Former heavyweight world boxing champion Tyson Fury is to make his comeback for a first fight in two-and-a-half years in Manchester on June 9 with his opponent still to be named, promoter Frank Warren announced on Thursday.
The 29-year-old Briton — who has not fought since his shock win against Wladimir Klitschko in November 2015 to become the then undisputed heavyweight world champion — was cleared to fight again in December by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) after accepting a backdated two-year ban for testing positive for the banned steroid Nandrolone.
“I can’t wait to get in there and prove I am the best, even after all this time out,” said Fury.
Fury and his cousin and fellow heavyweight Hughie Fury, 23, tested positive in February 2015. However, they were not charged by UKAD until June 2016, by which time Fury had beaten Klitschko.
Both fighters blamed the result on eating wild boar.
A rematch with Klitschko was scheduled for July 2016 but Fury postponed the fight, citing a sprained ankle, on the same day the UKAD charge was announced.
Fury also failed a test for cocaine in September 2016 and later admitted using the recreational drug to deal with depression related to his injury and UKAD problems.
He has previously laid down a challenge to compatriot Anthony Joshua, who unified the WBO, IBF and WBA titles against New Zealand’s Joseph Parker in Cardiff last month.
However, Fury will have to wait for his shot at Joshua, who is targeting a blockbuster unification bout with fellow unbeaten world champion Deontay Wilder, who holds the WBC heavyweight belt.
Fury said he believes Wilder is “top of the pile” of the current crop of heavyweights but insisted “they’re all very vulnerable and very beatable too”.
Warren, though, believes Fury needs “three or four fights” before being ready to take on Joshua.
“He’s going to be busy. He needs to get some rounds under his belt,” Warren said.
“He needs to get himself fighting fit. He’s fit but he needs to be fighting fit.”
Provided by AFP
James DeGale has regained his IBF world super-middleweight title with a unanimous points victory over Caleb Truax in Las Vegas.
The 32-year-old suffered a shock points defeat to American Truax at London’s Copper Box Arena last December and was again taken the distance in a battling display at the Hard Rock Hotel.
The Londoner, about 5lbs lighter than Truax, showed much better movement than four months ago, but still found himself on the ropes early on after taking a blow from Truax’s right hand.
A clash of heads in the third round saw DeGale draw blood near his right eye and left him struggling to mount any counter-attack to Truax’s come-forward approach.
By round eight, Truax had suffered a cut of his own above his left eye and both men tried to get their jabs going, DeGale often finding his mark.
Truax continued to apply the pressure and things looked to be going against DeGale when he was deducted a point in round 10 for using his shoulder.
It did not hold him back in round 11, though, and DeGale produced his most effective shots, landing a three-punch combination to leave Truax unsteady and with too much to do going into the final round.
The 2008 Olympic champion, whose loss last year was the second of his professional career, edged the win, with the judges scoring it 117-110, 114-113 and 114-113 in his favour.
Speaking after the bout, he said in quotes reported by the Mirror: “Full credit to Caleb Truax, he’s tough and he’s game, but when I’m fit and injury free people will find it hard to beat me.
“I’ve got my title back, I’m a proud IBF champion and I’m back.”
Provided by Press Association Sport
Manny Pacquiao said Tuesday he “can’t wait” for a crack at another world title as Lucas Matthysse’s promoter confirmed the Argentine will stake his belt against the Filipino in Kuala Lumpur in July.
Promoter Oscar De La Hoya announced on Twitter in the US that the contest was now confirmed.
“Signed, sealed, and delivered: Proud to officially announce that WBA welterweight world champion @MatthysseLucas will put his title on the line against @mannypacquiao in Kuala Lumpur, Malyasia on Saturday night July 14 (US time),” De La Hoya said Monday.
Pacquiao then went onto his on his Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts to respond.
“It’s on! Can’t wait to challenge Lucas Matthysse for another world title on July 15 in Kuala Lumpur, Malyasia – July 14 US time,” said Pacquiao.
Both announcements misspelled Malaysia.
The De La Hoya announcement appeared to clear lingering doubts about the contest taking place since the Filipino icon, winner of an unprecedented eight world titles in different weight divisions, first announced the contest last month.
Pacquiao, 39, had said the fight against Matthysse would take place on June 24.
Pacquiao, an elected senator in the Philippines, has not fought in the ring since being defeated on points by Australia’s Jeff Horn in Brisbane last July, a loss that cost the Filipino star his World Boxing Organisation crown.
The 35-year-old Matthysse, who has 39 wins including 36 by knockout against four defeats, won the vacant World Boxing Association belt after beating Thailand’s Teerachai Sithmorseng in January.
“This is going to be a tough fight. Matthysse is also a knockout artist,” Pacquiao had said last month.
“I’m the underdog in this fight but I’m used to it. It serves as a big motivation for me to train and fight hard to win the crown.
Pacquiao has 59 wins to his name including 38 KOs against seven defeats and two draws. His last victory inside the distance was back in 2009.
Meanwhile the Pacquiao camp announced on Tuesday that Wednesday’s joint press conference with De La Hoya and Matthysse in Manila to announce the fight had been moved back a week, tentatively to April 11. No venue has been set.