Tyson Fury given deadline to make final retirement decision before possible AJ fight

Matt Baker has sing a virtual 'sing along' with Tyson Fury

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WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman has left the door ajar for Tyson Fury to backtrack on his retirement pledge after the Gypsy King promised to hang up his gloves following his knock out of Dillian Whyte last month. British boxing fans still hold out hope that the 33-year-old will return for at least one more blockbuster bout as a showdown with Anthony Joshua continues to make mouths water. 

Fury’s career trajectory has been heading in a different direction to that of Joshua in recent years. While AJ’s air of invincibility has been severely dented by defeats to Andy Ruiz Jr and Oleksandr Usyk, The Gypsy King’s unbeaten record remains in tact after a trilogy with Deontay Wilder and a clash with Whyte. 

Last time out, the 6ft 9in slugger outclassed Whyte until the sixth round, when he knocked him out with a single punch. Having retained his WBC and Ring Magazine world heavyweight titles, Fury then vowed to retire with his record still unblemished. 

Speaking to Sky Sports, Sulaimain set a one-year deadline for Fury to take his next mandatory fight. “I just received a very beautiful video from Tyson with his father and his family while on vacation,” he said. “We spoke and we’re going to be speaking in the near future. We will give him the time he needs.

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“I do not like to speculate. I would rather wait to give him his due time for his holiday. The WBC will certainly support him, whatever he decides. If he thinks its time to hang up the gloves, enjoy life and be a successful family man and have a great future, we will support him. If he decides to continue fighting, we will support him.

“We have one year to have the next mandatory fight. At this moment, we will wait for the decision of Tyson Fury, and then we will either do a series of fights – a boxing tournament – going into a final elimination, but at this time we’re going to wait because we don’t know the specific circumstances.

“I believe that [Joe] Joyce and [Joseph] Parker are fighting for the WBO interim championship, but I have not confirmed that. All of the variables may change.”

Prospects of a showdown between Fury and AJ have faded somewhat in recent years, and they could be dealt another blow if Joshua loses his prospective rematch with Usyk after being outclassed in their first bout. The duo are set to face off later this year for the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO titles, which Fury could chase to become undisputed heavyweight champion. 

Whether Fury will even be an active fighter by the time a potential AJ showdown comes around is another matter altogether, and he passionately maintains that his retirement promise is no publicity stunt. “This is the truth, the gospel truth, nothing but the truth. I’m done,” he told Piers Morgan on TalkTV.

“There will always be somebody else to fight. When is enough enough? I’m happy, I’m healthy.

“I’ve got a beautiful wife and six kids. Boxing’s a very dangerous sport. You can be hit out with one punch. It only takes one unlucky blow. I’m very happy. I’m very contented in my heart with what I have done and what I have achieved.”

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