A heavyweight boxer from an Irish Traveller background winning a world title sounds like the plot from a Hollywood movie, but at the centre of this remarkable drama stands the very real Tyson Fury.
The 6ft 9in tall, 18 stone giant of a man - who calls himself the ‘Gypsy King’ on Twitter - outboxed living legend Wladimir Klitschko of Ukraine in front of 50,000 fight fans in Dusseldorf on Saturday night.
In doing so, the committed Christian from Manchester became the WBA, IBF and WBO champion of the world.
Klitschko has dominated the heavyweight division for almost a decade, along with his brother Vitali who quit the fight game two years ago to run for political office in Ukraine.
Fury’s family boasts generations of bare-knuckle fighters who fought bouts between selling carpets and tarmacking driveways.
His father, grandfathers on both sides of the family and great-grandfathers were all renowned for their prowess fighting the traveller way; sometimes for cash wagers but more often for personal or family honour.
Now unbeaten in 25 fights, he celebrated his well-earned victory by singing the Aerosmith classic ‘I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing’ in the ring to his pregnant wife.
The colourful character met wife Paris at a mutual friend’s wedding when they were both 15. The couple have a five-year-old daughter called Venezuela and a three-year-old son Prince.
He still has family connections in Northern Ireland and at one time trained with the Holy Family club in north Belfast.
Fury credits God with giving him the ability to overcome Klitschko, and has outraged many with his rants against homosexuality, paedophilia and devil worship.
In a newspaper interview earlier this month, he said: “There are only three things that need to be accomplished before the devil comes home. One of them is homosexuality being legal in countries, one of them is abortion and the other is paedophilia. Who would have thought in the 50s and 60s that those first two would be legalised?”
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, he added: “When I say paedophiles could be made legal, it sounds crazy. But if I had said to you about the first two being made legal in the 50s, I would have been looked upon as a crazy man.
“If I would have told you 120 years ago that a 1,000-ton aeroplane is going to fly through the sky, a piece of steel, that would have been considered ludicrous.
“People can say, ‘You are against abortions, you are against paedophilia, you are against homosexuality,’ but my faith and my culture is based on the Bible.”
In 2013, Fury was fined £3,000 by the British Boxing Board of Control for tweeting that boxers David Price and Tony Bellew were “gay lovers”.