Heavyweight champion Fury gives up his titles
TROUBLED heavyweight Tyson Fury has vacated his WBO and WBA titles with "immediate effect”, opening the way for New Zealander Joseph Parker's world title fight in Auckland in December.
The UK's Daily Mail has reported that Fury, who twice reneged on a rematch with Wladimir Klitschko after his upset victory in November, has given up his two titles of his own volition.
Fury recently admitted to mental health issues and cocaine use. The WBO had asked for an explanation, but with Fury stepping away from the fight game, there will be no danger of lengthy legal battles.
Kiwi Parker is likely to fight Mexican-American Andy Ruiz jnr in Auckland on December 10. The date remains an issue with the rival promoters, but both say the fight will happen, with Top Rank promoter Bob Arum saying he is looking forward to his first visit to New Zealand.
Fury said in a statement: "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.
"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.”
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.”