Former unified world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury made his first public appearance in boxing since watching cousin Hosea Burton on the Jorge Linares v Anthony Crolla bill in Manchester last September when supporting fellow-traveller Billy Joe Saunders in Scotland.
Fury, 28, is on sabbatical from the sport whilst he sorts out some personal issues but looked all smiles as he held the WBO middleweight title for Saunders ahead of his defence against Artur Akavov.
Relinquishing the WBO, WBA and IBO titles due to mental problems coming to terms with his new-found status, Fury is tipped to return at some point in 2017 by trainer and uncle Peter Fury.
Not long until the action begins at #LightsOut
WBO Middleweight World title
DOORS OPEN – 5PM
FIRST BOUT – 5.30PM
— MGM Scotland (@MGMScotland) December 2, 2016
For Saunders, the outing in Paisley under the guidance of MGM Scotland represents a first fight in twelve months as the Hatfield man bids to defeat highly-ranked Akavov and eventually land a unification fight with 160 pound king Gennady Golovkin.
The 27 year-old was originally due to box at Cardiff’s Motorpoint Arena last week, although problems with Akavov’s paperwork meant a delay of seven days.
Promoter Frank Warren has recently revealed a substantial offer to Chris Eubank Jr. for a rematch in the spring of 2017, which could be a tasty stop-gap whilst Golovkin fights Danny Jacobs in March.