WBC President Mauricio Sulaiman has confirmed that the governing body has now given Tyson Fury until August 26th to confirm his retirement in writing as a final decision. If Fury confirms his retirement, Sulaiman says the WBC ‘will then address the situation with the WBC heavyweight title’.
Fury announced his retirement for a second time on Friday on his thirty-fourth birthday, with the Ring Magazine announcing a day later that the ‘Gypsy King’ had vacated their heavyweight strap which will now be up for grabs in the upcoming rematch between Oleksandr Usyk and Anthony Joshua. The announcement of Fury is being treated with scepticism across the sport due to the contradictory nature of the heavyweight champion’s previous statements, but a decision to vacate his WBC heavyweight title will no doubt turn heads and convince a lot of the doubters that the Morecambe man has fought inside a professional ring for the final time.
As for Sulaiman’s notion that the situation will be addressed in the event of Fury’s retirement being confirmed, the vagueness of the Mexican’s statement cannot be ignored. While in an ideal world the title would be simply added to the upcoming clash between Joe Joyce and Joseph Parker in September, who are both ranked number one and two with the WBC respectively, the actions of the WBC in recent years suggest a simple approach isn’t necessarily always the one that is followed.
With the introduction of the nonsensical ‘franchise championship’ in the middleweight, lightweight and super-flyweight divisions, the odds of Fury being upgraded to this status and then the vacant WBC strap being contested by Joyce and Parker are high. An equally confusing ‘champion in recess’ status has also been seen across the sport in recent years, which allows Fury to technically remain as champion while sitting out from the sport over a prolonged period of time before earning a shot at whoever holds the belt upon his return.
Make sense? Probably not, but that’s where the sport of boxing currently finds itself in the minefield of governing body trinkets which are handed out left, right and centre, seemingly to the highest bidder. The overriding point is that, even if Fury does announce his retirement in writing to the governing body, the sport has a sneaky way of ensuring the door is still left ajar in the event of a change in mind from one of boxing’s biggest stars.