British heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury is no longer a world champion. The 28 year old fighter has voluntarily vacated the WBO, WBA, and IBO world heavyweight titles that he won from Wladimir Klitschko last November. Fury made the following statement to RingTV:
“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.”
Additionally, Fury has had his license suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control, pending an investigation into both his anti-doping violation and his self-reported mental health issues.
Fury has not fought since becoming the lineal Heavyweight champion in his huge upset win over Klitschko last year. Recent weeks have seen a series of setbacks for Fury, including:
- Cancelling the Klitschko rematch due to mental health (Sept. 24)
- Testing positive for cocaine (Sept. 30)
- Announcing his retirement from boxing, then withdrawing that retirement 3 hours later (Oct. 3)
- Citing his issues with depression, including suicidal thoughts (Oct. 4)
Additionally, this past summer, Fury tested positive for a banned substance.
No word yet on what the various sanctioning bodies will do to crown a new champion.