Fury-Klitschko rematch off once more

LONDON • Britain's controversial world heavyweight champion Tyson Fury's title rematch with Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko has been called off for a second time, as the title holder is "medically unfit to fight", his camp said.

The 28-year-old champion - who sensationally took the title off long-time holder Klitschko last year - had already postponed the fight once this year because of an ankle injury.

"It is with the deepest regret that we have to announce that the world heavyweight championship rematch between Tyson Fury and Wladimir Klitschko, scheduled to take place on the Oct 29 at the Manchester Arena, will not be going ahead," a statement from Fury's promoters Hennessy Sports read.

"Tyson has, this week, been declared medically unfit to fight."

The statement did not elaborate on his medical problem, only saying that he would need to undergo medical treatment before resuming training. "Medical specialists have advised that the condition is too severe to allow him to participate in the rematch and that he will require treatment before going back into the ring," the statement added.

The title fight seemed to have been cursed from the outset with the ankle problem, then it was revealed Fury had failed a dope test and would have a hearing in front of the United Kingdom Anti-Doping (Ukad) panel - although England's High Court ruled that it should be delayed until November so the bout could go ahead.

The two fighters did not even get to meet at the press conference earlier this month, as Fury's car apparently had broken down.

He claimed a shock win over Klitschko to take the World Boxing Association, World Boxing Organisation and International Boxing Federation belts in a points decision in Dusseldorf last November.

The Englishman agreed to face Klitschko again, which meant he was stripped of the IBF title for failing to face its mandatory challenger Vyacheslav Glazkov.

After the original July bout was called off, it emerged that Ukad had charged Fury over a urine sample taken in February last year.

It was alleged that the sample - taken nine months before his defeat of Klitschko - contained traces of the banned substance nandrolone, an anabolic steroid with tissue-building properties.

Fury was provisionally suspended, but that ban has since been lifted.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 25, 2016, with the headline 'Fury-Klitschko rematch off once more'. Print Edition | Subscribe