Tyson Fury has voluntarily vacated his WBO and WBA world heavyweight titles with immediate effect to “to fully focus on his medical treatment and recovery,” the British boxer’s promoter said in a statement on Thursday.
The 28-year-old has not fought since beating Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015 and has admitted taking cocaine to battle depression.
“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 …” Fury was quoted as saying.
Fury had pulled out of a scheduled world heavyweight title rematch against Klitschko later this month with his team insisting he is medically unfit to fight due to mental health concerns.
The 28-year-old’s move paves the way for a world heavyweight title showdown between Wladimir Klitschko and Anthony Joshua.
Negotiations to agreeing a deal for a unification bout on December 10 are ongoing between Klitschko and Joshua but former champion David Haye believes it is already a done deal, tweeting on Tuesday: “Great to hear Joshua-Klitschko is done. Timing is everything & the time is now perfect for AJ. Reminds me of Ali Vs Berbick”.