Tyson Fury Vacates Heavyweight Belts to Focus on Treatment
After entering treatment, following a drug test in which he tested positive for cocaine, boxer Tyson Fury has vacated his WBO and WBA heavyweight world title belts.
In a statement, the 28-year-old said he has vacated the belts to focus on 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," Fury said 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."
ESPN points out that Fury would've likely been stripped of his titles by the sanctioning bodies, because of the positive drug tests and inactivity, even if he hadn't vacated them.
Fury (25-0, 18 KOs) earned one of boxing's biggest upsets last November, when he earned a unanimous decision over longtime world champion Wladimir Klitschko to win the belts and claim the division lineage. The feat, however, thrust him into the spotlight, and he was unable to handle the pressures that went along with it. He pulled out of a July 9 rematch, claiming an ankle injury.
Fury has since admitted that he had become so depressed that he stopped training, and began using drugs and drinking heavily.