Tyson Fury va­cates heavy­weight belts, loses box­ing li­cense

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Tyson Fury’s down­ward slide since be­com­ing world heavy­weight box­ing cham­pion plunged fur­ther yes­ter­day when the Bri­tish fighter re­lin­quished his ti­tles and had his li­cense sus­pended over drug use and med­i­cal is­sues. Fury’s pro­mot­ers said the 28year-old boxer was giv­ing up his WBO and WBA belts with im­me­di­ate ef­fect to fo­cus on treat­ment and re­cov­ery from drug use and other per­sonal prob­lems. Hours later, the Bri­tish Box­ing Board of Con­trol said Fury had been tem­po­rar­ily re­lieved of his li­cense “pend­ing fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion into anti-dop­ing and med­i­cal is­sues.” The un­beaten Fury has not fought since beat­ing Wladimir Kl­itschko in Novem­ber 2015 to claim the WBA, WBO and IBF ti­tles in one of the most stun­ning heavy­weight up­sets in re­cent times. He has twice pulled out of a re­match with Kl­itschko, most re­cently ahead of the re­ar­ranged Oct. 29 bout af­ter be­ing de­clared “med­i­cally un­fit” by his team. “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,” Fury said in yes­ter­day’s state­ment. “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 as the un­de­feated heavy­weight cham­pion of the world,” he said. In an in­ter­view with Rolling Stone mag­a­zine this month, Fury said he has been binge­ing on co­caine and al­co­hol to cope with manic de­pres­sion. “I’ve been out drink­ing, Mon­day to Friday to Sun­day,” Fury said. “I’ve taken drugs, co­caine, on many, many oc­ca­sions for the last six months.” In the in­ter­view, he also de­scribed him­self as a “manic de­pres­sive” and said: “I just hope some­one kills me be­fore I kill my­self.” The WBO said Mon­day that it had re­ceived a re­port from the Vol­un­tary Anti-Dop­ing Agency in the United States show­ing that Fury failed a drug test on Sept. 22. The body also said it re­ceived in­for­ma­tion from the Bri­tish box­ing board that Fury re­fused to be drug-tested last month ahead of the post­poned Kl­itschko fight. Fury’s pro­mo­tional com­pany, Hen­nessy Sports, said the ti­tles were be­ing va­cated “out of re­spect for the gov­ern­ing bod­ies, the sport of box­ing and the heavy­weight divi­sion.” The state­ment said the break will also al­low Fury “the time and space to fully re­cover from his present con­di­tion with­out any un­due pres­sure and with the ex­pert med­i­cal at­ten­tion he re­quires.” Fury was stripped of the IBF belt soon af­ter beat­ing Kl­itschko, for not fight­ing a manda­tory chal­lenger. That belt is now owned by fel­low Bri­ton An­thony Joshua, who could fight Kl­itschko for the va­cant heavy­weight ti­tles. Ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween the two camps are un­der­way. Fury has con­stantly said that he feels he didn’t get enough credit for end­ing Kl­itschko’s neardecade-long reign as cham­pion, claim­ing it was partly be­cause of his Gypsy her­itage. How­ever, his im­age has been stained by con­tro­ver­sial com­ments and tweets he has made in re­cent years about women, ho­mo­sex­u­al­ity and dop­ing. Fury’s trainer and un­cle, Peter Fury, said last month that the fighter was at an “all-time low.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.