Tyson Fury now has one more week to figure out his latest retirement plans.
The World Boxing Council (WBC) has extended its deadline to September 2nd for confirmation from Fury on whether he plans to retain the sanctioning body’s heavyweight title. The unbeaten lineal/WBC king was originally required to decide in writing by Friday of his decision, with an extension granted as Fury continues to mourn the loss of his cousin Rico Burton who was recently stabbed to death.
“The WBC acknowledging the tragedy which happened in the Fury family and in respect of their grief has decided to extend one week until Friday [September 2] the official decision of Tyson Fury regarding his status as heavyweight champion,” WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman tweeted on Friday, tagging Fury co-promoters Top Rank and
A ruling was made on August 15 for Fury to clarify his prior claim that he was once again done with the sport, having announced his retirement on August 12 while celebrating his 34th birthday. Fury further followed up his latest declaration by informing The Ring that he no longer wished to be recognized as the publication’s heavyweight champion, a decision that made its belt up for grabs and obtained by Oleksandr Usyk who also defended his WBA/IBF/WBO/IBO titles in his repeat win over Anthony Joshua last Saturday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Independent ratings panel Transnational Boxing Ratings Board (TBRB) doubled down, also claiming that Usyk has now replaced Fury as its recognized champ.
Those in the industry looking for more concrete proof continued to wait out his decision whether to keep or vacate the only physical title in his possession.
A report from Sky Sports on Friday suggested that Fury has instructed his promotional team to inform the WBC of his decision to keep the belt. Such claims have yet to be publicly confirmed by Hall of Fame promoters Frank Warren or Bob Arum, whose offices did not immediately return a message seeking comment as this goes to publish.
Fury’s main point of concern over the past week was his calling for greater punishment for knife crimes, in the wake of his cousin being fatally stabbed in the neck over the weekend in Manchester, England. The WBC has sympathized with his grief, thus allowing another week for a firm answer on the subject.
Fury (32-0-1, 23KOs) made the second defense of his WBC title and second lineal heavyweight championship reign in a sixth-round knockout of Dillian Whyte on April 23 at Wembley Stadium in London. He immediately claimed after the fight to be done with the sport, though has since openly discussed plans to fight again in December before once again declaring that he was retired for good.
The latest speech came on his 34th birthday, eight days before the Usyk-Joshua rematch. The claim was disregarded by many in the industry who firmly believe that he will face Usyk to crown the first undisputed heavyweight champion in more than 20 years. Warren and Arum have both on the record confirming that they are actively fielding offers for such an event, which would take place in the first quarter of 2023 should they reach a deal for such a fight.
Fury won the WBC belt in a seventh-round stoppage of Deontay Wilder in their February 2020 rematch in Las Vegas. His first defense came in a repeat win over the American, rising from the canvas to score an eleventh-round knockout in their trilogy clash last October 9 in Las Vegas, universally hailed as the 2021 Fight of the Year. Fury and Wilder fought to a disputed, twelve-round draw in December 2018, the lone blemish on Fury’s otherwise pristine ring record.
Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox