Tyson Fury has not fought for almost two years since ending Wladimir Klitschko’s near 10-year stranglehold on the WBO and WBA versions of the heavyweight title in November 2015.
And that time does not look like ending anytime soon, with the British Boxing Board of Control not due to consider his appeal against a doping ban for taking cocaine before January.
The delay has led to promoter Frank Warren condemning the board for their treatment of Fury.
Writing on his blog, Warren contended: “People on criminal charges get fairer treatment" than Tyson Fury.
“Even if he is guilty, what he has gone through is totally unacceptable. I do suspect that if any other sporting figure was subjected to similar treatment, people would be demanding a resolution."
However, it has since emerged the delay has come as the board consider a call from Fury’s camp to not consider certain evidence.
And, judging from pictures of Fury emerging from the San Carlo restaurant in Manchester on Sunday, Fury – who claims to have Anthony Joshua in his sights - has not started preparing for a comeback just yet.
In town to support cousin Hughie in his failed bid to take the WBO version of the heavyweight title from an undefeated Joseph Parker, Fury looked decidedly out of condition.
But, not too much sway should be held on this. For certainly, physical conditioning does not alone make a heavyweight champion.
Back in 1986, Frank Bruno was considered to be in peak condition when he made his first bid for WBA version of the heavyweight title against Tim Witherspoon. The American was considered positively rotund in comparison, but still knocked out Bruno in the 11th, raising concerns the Brit’s muscular build had zapped him of all his energy.
Ahead of an aborted rematch against Klitschko last year, Fury took off his t-shirt at a press conference and taunted the now retired Ukrainian with the words: “Shame on you – you let a fat man beat you. I don’t live a strict lifestyle – I don’t even live an athlete’s style.”
You can see just how out of shape Fury looks in the picture below.
Claiming that he had gone into camp four stone overweight after eating every pie in Lancashire and drinking every pint of beer in the UK, Fury had goaded Klitschko further.
“If the super champion can’t land on a big, fat, lazy gypsy with a loud mouth, what kind of super champion is he? He must be a shit one."
Whether such words come back to bite Fury when he comes to slog it out in the gym ahead of his comeback remains to be seen.
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