AFTER a chaotic few weeks under the media glare boxer Tyson Fury has relinquished his WBO and WBA world heavyweight titles.
The undefeated 28-year-old has battled with mental illness and admitted taking cocaine in the year following his odds-defying victory over veteran Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko in November.
“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” the Manchester-based fighter said in a 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 added.
Fury, a bombastic, unpredictable character who quickly became one of the boxing world’s most extraordinary personalities with his rapid rise up the ranks, has spoken frankly about his struggles with depression.
He was facing being stripped of his license by the British Boxing Board of Control on Wednesday over admissions he took cocaine in a Rolling Stone interview but his voluntarily vacation of the titles spared the board any blushes.
Negotiations were already underway between Klitschko and British Olympic gold medallist and IBF world champion Anthony Joshua to fight for Fury’s titles.
If made that fight looks set to take place in December and would be a huge pay-per-view event.