Last week, the world learned that Tyson Fury’s rematch with Wladimir Klitschko had fallen apart once again.
According to the world heavyweight champion’s uncle and trainer, Peter Fury, the cancellation was necessary because his charge had hit an “all-time low”.
Tyson has spoken in the past about his struggles with depression and following a rollercoaster year, which included both major success and major controversy, it appears as though the fighter is suffering through another bout of psychological turmoil.
From the outside looking in, but with an obvious interest in the situation, is Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sports. Hearn promotes IBF heavyweight claimant Anthony Joshua and he would love nothing more than to have the Olympic gold medallist face Fury in a massive all-English heavyweight unification bout sometime down the line. However, at present, the promoter is anything but optimistic about the prospect.
In fact, he feels as though we have seen the last of Fury in a boxing ring.
“Fury will be stripped of his titles and, after a legal battle, he’ll say: ‘No more, I’m done’,” Hearn told the BBC.
“It’s going to be really messy and it might take a year to resolve. I know there are sensitivities around mental health issues but this is a business.
“The governing bodies have had enough. The world heavyweight title is a huge part of their business and they’ve not made any money from it for a year.”
Not long after the news broke about Fury’s withdrawal, Hearn told the Daily Mirror that he had spoken to Klitschko’s manager Bernd Boente and that all parties were keen on making a fight between Joshua and the giant Ukrainian in the near future.
Though he admits that it seems very early in Joshua’s career for such a match-up, Hearn added that he feels Klitschko’s performance against Fury indicates that the longtime former champion is shot.
“I spoke to Bernd Boente for half-an-hour on Saturday and the conversation was great, we all fancy the fight,” said Hearn.
“It does feel a little bit early – Joshua has only had 17 professional fights and Klitschko’s experience worries me. But he looked awful against Fury. I think he’s done.”
Still, we are not likely to see that bout in 2016, after all.
Instead, it now seems likely that Joshua will face somebody else in November, while Klitschko fights for one of the vacant belts – should Fury be forced to give up his titles that is. This would then set up a unification showdown in the spring or summer of next year.
At present, Joshua’s next opponent is unknown but Hearn told Sky Sports last week that mandatory challenger Joseph Parker, an exciting undefeated young contender from New Zealand, was the front-runner in the race to land the title tilt.
Parker has already fought three times in 2016, winning two bouts inside the distance and claiming a unanimous decision over tough veteran Carlos Takam. At present, the 24-year-old is penciled in to fight the big Russian Alexander Dimitrenko on October 1st. Holding a record of 38-2, with 24 wins coming by way of KO/TKO, Dimitrenko is a potentially dangerous fight for a young and relatively inexperienced fighter like Parker.