Tyson Fury took a moment out from his celebrations at becoming the WBC and Ring Magazine world heavyweight boxing champion to send a message to a young Irish fan.
The Gypsy King stopped Deontay Wilder in the seventh round in Las Vegas to cement his legacy as one of the greatest boxers of all time.
It was a fight that captured the imagination of sports fans everywhere and one young fan from Ireland was three-year-old John Burke.
John, from Kilkenny, is battling Adenoid cystic cancer (ACC) at Crumlin Children’s Hospital.
Fury heard about John’s story in the days following his victory over Wilder and sent a special message to him.
He said: “Hey, this is Tyson Fury a.k.a. The Gypsy King. This is a special message to John Burke. Son get well soon, and I hear you’re my biggest fan and you’re going to come to my next fight when we’re back in the UK baby. All the best, God bless you son – see you soon”
John’s mother Mary spoke to the Irish Sun about the unexpected message. She said: “My cousins were over at the fight and they were all in the pub with him after he won the fight and they were telling him about John and how he’d be going to the next fight.
“And then, I’m shocked, Tyson sent the video for John. We showed John and he was delighted with it. He was saying ‘up Tyson’ but he was very weak, but he sent back a little message and said ‘thanks’ and he’s going to the next fight, please God.
“He’s a proper champion in every way – in every way.
“He’s just finished his fourth round of chemo – he’s not really well at the moment.
“He’s very sick but we’re hoping that, I’m praying to God, everybody, the whole world is praying for him that he will be ok. He’s a little fighter anyway and we call him ‘our champ’.”
Mary was also full of praise for the staff at the hospital where John is being treated. She said: “Oh they are brilliant. Like we go from Shared Care in Waterford to Crumlin but it’s a completely different hospital when you come into it and the staff – they don’t just care for John – they care for the whole family.
“They always ask if there’s anything they can do for us and things like that. I have six kids and they always accommodate when bringing the other kids up to the hospital and stay in the Ronald McDonald House…there’s nothing they wouldn’t do for us.”
Fury is hugely popular in Ireland and the UK and has always celebrated his mixed heritage, as demonstrated with his ring name The Gypsy King.
You can see the video message from Fury to John by visiting www.thesun.ie.