Olympian Jessica Ennis-Hill has heaped praise on boxer Tyson Fury, calling him “inspiring” despite sexist comments he made about her in 2015.
After his comeback against Deontay Wilder at the weekend, Fury, 30, is 4/1 favourite to win Sports Personality of the Year.
In 2015, he faced calls to be dropped from the show after a video emerged of him saying heptathlete Jess, a nominee, was “quite fit when she’s got a dress on”.
But there are no hard feelings. Jessica, 32, who backed Fury to make the SPOTY main shortlist, said: “It was one of those moments, I didn’t take anything to heart.
“It was one of those comments and you have to have a bit of a laugh around it.”
Asked if it was tricky for the BBC to shortlist him in view of it, she said: “It’s a difficult one. I am glad I am not the person who has to make the decision.”
But she praised his fight against Wilder, 33, which ended in a draw, and said: “It’s inspiring to see what he has achieved. He lost an incredible amount of weight, which was very impressive.”
Yesterday the BBC unveiled the Greatest Sporting Moment of The Year nominations, which include Fury’s comeback fight against Wilder.
Go to bbc.co.uk/sport to vote.
Jessica presents Sports Personality 2018: A Great Sporting Year, tonight at 10.45pm on BBC1.
Showbiz and TV editor’s picks
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