Hughie Fury's dad refused entry to New Zealand for WBO title fight with Joseph Parker
Joseph Parker's world heavyweight title promotion against Hughie Fury won't be affected by his opponent's father-trainer being denied entry to New Zealand.
After news broke on Wednesday of the visa rejection, Duco Events co-owner David Higgins told Stuff: "The fight is going ahead as planned."
But Hughie Fury will have to fight Parker without his mentor in his corner as Peter Fury's history with drugs continues to haunt him.
Peter Fury served a lengthy prison sentence in Britain over drugs and money laundering convictions and won't be allowed into New Zealand for the May 6 WBO title fight in Auckland.
Peter Fury applied for an exemption and had lawyers working on his behalf in New Zealand and Britain, presenting a lengthy application backed by character references.
But Immigration New Zealand confirmed in a statement to 1News on Wednesday that they had declined his entry on "character grounds".
"Mr Fury was ineligible for a visa unless granted a special direction," the statement said.
"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."
He was jailed for 10 years in 1995 for possession and intent to supply amphetamine – only to continue orchestrating his business from behind bars. In 2008 he received another two years for drug-related money laundering.
Five years ago a court ordered him to pay back the assets and funds he had hidden from the court.
The situation the Fury's face in Auckland is not unexpected, nor unprecedented.
In 2013, Peter's application for a visa into the United States was knocked back by authorities due to those two prison terms and he was forced to watch his nephew Tyson Fury's fight against Steve Cunningham from Canada, rather than work the corner at New York's Madison Square Garden.
The Furys are a tight-knit clan with Peter Fury the glue to a successful boxing organisation that saw Tyson win the world titles from long-time champion Wladimir Klitschko in 2015.
The decision is a massive blow for the 22-year-old Hughie. He hasn't fought for a year and his ability to gain the mandatory challenger's rights with the WBO to take on Parker raised some eyebrows. Now he travels to the other end of the world without his guiding voice.
There has been talk of Tyson Fury coming to New Zealand to help his cousin's preparations and also work on his own training return as he battles back from depression and drug issues.
In confirming the fight earlier this month, Higgins spoke of his hope that Peter Fury would be granted entry into New Zealand, believing the Brit had turned his life around through boxing.
Higgins didn't want to elaborate on that in the wake of the immigration decision. But he said demand for the fight, indoors at Vector Arena, was "strong".
"We are ahead of where we were for ticket and table sales for the last promotion," he said in reference to Parker's December fight in Auckland against Mexico's Andy Ruiz where he won the WBO belt, ironically vacated by Tyson Fury.