David Beckham has a strong message for world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury 6 years ago

David Beckham has a strong message for world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury

David Beckham had his fair share of controversy during his glittering football career.

The former Manchester United midfielder was an England pariah at one point after kicking out at Argentina's Diego Simeone and getting red carded which many blamed for killing off his country's World Cup 1998 dream...and don't even get us started on the hair cuts.

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But Becks turned it around and the the 40-year-old is a model father, an ambassador for the beautiful game and his charity work for organisations like UNICEF is admirable.

Now another man facing controversy under the national spotlight is new heavyweight world champion Tyson Fury.

The outspoken Mancunian boxer has provoked anger with comments about homosexuality and gender equality which led to a huge petition for him to be dropped from the line-up of BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

Fury, who came fourth, did apologise for any offence caused by his comments in an interview on stage with Gary Lineker.

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Beckham believes it was right that the 27-year-old was on the shortlist for the award as he is "a world champion, at the end of the day".

But the former Real Madrid and LA Galaxy star believes being a good role model is more important than being the heavyweight champ.

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"In the sporting world, when you've been successful, it's a big thing, but it's more important to be a good role model," Beckham told Huffington Post UK.

"When you're at the top, when you're at the highest point in your sport, being a role model is even more important than anything else.

"He's done well in the ring, let's hope he continues to do well in and outside it."