The rematch between Anthony Joshua and Oleksandr Usyk will have one additional belt on the line after Tyson Fury vacated ‘The Ring’ heavyweight title.
Newsonline report that ‘The Gypsy King’ will hang onto his WBC crown despite ‘retiring’ from boxing.
For now at least, given the WBC has notified Fury of a new deadline by which he must confirm his future intentions. The 34-year-old beat Dillian Whyte at Wembley in April and said after the fight that he would keep the promise he made to partner Paris by hanging up his gloves.
The recent decision to vacate ‘The Ring’ title was the clearest indicator yet that Fury is genuine regarding his plans to step away from the sport. Joshua and Usyk might have hoped to be fighting for a full set of silverware in Saudi Arabia this Saturday, but the WBC belt will remain out of reach for the time being.
“The WBC has been in communication with Tyson Fury and his promoters regarding his status as champion,” read a statement from the organisation. “WBC has set Friday Aug 26th, as the last day to receive official written confirmation from them. Our organisation will not comment further until then.”
Fury recently teased a trilogy encounter against Derek Chisora, suggesting his retirement could be short-lived. However, he’s since walked back those claims and doubled down on plans to retire.
His decision to hang onto the WBC throne a little while longer keeps Fury relevant in the title picture without lifting a finger. However, his temptation to return could be amplified again depending on the outcome of Saturday’s showdown in Jeddah, where the WBA (Super), IBF, WBO, and IBO titles were already at stake.
An all-British bout between Fury and Joshua has long been promoted as the biggest heavyweight fixture in modern times. Both Fury and Matchroom promoter Eddie Hearn have ‘confirmed’ agreements for the pair to face off in the past, only for plans to fall apart.
Fans will hope the prospect of a unification fixture opposite
‘AJ’ is the lure needed to draw Fury back to the ring for what could be one of the sport’s most-watched fights. Even in ‘retirement’, The Gypsy King continues to have a major say in how the heavyweight kingdom is run.