LONDON • Tyson Fury looks certain to be stripped of his world heavyweight titles and may never box again, according to Eddie Hearn, a rival promoter, after mental health problems were revealed to be the reason why he pulled out of his rematch with Wladimir Klitschko.
Only 10 months after pulling off one of the greatest wins of all time by a British boxer, when he upset Klitschko to become world heavyweight champion in Dusseldorf, Fury is understood to be seeking treatment for depression.
The bout, already postponed once from July 9 after Fury injured his ankle in training, was due to go ahead on Oct 29 but was called off again last Friday.
Fury's team said that a full medical statement will be issued soon.
He has already been stripped of the IBF title, which was subsequently won by Anthony Joshua in April.
OUT OF THE RING FOR GOOD
I believe he will be stripped of all his titles. It's not a case of, 'Oh, that's a bit harsh', this is a business for the governing bodies and they have had enough.
EDDIE HEARN, Anthony Joshua's promoter, saying that British boxer Tyson Fury will lose his titles and not box again.
His problems worsened on Saturday with reports he told drug testers who turned up to his home to perform a random test to "f*** off".
He is already facing a UK Anti-Doping hearing into reports that he failed a doping test in February last year. Refusing to take a test carries a four-year ban.
Hearn, who promotes Joshua, said that he did not think Fury would box again.
"How can you unify the world heavyweight division, beat Wladimir Klitschko in Germany and mess this up so badly?" he said.
"I believe he will be stripped of all his titles. It's not a case of, 'Oh, that's a bit harsh', this is a business for the governing bodies and they have had enough."
Despite reports that he had checked into a clinic, Fury was ringside in Manchester on Saturday.
He was supporting Hosea Burton, his cousin, and Isaac Lowe, a friend, who were boxing on the undercard of Anthony Crolla's WBA lightweight title loss to Jorge Linares.
Looking overweight, he left long before the main event and was booed by the crowd.
Asked if he wanted to speak to the media, Fury, who has spoken in the past about bouts of depression and even suicidal thoughts, replied: "Not in a million years, I'm mentally unstable."
According to Peter Fury, his uncle and trainer, Fury became depressed after believing that he was the victim of a "vendetta" and "hate campaign".
"It's a culmination of things," Peter said. "Because of the witch hunt against him and the recent (doping) allegations, it has put him over the edge. He said, 'If this is what boxing is doing, I don't want it'."
THE TIMES, LONDON