World heavyweight champion Tyson Fury is prepared to relinquish his WBA and WBO belts and could return to training in six months, says his uncle.
The Briton, 28, has withdrawn from his rematch with Ukraine’s Wladimir Klitschko, scheduled for 29 October, because of mental health issues.
“It’s driven him to despair,” said Peter Fury, who is also his trainer, on BBC Radio 5 live’s Sportsweek.
The boxer has said he was taking cocaine to help deal with depression.
The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) is meeting on 12 October when it will look at Fury’s admission, which was made during an interview with Rolling Stone magazine.
The WBO and WBA – the two organisations with which Fury holds heavyweight titles – can strip the unbeaten Englishman of the title.
“I see him being back in the gym in March or April. He’ll resume his career,” added Fury’s uncle.
The Englishman, who has not fought since beating Klitschko last November, postponed the original rematch in June.
He beat Ukraine’s Klitschko last November to win the WBA, IBF and WBO titles. Within two weeks Fury was stripped of the IBF title because he was unable to fight mandatory challenger Vyacheslav Glazkov.
On 3 October, Fury tweeted to say boxing was the “saddest thing” he had taken part in and suggested he was retiring from the sport, before retracting his decision a few hours later.
‘Pushed to the edge’
Peter Fury gave an insight on Sportsweek into his nephew’s current state of mind, saying he was being treated for a form of manic depression.
“He has everything to live for but it seems he is on a self-destruct mission,” he said. “I don’t think he has got a drug addiction at all. Whatever he has taken will be a result of the depression.
There is an option for Fury to be declared as a “Champion in recess”. This means that fighters can challenge for Fury’s belts while he is unable to fight.
But as soon as Fury is fit to fight again, he can challenge whoever holds his belts upon his return to the ring.
“The titles shouldn’t be held up. While Tyson is out for medical reasons, the titles should be freed up,” his uncle said.
“Let people fight for them.
“But Tyson should be held in regard so that when he does come back to box he should be available to move straight into position to fight for those world titles.
“Quite clearly this young man has got some mental issues and I ask the world to give this plenty of consideration. Other famous people have had these kind of problems and bounced back.”
‘I cannot say if we will strip him of title’
WBA president Gilberto Mendoza told Sportsweek that Fury deserved a chance “to overcome this situation”.
He added: “Our main concern is what’s going on with the title and the whole situation that’s around him.
“We will request our medical advisers to send him some kind of treatment for him that he shall follow.
“We just started a process to give him the right to speak about the situation. We will follow the due process. I cannot say if we will strip him of the title, a yes or no, but the substance he took is a prohibitive substance that is against the rules and we have to take that into account.
“That’s the big trouble for us, we always have to defend a clean sport.”
Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/boxing/37599873