Sunday, June 04, 2023  |


Tyson Fury vacates his titles

Fighters Network

Tyson Fury is no longer heavyweight champion, ending a bizarre, puzzling and sad reign as the Baddest Man on the Planet.

With the sanctioning bodies on the verge of stripping him, Fury announced on Wednesday that he has voluntarily vacated his WBA, WBO and IBO titles to focus on his wellbeing and treatment for his personal issues.

Fury flunked two VADA-administered tests for cocaine in September, scuttling his rematch with Wladimir Klitschko for Oct. 29. Fury, who is also THE RING’s heavyweight champion, admitted in a recent interview with Rolling Stone that he’s battled depression and abused cocaine and alcohol and that he hasn’t trained since May.

“They say I’ve got a version of bipolar,” he told the magazine. “I’m a manic depressive. I just hope someone kills me before I kill myself.” The WBO and WBA expressed sympathy but were also looking into stripping him. The WBO announced it would give Fury 10 days on Monday to prove why he should remain champion. Fury, who turned the boxing world on its head with an upset of Klitschko last November, said it was the selfless thing to do to relinquish the titles on Wednesday.

“I feel that it is only fair and right and for the good of boxing to keep the titles active and allow the other contenders to fight for the vacant belts that I proudly won and held,” Fury said in a statement. “I won the titles in the ring and I believe that they should be lost in the ring, but I’m unable to defend at this time and I have taken the hard and emotional decision to now officially vacate my treasured world titles and wish the next in-line contenders all the very best as I now enter another big challenge in my life, which I know, like against Klitschko, I will conquer.”

Klitschko and IBF titleholder Anthony Joshua are in advanced talks to stage a fight in December in Manchester. Now, it’s possible that more than just Joshua’s IBF title could be at stake with the WBA strap also in play. Moreover, Joseph Parker and Andy Ruiz are in discussions and could vie for the WBO title.

The British Boxing Board of Control was scheduled to meet on Wednesday to discuss possibly revoking his license. Despite all the uncertainty, Fury’s uncle and trainer, Peter, believes that Fury will eventually return to the heavyweight division to win back his titles. “Tyson will be back stronger from this and I will make sure, no matter what we have to deal with, Tyson not only comes back but will reclaim what’s rightfully his,” he said in a statement.  “I’m very proud of my nephew’s achievements.”


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