Tyson Fury sprains ankle, postpones Wladimir Klitschko bout

Unified heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has been forced to pull out of his scheduled first defence against Wladimir Klitschko due to a badly sprained ankle.

As the 27 year-old explained on Friday, the injury happened when Fury was running in the Lake District earlier this month and means the fight will no longer go ahead on July 9 in Manchester.

Various tests and scans performed, along with a second opinion from doctors, mean Fury faces up to eight weeks out of training and sees the Klitschko rematch off until October this year – at the earliest.

Fury won the top division crown by travelling to Dusseldorf to upset Klitschko last November and caused a trigger in the contract that meant his Ukrainian challenger would be given first shot at revenge.

Klitschko, 40, has been focused on taking back his belts and getting himself in the shape of his life, whilst Fury on the other hand, has been the subject of various rumours of breaking training, being overweight and partying at festivals.

Fans will obviously feel the disappointment of having to wait for Fury v Klitschko II to finally take place, although the events could also have a knock-on effect for some of their divisional rivals.

Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder are hoping to challenge the winner at some point in 2017, whilst the eventual winner of Fury v Klitschko could now be handed mandatory obligations.

A WBA tournament is already in full swing involving the likes of WBA ‘regular’ champion Luis Ortiz and Fres Oquendo, but will now face a delay to the conclusion as Fury and Klitschko tie up their loose ends.