It’s official, Tyson Fury is no longer a world champion.
After being stripped of his previous belts, Fury still had his lineal status as THE RING Magazine world heavyweight champion but due to inactivity his status as champion is invalid and he’s also been dropped from the rankings.
Ring Magazine posted the following:
“Tyson Fury captured the prestigious belt in November 2015 by winning a one-sided 12-round unanimous decision over long-reigning champion Wladimir Klitschko in Dusseldorf, Germany.
However, there have been a variety of obstacles which prevented the unbeaten Englishman from defending the championship over the past 26 months. Among them was the ill-fated Klitschko rematch, Fury’s mental health issues, a UKAD investigation and the revocation of his British boxing license.
With all these issues now cleared, THE RING set a deadline (January 31) for Fury to reveal an opponent. However, no such announcement has been made by the fighter’s promoter, hence the decision to remove Fury as champion. Fury will also be removed from THE RING heavyweight rankings for the time being.
We at THE RING would like to make it clear that this decision had not been taken lightly. THE RING championship belt is the closest representation to a lineal champion in the sport today, and Tyson Fury was extremely proud to be part of our heavyweight history.”
“We deeply regret separating from the lineal championship and we would hope that fans appreciate our reasons for giving Tyson every opportunity over the past two years. We wish our former champion the very best for the future and we will be happy to re-rank him when appropriate.
For the record, the vacant RING heavyweight championship will not be on the line in the IBF, WBA and WBO title unification bout between Anthony Joshua and Joseph Parker, which takes place in Cardiff, Wales, on March 31. Joshua and Parker are rated No. 1 and No. 3 by THE RING respectively.
There have been occasions when a vacant RING championship has been contested between No. 1- and No. 3-rated contenders. However, after careful consideration, we do not feel Joshua-Parker qualifies. At this time, THE RING ratings panel unanimously believe that Deontay Wilder is the second-best heavyweight in the world on merit.”
Fury’s comeback is set to happen in April against an opponent yet to be announced. However, there are strong rumours about ‘The Gypsy King’ facing a former world heavyweight champion.
UPDATE: Fury comments on being stripped.
Just like to thank the @ringmagazine for being so patient with me over the last few years. this will be the first time since 1922 that the ring magazine will split from the heavyweight lineage. Tyson fury always setting precedences. 🙏🏻 https://t.co/fJR0MKDsTN
— TYSON FURY (@Tyson_Fury) February 1, 2018
Shannon Briggs is the name that keeps coming up.
The American has been blasting Fury on social media for months and Fury has expressed interest in fighting ‘The Cannon’.
Fury’s suspension was lifted in December by UK Anti-Doping and he will be cleared to fight by the British Boxing Board of Control once they receive Fury’s up-to-date medical records.