Tyson Fury vacates world heavyweight titles

13/10/2016 07:44

Tyson Fury (25-0, 18 KOs) has vacated his WBA and WBO heavyweight titles.

Fury, 28, is being treated for depression and having tested positive for cocaine in two random drug tests last month said he vacated the belts to focus on his treatment.

"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," said Fury 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."

The Briton has admitted taking cocaine to deal with depression and his boxing licence could be suspended by the British Boxing Board of Control after a hearing on Thursday.

Fury outpointed former champion Klitschko (64-4, 54 KOs)‎ to win the belts last November. But he has not fought since and has twice withdrawn from rematches with the Ukrainian.

Klitschko and his team are now in negotiations for Klitschko to challenge Britain's Anthony Joshua (17-0, 17 KOs) for his IBF title, and the vacated WBA title could also be at stake.

While New Zealand's Joseph Parker (21-0, 18 KOs) and Mexico's Andy Ruiz Jr (29-0, 19 KOs) look set to fight for the vacated WBO title.