UK Boxing Board of Control suspends Tyson Fury, fighter with Irish Traveller roots relinquishes remaining titles to get sober
In the wake of canceling his rematch with Wladimir Klitschko for a second time, boxing champion Tyson Fury has announced that he wants to concentrate exclusively on resolving his personal problems, including addiction. Promotion agency Hennessy Sports has released an official statement to that effect.
The boxer with Romani roots is relinquishing his titles as the World Heavyweight Champion to the World Boxing Association and World Boxing Organization, which means his competitors now have the opportunity to win them. "I feel it is only correct and fair for the good of boxing to keep these titles alive and make it possible for other candidates to fight for the available belts that I have won and held as undefeated heavyweight champion of the world," Fury said.
"I wish all the best to those who succeed me. I have before me a huge new challenge in life, which I will certainly handle just as I handled my duel with Klitschko," Fury said.
Fury, who is 28, has voluntarily abdicated from the throne he has occupied after last year's victory on points over former champion Klitschko. He has not boxed since the November fight and has postponed rematches with the Ukrainian twice.
"I won those titles in the ring and I believe I should also lose them in the ring. Right now, however, I am unable to defend them, and that is why I have made the difficult, emotional decision to relinquish them," the boxer said.
After canceling a second scheduled rematch this month, Fury admitted last week that because of depression he has been overindulging in alcohol and using cocaine. His case, therefore, began to be reviewed by the British Boxing Board of Control, which supervises professional boxing, and which decided on Thursday to suspend Fury's license until the investigation of all the cases involving him is completed.
As a result of last year's duel in Düsseldorf with the Ukrainian champion, Fury won not just the WBA and WBO titles, but also a belt from the lesser-known International Boxing Organization. He also won the International Boxing Federation belt, but that has already been taken away from him because he did not defend it as required.
The fates of his other titles have been significantly uncertain recently. The WBO announced earlier this week that if Fury did not provide a convincing explanation for his behavior by 17 October, he would lose that belt as well.
Another British boxer, Anthony Joshua, might now fight Klitschko for the relinquished championship belts. The British media report that the boxers' representatives are negotiating the duel.
Fury was born in Manchester, England to a family of Irish Travellers. His father named him after the American world boxing champion Mike Tyson.
The boxer embraces his Romani background. "I'm proud of who I am," he has said of his origins.
"I'm glad I'm Romani. My Traveller origin gives me the determination and will to win, to go until I touch rock bottom. There is no defeat in me. As a Traveller I never regret anything. I know what I have to do and how to carry on," Fury has said.
Rom or Traveller?
In the British Isles, the groups called Travellers are a population originally not of Romani origin who were not settled and who lived a traveling way of life probably even before the first Romani people arrived there at the beginning of the 16th century. Since then, Romani and Traveller people have lived similarly, with their mutual interdependence deepening through intermarriage, and they are still perceived essentially as a homogeneous group by the non-Roma and non-Traveller population.
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