On March 6 2017, Tyson Fury took to Twitter to announce his surprising return to boxing in true Tyson Fury style and once again shocked the boxing world.
— TYSON2FASTFURY (@Tyson_Fury) March 6, 2017
I’m taking on all bums,
Keep my belts warm guys as they belong to the king who ever got my belts I’m coming for you! Big or small.
— TYSON2FASTFURY (@Tyson_Fury) March 6, 2017
Since that moment, we have been bombarded with news of Tyson Fury’s weight, Tyson Fury going for a run, and this week, Tyson Fury delivering toys and presents to a children’s hospital like some kind of March Father Christmas.
But what exactly can we expect (apart from the unexpected) from the imminent return of the self-proclaimed ‘Gypsy King’?
The 28 year-old ‘most controversial champ in history’, who has been inactive since his upset defeat of Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015 declared he will return in just a few months’ time to fight in May, despite admitting he is 25 stone, and as of this current moment, lacking the crucial boxing licence.
After his success in Dusseldorf in 2015, he swiftly lost his IBF title after failing to fulfil his mandatory challenger obligations before vacating both the WBA and WBO titles in October 2016 after admitting a difficult battle with depression, drink, and alleged cocaine use. His licence was then suspended by the BBBofC “pending further investigation into anti-doping and medical issues.”
Since then, UKAD had provisionally lifted Fury’s licence suspension after he challenged the decision, but this does not mean the Mancunians licence is re-instated – this is yet to be decided after the former champions hearing in early May regarding the above investigations. The general secretary of theBBBofC said last week – “Fury has a lot of issues he needs to deal with before he even thinks about getting in the ring properly.”
Provided this, rather large, hurdle was jumped and his licence was returned, who exactly would Tyson ‘2 Fast’ Fury be pitted against?
Since Fury has been away from the scene, the Heavyweight titles have been divided, with Anthony Joshua holding the IBF, New Zealand’s Joseph Parker (who is facing Hughie Fury on May 2) procuring the WBO title and Deontay Wilder with the WBC. The only belt currently vacant, the WBA, is up for grabs for the victor of Joshua v Klitschko.
This, for starters, seems to mean the rematch with Klitschko, which failed to materialize before Fury took a break, is a complete no-go, at least for the immediate future, with Klitschko scheduled to fight Joshua just two week before Fury is supposed to be stepping back into the ring.
It therefore almost seems nearly anyone’s guess as to who he will face upon his return.
If he had not been absent from the ring for so long, the most obvious choice would be Deontay Wilder, being the only world title holder without an opponent for the near future announced, however it seems very unlikely that Fury would go in so hard immediately on his return, picking someone so highly ranked.
It is more probable that his first fight would be somewhat of a warm up as he looks to regain his place amongst the rankings after such a long hiatus and rather extraordinary fall from grace. Fury has taken to Twitter to “call out all the bums”, and a win over a fighter perhaps lower down in the top ten or so would then set him up very well for another crack at gaining a world title later on in 2017 if this is something that he would wish to pursue. Unlike many fighters on a comeback. Fury at least has age on this side.
And it is not just age that is on his side. Support has been pouring in, with many behind the heavyweight boxers return. Gerald Washington told World Boxing News: “I love Tyson Fury. He’s the one that beat the real champion. I’d love to see him give it another go.”
Promoter Frank Warren also backed his return. “He’s back in training and he’s got the bit between his teeth. He’s very confident [about the hearing] and I hope it will go well, I don’t want to tempt fate but boxing needs him back,” he told Boxing News.
Although no one seemed to believe Tyson Fury was gone for good, with Fury even hinting at a come-back last December, no one believed it would be quite so soon on the horizon. A fact that still seems cast under a shadow of a doubt due to his current weight status and uncertainty with his mental health.
Merry Christmas guys I’ve had a nightmare 2016 done a lot of stuff I’m not proud of! But my promise to u is I’ll return 2017 takeover. Xxx
— TYSON2FASTFURY (@Tyson_Fury) December 24, 2016
The boxer labelled his war with depression as “the hardest fight of my life” but has insisted this is now behind him and he is a ready to step back into the ring; and while it appears his demons may have been conquered, his current weight is still very much an issue and talking point surrounding his comeback.
When Fury fought Klitschko he was 17st 8, with his weight having now ballooned to around 25 stone. This however, he does not consider an obstacle in his climb back to the top, saying on Twitter: “I’m starting a fresh start, letting go of the past and concentrating on the future, got to keep moving forwards.”
Talk about being a fat man, I’m 25stones or 350lbs, but getting the weight off has never been a problem! Ask @peterfury we done it 24 times.
— TYSON2FASTFURY (@Tyson_Fury) March 10, 2017
Continuing to look at opponents, two huge names thrown into the mix as possible upcoming fights are Tony Bellew and David Haye, although Haye achillies injury rules him out definitely for the near future.
Haye told The Sun – “We need Fury to get in nick and return to the boxing ring. The heavyweight division has really missed Tyson Fury and his antics. Hopefully, he can get himself in good nick and back out there. I hope he can get his issues with his licence, the British Boxing Board of Control and UK Anti-Doping resolved and that we see him back in a ring soon. It could make a good fight, me and him. You never know.”
Bellew, who beat Haye earlier this month also stepped into the equation after the announcement of Fury’s return. Bellew, who also tweeted a photo of him and Fury with a thinking emoji told TalkSports’ Drivetime: “You’ve asked me would I fight Tyson? Why wouldn’t I?”, continuing to keep us guessing as to what will happen for both these heavyweights in the future, although after surgery on his hand, it may be a wait before we see Bellew back in the ring also.
Peter Fury also backed the fight with Bellew, telling Sky Sports – “”I think it would be exciting, It would be a local derby, wouldn’t it? It would be good.”
And Eddie Hearn continued to throw fuel on the fire saying [of Bellew], “We are going to fight again this year, one hundred percent. For Tony, there’s the Haye rematch, Joseph Parker, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury. There’s plenty of options,” he added.
Another possibility, a more likely one, could be Christian Hammer. The pair fought back in 2015 when Fury stopped Hammer in round 8. The German’s win over David Price recently could put him back in the picture as a solid first fight for Fury’s come back.
Dominic Breazeale might also be an option Fury might bear in mind. After his stoppage win over Ugonoh which really got the audience talking, this could be a fast and furious fight full of fireworks. Following on in the same vein and Dillian Whyte could also be a great one to watch for the fans which would guarantee an fiery press conference which two such enormous characters.
Charles Martin and Eric Molina could be another two great contenders for Fury to gauge his current skill level. After both losing to Joshua in 2016 either of them could also be a route that would be a great first fight.
Other contenders, not to be left out include Johann Duhaupas, David Allen and stretching it slightly, perhaps even a third contest with Dereck Chisora.
There are certainly many options on the table and sooner or later we cannot wait to see the drama of the eventual return of Tyson Fury unfold. What can be guaranteed in the meantime is a sizzling build up in his training to return and more controversy that you can shake a stick at from the champion that no one can stop talking about.
By Charlotte Prior. You can follow her on Twitter on @CharlotteLily89