Tyson Fury Abdicates Heavyweight Throne
By: Sean Crose
Tyson Fury’s reign as heavyweight champion of the world has come to an end without the Englishman having engaged in a single title defense. Indeed, Fury, who has tested positive for cocaine and who has admitted to engaging in a serious battle with depression, has decided to give up his title belts – as well as the lineal title he won by defeating Wladimir Klitschko in a stunning upset last year in Germany. Thus ends one of the strangest heavyweight reigns in all of gloved boxing history.
To be sure, Fury proved to be one of the more colorful – some would argue offensive – people to ever sit atop the heavyweight division. Make no mistake about it, as far as unique personalities go, Fury was right up there with such larger than life characters as John L Sullivan, Jack Johnson, and Muhammad Ali. Yet unlike those men, Fury never attained any level of greatness while wearing the heavyweight crown. Still, Fury remains under thirty, which means perhaps that the best is still yet to come.
That remains to be seen, of course. What is now a matter of record is that the strange yet talented Irish Traveller came from an oppressed background and shocked many – though not all – observers when he flustered the previously very dominant Klitschko en route to a decision victory late in 2015. Truth be told, the result shouldn’t have been all that much of a surprise. Klitschko had previously shown signs of weakness against American Bryant Jennings in his previous bout, after all. What’s more, the long reigning Ukrainian was pushing forty when he finally met the awkward, nearly seven foot tall giant with the faster than expected hands.
Then there was the matter of Fury’s mouth. Indeed, Fury proved he knew how to bully someone. Dominating Klitschko with mind games all the way up until the opening bell rang, Fury may well have assured himself a win before a single shot was thrown. It was that same mouth, however, that brought Fury a lot of trouble after winning the belt. Ultimately, however, it appears to have been the influence of drugs – and perhaps alcohol, as well – which ultimately brought the man down. Giving up training, growing despondent – such matters are par for the course with those who fall into the realm of addiction.
Hopefully this is the beginning of a brighter days for the man, be they with or without ring glory.