that you could blame someone for dreaming it up. When you're faced with headlines like "Tyson Fury apologises after latest homophobic, sexist and anti-Semitic comments", then throw alleged doping into the mix, good PR becomes essential. But, when Fury posts messages like this on Twitter, it must be easy to wonder why you bother.