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Fury vacates titles to focus on recovery

2016-10-13 09:07
Tyson Fury (Getty)

London - Tyson Fury has given up his WBO and WBA world heavyweight titles "with immediate effect" to concentrate on his "medical treatment and recovery", said a statement released by his promoters Hennessy Sports.

The British boxer has admitted taking cocaine to deal with depression and was set to be stripped of his titles after cancelling two planned rematches this year against Ukrainian former champion Wladimir Klitschko.

"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 when I defeated the long-standing champion Wladimir Klitschko," Fury said in the statement released late on Wednesday.

"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."

Mick Hennessy, Fury's promoter, said the decision was "heartbreaking".

Peter Fury, Tyson's uncle and trainer, said: "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.

"I'm very proud of my nephew's achievements."

Fury had already withdrawn from a rematch with Klitschko on October 29 because of mental health issues. He also cancelled their first planned rematch in July citing an ankle injury.

The outspoken boxer admitted in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine this month that he was suffering from depression and taking cocaine.

The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC) met on Wednesday to discuss whether to remove Fury's boxing licence following the admission of drug taking. 

They had been due to release their decision on Thursday. 

Controversial Fury, 28, announced earlier this month he was retiring only to make a U-turn just hours later following media reports he had failed a drug test for cocaine.

Fury then confirmed for the first time that he had taken the class A drug as a way of self-medicating for severe depression.

"Listen, I've done a lot of things in my life. I've done lots of cocaine. Lots of it," Fury told Rolling Stone magazine in a series of startling admissions.

Explaining why his rematch with Klitschko had been called off for a second time, Fury said: "I've not been training. I've been going through depression. 

"I just don't want to live any more, if you know what I'm saying. I've had total enough of it. So cocaine is a little minor thing compared to not wanting to live any more."

He added: "I don't know if I'm going to see the year out, to be honest... They say I've got a version of bipolar. I'm a manic depressive. I just hope someone kills me before I kill myself."

Fury has courted controversy since sensationally defeating Klitschko last year to become world champion, making a series of comments about homosexuality and Jews and extolling the virtues of his extreme religious views.

Asked how they would treat Fury, BBBC general secretary Robert Smith told Britain's Press Association: "Cocaine is against the law of the land. We can't ignore the law of the land. It's drug use and we will deal with it accordingly."

Fury, the self-styled "Gypsy King", also won the IBF belt in beating the more fancied Klitschko, but had to forfeit it after failing to fulfil a mandatory bout against Vyacheslav Glazkov.

Timeline of the most notable and notorious moments in the controversial career of Tyson Fury, who announced late Wednesday he is relinquishing his world heavyweight titles:

November 28, 2015

- Becomes the world heavyweight champion inflicting first defeat on Wladimir Klitschko for 11 years to secure the World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation and World Boxing Organization belts

December 5, 2015

- Just days after winning the titles he sparks controversy. "I believe a woman's best place is in the kitchen and on her back, that's my personal belief," he says in video posted on YouTube

December 8, 2015

- IBF strip Fury of their belt for failing to agree a fight with mandatory challenger Vyacheslav Glazkov

December 9, 2015

- British police in Manchester say they are investigating Fury after he makes outlandish comments on a video likening homosexuality to paedophilia

December 9, 2015

- Told to stay away from a prestigious British annual sporting awards ceremony by the Sports Journalists' Association who blast his views as "repugnant"

December 20, 2015

- Gives a ham-fisted apology at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards ceremony, claiming his previous comments were "tongue in cheek" and "fun and games"

May 12, 2016

- Sparks fresh controversy with a new foul-mouthed video rant in which he suggests rape and bestiality will one day be legalised. Launches an anti-Semitic tirade on same 57-minute video filmed at a training camp

May 17, 2016

- Says sorry for latest video, insisting "I am in no way a racist or bigot" and "I apologise to anyone who may have taken offence"

June 24, 2016

- Postpones rematch with Klitschko scheduled for July 9, citing an ankle injury sustained in training

June 26, 2015

- Denies claims made in a UK Sunday newspaper that he had failed a doping test in 2015

August 3, 2016

- Denies taking performance-enhancing drugs and says he will sue UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) 

August 4, 2016

- Charged by UKAD for failing test for a prohibited substance. UKAD reveal that Fury had been provisionally suspended in June, but the ban was not made public at the time

September 7, 2016

- Rescheduled rematch with Klitschko confirmed for October 29

September 13, 2016

- Fury fails to turn up at press conference to promote Klitschko fight saying his car had broken down

September 23, 2016

- Postpones rematch for a second time saying he is "medically unfit"

September 26, 2016

- Trainer and uncle Peter Fury says boxer is "at an all-time low" and is "seeking help" for depression

October 1, 2016

- Media reports say Fury tested positive for cocaine and faces being stripped of his titles

October 3, 2016

- Appears to retire from boxing, tweeting: "I'm the greatest, and I'm also retired." Makes a U-turn three hours later and tweets "I'm here to stay"

October 5, 2016

- Admits to taking cocaine in interview published in Rolling Stone magazine, saying "I hope someone kills me before I kill myself"

October 12, 2016

- British Boxing Board of Control meets to consider revoking Fury's licence to fight after drug-taking revelations

October 12, 2016

- Fury announces he is vacating WBA and WBO titles "with immediate effect" to concentrate on his "medical treatment and recovery"

Read more on:    tyson fury  |  boxing

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