By Frank Warren
Through no fault of his own, the pause button has been pressed on the career of Tyson Fury and I, for one, believe that is what it is – just a pause.
It has been widely documented that Tyson is suffering from mental health issues and, that being the case, he must now be given the time, space and support to enable him to make a full recovery.
I certainly believe he possesses the strength of character and resolve to do just that. He also has the support of a strong and loving family.
I feel sorry for him, for our BoxNation subscribers and for the fans. It is a great disappointment all round.
But sport, I am afraid, must come second at times like this and boxing will rightly take a back seat until he is fit and ready to reclaim his place at the top of the heavyweight pecking order.
I am no expert and I’m not able to place any timeframe on how long the recovery process will take and what happens to his world champion status in the meantime remains to be seen.
What is paramount though is that no fighter should ever enter the ring unless he is 100 per cent sound both mentally and physically, and clearly Tyson isn’t at the moment.
Unsurprisingly, certain people in boxing have sought to publicly capitalise on his plight with somewhat indecent haste and have also been quick to spout predictions on his fighting future.
Matchroom appear intent on attempting to shoehorn the IBF champion Anthony Joshua into Tyson’s boots and are talking the talk about Wladimir Klitschko, who Tyson was due to meet in Manchester on October 29, potentially becoming his next opponent.
I can’t see this happening.
In fact it seems to me more of a smokescreen to mask the difficulties they are having securing a November opponent for big Josh. Matching him with Klitschko would fly in the face of all the regulations set down by the governing bodies, plus the fact that Klitschko is a different kettle of fish to anything Joshua has dined out on before.
The Ukrainian may have been flummoxed by Fury’s unorthodoxy but he would surely find the still-maturing Joshua easier to work out.
Were Tyson to be relieved of his titles, each governing body has ranked contenders awaiting a shot at the top prize. It is not quite as straightforward as simply swapping Tyson for Joshua.
I suspect it is more a case of opportunistic posturing at play. Joshua, indeed, has got to start fighting people as a world champion, but there has not been an opponent named for him yet because the money on offer isn’t nearly enough.
Is it all coming home to roost with Joshua being afforded continued pay-per-view status? Whoever he is up against? The opponents know the numbers and are demanding their end of it. If they are going in there they want to be well paid for it too.
The bottom line is they are not offering the right money to attract top-end opponents. They made contact with Hughie Fury, but the money proposed was nowhere near enough and approaches elsewhere have been met with the same answer.
The heavyweight scene is clearly in need of a reboot and we will see in the coming weeks how it all unfolds. Tyson may be out of the running at the moment, but in the eyes of most he will be champion of the world until such a time he is defeated in the ring.
I would like to offer my personal congratulations to the three musketeers of boxing writing who were honoured at the British Boxing Board of Control annual dinner on Friday night.
BoxNation regulars Alan Hubbard – who also pens weekly columns for this website – Colin Hart and Jeff Powell were presented with the Sir Henry Cooper Award for services to boxing.
This trio of doyens have all covered the sport on every continent over the last 50 years and carry a wealth of knowledge that we are grateful to tap into.
Well played fellas – and carry on the good work!