Despite stating his intentions to get back in the ring this year, Tyson Fury’s hopes of landing a fight with Anthony Joshua have been dealt a double-blow.
Fury, 28, began training last month in a bid to begin a comeback on the undercard of Billy Joe Saunders’ title defence in July, only to be informed by the UK Anti-Doping Agency that a hearing into his case will be put off until October.
Added to that, the British Boxing Board of Control have now confirmed Fury will not be considered for a UK license until after that said ruling is made later this year.
“The BBBoC is awaiting the outcome of the UKAD hearing and at present his boxing licence is suspended until such time, after which the BBBoC will consider Mr Fury’s position further,” A BBBofC statement read, according to PA Sport.
This means Fury is out until at least the end of the year, which is around the time Joshua hopes to follow through with his next title defense, potentially against Wladimir Klitschko.
Joshua defeated Klitschko in April at Wembley Stadium, but due to a clause in the contract, is likely to have to do it all over again in October or December.
An IBF stipulation puts Kubrat Pulev next in line, that’s provided they don’t strip Joshua of the title, which would then mean the WBA’s number one Luis Ortiz gets his shot in the spring of 2018.
Eddie Hearn’s plan for Joshua to then take on Deontay Wilder could see Fury miss out on ‘AJ’ late in 2018, leaving the former unified king possibly on the backburner until 2019 at the earliest.
‘2 Fast’ would be almost 30 by that time, and dependent on a return coming to fruition next year, may have been out of action for almost four years since his own career-defining triumph over Klitschko.
Joshua’s possible plan looks like this:
October / December 2017 – Wladimir Klitschko (WBA / IBF / IBO titles)
March / April 2018 – Kubrat Pulev (WBA / IBF / IBO titles) / Luis Ortiz (WBA/IBO)
October / November 2018 – Luis Ortiz (or possibly drop WBA belt) / Deontay Wilder (WBC / IBF / IBO titles)
April / May 2019 – Tyson Fury (WBC / IBF/ IBO titles)
All this being said, Fury may be better off targeting Wilder himself for December 2017 / spring of 2018, or Joseph Parker for that matter, in order to position himself as a champion once again before eventually getting his chance at Joshua.
Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay