Tyson Fury and the Heavyweight Division in Chaos

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With the cancellation of Tyson Fury vs. Wladimir Klitschko and the alleged banned substance violation for cocaine by Tyson Fury, the heavyweight division is now in utter chaos. What was once a clear transition of power from Klitschko to Fury has now turned into an unfortunate sad story that has sent the heavyweight division into a shattered mirror of the singularity that was the Klitschko era. With so many rumors swirling around and certain boxers retiring then un-retiring, we need to find the fact from the fiction in the heavyweight division.

Tyson Fury has allegedly failed a VADA test for cocaine. Dan Rafael of ESPN and via ABC News, “In a letter from VADA president Dr. Margaret Goodman sent to representatives for Fury, Klitschko, the British Boxing Board of Control and the United States’ Association of Boxing Commissions on Thursday night, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN.com, she wrote, “This letter is to advise you that the ‘A’ sample urine specimen number 4006253 collected from Tyson Fury on September 22, 2016, in Lancaster, England through his participation in the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) program has been analyzed for anabolic agents, diuretics, beta-2 agonists, stimulants and drugs of abuse. The results of the analysis are as follows: Adverse. Urine specimen contains benzoylecgonine.”

Wladimir Klitschko
Wladimir Klitschko

Fury has also admitted his cocaine use in a Rolling Stone article, “For the past four months, Tyson Fury has been snorting cocaine, drinking daily and getting “fat as a pig” – but the reigning world heavyweight champion says this is no reason to strip him of his titles. “I’m going through a lot of personal demons, trying to shake them off,” he says on Monday, adding he has been sober for three days. “This has got nothing to do with my fighting – what I’m going through right now is my personal life…I’ve been out drinking, Monday to Friday to Sunday, and taking cocaine. I can’t deal with it and the only thing that helps me is when I get drunk out of me mind.”

Fury though says that his cocaine use and the social media meltdown is due to the racism he receives from being a gypsy, “It’s been a witch hunt ever since I won that world title,” Fury says, “because of my background, because of who I am and what I do – there’s hatred for Travelers and gypsies around the world…If I won over 30 fights and knocked out everybody it would be no good…I can’t do nothing in my life that’s any good to the general people because I’ll never be accepted for who I am and what I am.”

Fury, however, has not been stripped as of the writing of this article. In that same Rolling Stone article, Jose Izquierdo, the general secretary of the WBO, has stated that the WBO have given Fury 10 days notice to provide medical documents showing he can not fight otherwise a special committee hearing will take place to determine if he is stripped or not.

Anthony Joshua
Anthony Joshua

The aftermath of all of this is still to be determined. Rumors have been circulating that Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko have both agreed to fight each other with just the promoters negotiating the finer points of the deal.

Eddie Hearn, Anthony Joshua’s promoter, stated to the Daily Mail, “There are plenty of hurdles to overcome still and day by day we are ticking each of them off and I think there is a real expectancy from all sides now that that will be the next fight.” Both sides want the fight and though it seems to be pushed back to December in order to give the athletes more training time and allow the promoters time to deal with, and hopefully for Joshua and Klitschko, Tyson Fury’s VADA violation.

The only blocking points to Joshua vs. Klitschko, a fight that would help clear up the heavyweight conundrum, are Tyson Fury not being stripped of his titles yet, American TV rights, and date. Once those three things are dealt with fans will get the fight. Tyson Fury still claims he has not taken any PED’s and has only started his cocaine use within the past few months. Within the week, some clarity should prevail in the clouded heavyweight division.