Unless you have been living under a rock this past couple of weeks, you will have seen somewhere, that Tyson Fury has finally been given the all-clear to resume his exciting boxing career in 2018 and he has his sights firmly set on Anthony Joshua.
Fury, along with his cousin and fellow heavyweight contender Hughie, has accepted a backdated two-year drugs ban for testing positive for elevated levels of nandrolone dating all the way back to February 2015. A separate charge against Tyson Fury for refusing to take a drug test in September 2016, which could have carried a separate four-year ban, has also been withdrawn by UKAD.
Both Tyson and Hughie to this day deny any wrongdoing, and still claim that they ingested the banned substance from eating uncastrated wild boar, which helps to encapsulate this rather strange case.
The whole situation has been a bit of a joke. Hughie, has accepted a backdated 2-year ban, however, has fought 3 times, including for a world title, since the apparent failed test. Tyson has been very critical of the UKAD and the BBBoC due to the handling of his case and its constant delays, and he has every right to be. On the other hand, the UKAD have two failed tests and no scientific proof that the Fury’s story is or is not plausible.
Throw in to the mix, Tyson’s failed test for cocaine in September 2016 and his admittance of using recreational drugs to aid his depression and you have yourself one big mess.
That being said, Monday’s decision is a moral victory for both parties. The Fury’s can return to boxing – well, Hughie can continue to box – and the UKAD haven’t been sued due to their poor handling of the case which would have almost certainly bankrupted them.
So, the question is, who will Tyson Fury fight next? Here are 5 possible opponents before the ‘Gypsy King’ can get into the squared circle with rival Anthony Joshua.
- Dillian Whyte: Whyte has gone about his business professionally recently, and is currently in a good position in the boxing world. He is highly ranked by all governing bodies and is the official no.1 contender for the WBC world heavyweight title, held by Deontay Wilder. However, the ‘Body Snatcher’ has become increasingly frustrated by his lack of big fights, and believes that he is being avoided by many top fighters. Fights with Dominic Breazeale, Lucas Browne and Deontay Wilder have failed to materialise in the past 12 months, leaving him craving for a shot at an elite fighter. Tyson Fury would certainly fit that bill.
- Deontay Wilder: The ‘Bronze Bomber’ and Fury have previous, dating all the way back to Sheffield in 2013, when Fury made a promise to fight Wilder. Years later, Tyson Fury was confronting Wilder in the ring after the American retained his WBC heavyweight title against Artur Szpilka. With a genuine dislike for each other, a clash between the two giant rivals would capture the imagination of the boxing world and Fury knows a win vs Wilder will add to his already impressive legacy. It would also give him the WBC title, which is a belt he has never won.
- Joseph Parker: The WBO heavyweight champion of the world would be a perfect way for Fury to return to the top of the sport. The unbeaten New Zealander was see most recently on these shores beating Tyson’s cousin Hughie in a contentious points defeat in Manchester. This gives a fight between the two the perfect selling angle. Parker is happy to travel, is eager for big fights and gets on well with Tyson Fury (as Tyson’s strange topless Haka after Parker’s victory showed) so negotiations between the two camps would be smooth. A world title would add to Fury’s bargaining chips for even bigger unification fights.
- David Price: Liverpool’s ‘big, horrible heavyweight’, David Price is the last person to beat Tyson Fury in a boxing ring. Their amateur rivalry threatened to boil over in to the pro ranks, but Price’s struggles over the last few years put paid to that potential fight. However, talks of a fight between the two have reignited recently and would be a perfect crossroads fight for both men. Price made a low-key return recently and is looking for one last shot at making it to the top, and Tyson Fury would be the perfect measuring stick for him to gauge if he’s still got it. For Fury, the chance at revenge could be too great to turn down.
- Tony Bellew: Now, Bellew has a huge rematch on the horizon, so a fight with Fury certainly wont be happening in the first half of next year. However, should Fury choose to wait or to have a warm up fight, a bout with Bellew has the potential to be huge in 2018. With Bellew looking for only big fights before hanging up his gloves, he is clearly excited to test himself against a match who is 6 inches taller and who would carry a significant weight advantage over him. The two charismatic and loud fighting men have gone back and forth on twitter and on live TV recently, so a fight between the two would certainly capture the imagination and would put Fury firmly back in the mix at heavyweight.
Whomever Tyson Fury decides to fight next, we should be thankful that he is back as he provides nothing but entertainment to what is already a division brimming with talent and exciting fighters.
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