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The heavyweight title mess that is Tyson Fury, Wladimir Klitschko, and Anthony Joshua
Tyson Fury has voluntarily vacated the WBA and WBO heavyweight titles following a pair of cancellations of his title rematch with Wladimir Klitschko and pair of failed drugs tests for performance-enhancers. Fury’s boxing license was also revoked by the BBC after testing positive for cocaine.
“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 explained in a statement.
Fury continued: “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.”
While Fury seeks the medical and psychological treatment for a recent diagnosis for depression, the business that is the world heavyweight championship will finally commence. Fury, following his massive upset unanimous decision victory over Klitschko in November 2016, has solely dragged the heavyweight division through the mud.
The mess that is the heavyweight championship of the world will be restored, as an epic world heavyweight championship fight between Klitschko and undefeated IBF kingpin Anthony Joshua could happen on December 10. The epic world heavyweight title showdown between Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua may very well, not happen. Although both sides have agreed to everything that includes the fighter purses, date, and location, apparently there is a hold-up as to whether the WBA heavyweight crown will be at stake.
Klitschko has reportedly stated that the WBA title, one of the belts that son Fury recently vacated as a result of his suspension, must be on the line if he were to fight Joshua. Both Klitschko and Joshua are already looking into alternative opponents to fight on December 10, in the event the WBA votes no.
In the event that the WBA does not sanction Joshua-Klitschko, it is expected that Klitschko, regardless, will fight for the WBA title this year. There is talk of a possible Klitschko-Lucas Browne occurring in Germany.
The WBA has until Thursday to decide whether they’ll sanction Joshua-Klitschko. If not, then expect Joshua to defend his IBF title, and Klitschko to challenge for the WBA title in separate fights on the same day, December 10.
Joshua may reopen the door to the possibility of fighting fellow-unbeaten heavyweight Joseph Parker, the IBF/WBO No. 1-ranked contender. Parker is currently working on arranging a fight with unbeaten heavyweight Andy Ruiz for the vacant WBO crown, another title Fury vacated. Last winter, Fury also vacated the IBF title because he didn’t want to fight Charles Martin. After fulfilling the vacancy in January, Martin would lose the IBF heavyweight championship in March to Joshua, who has since made only one title defense.
There is no telling when, or if Tyson Fury will ever return to boxing. More importantly, Fury should use this time to put his life back together. It’s disappointing to see what’s happening to Fury. He was on top of the world heavyweight title landscape. He shockingly (and miserably) ended Klitschko’s near-decade long grasp of the world heavyweight championship. Fury, at 6’ 9,” 278 pounds, had the world in his grasp, but instead did absolutely nothing to establish his own legacy as an honorable and long-standing champion.
Instead, Fury vacated the IBF title less than two weeks after winning it. Since the start of 2016, the IBF title has changed hands to Chris Martin and Joshua. Fury was supposed to have fought Klitschko again in July, but cancelled because, he suffered an ankle injury. The fight was pushed back to October 29, but Fury obviously was in no condition to fight, as he appeared out-of-shape and actually cancelled one press conference due to a broken down vehicle.
Once all roads are paved for a massive showdown between Joshua and Klitschko, Joshua could very well be the heir apparent of the heavyweight division. Joshua is 6’ 6,” a solid 250-pounds, very quick, and explosive. But it’s possible that after only 17 professional fights without having fought past the seventh round, the leap from fighting Chris Martin and Dominic Brezeale to a Wladimir Klitschko could be too great a step too soon. However, Klitschko, who has almost 70 professional fights will be closer to age 41. The last time Klitschko last stepped foot inside the professional arena was a year ago at age 39 and he did nothing against a slow, plodding Fury, who interestingly did not handle his world-wide celebrity as heavyweight champion well at all.