Tyson Fury vacates WBO and WBA world heavyweight belts as he continues road to recovery

The British boxer is suffering from depression and has given up his belts to focus on a full recovery

BY Cian Roche 08:32 Thursday 13 October 2016, 8:32 13 Oct 2016

Image: Simon Cooper / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Tyson Fury has given up his WBO and WBA world heavyweight title belts as he targets a full recovery in the coming months.

The British boxer has been suffering from depression and made headlines in recent weeks after failing a drug test, reportedly testing positive for cocaine.

"I won the titles in the ring and I believe that they should be lost in the ring but I’m unable to defend at this time and I have taken the hard and emotional decision to now officially vacate my treasured world titles and wish the next-in-line contenders all the very best as I now enter another big challenge in my life which I know, like against Klitschko, I will conquer," he said in a statement.

Fury added: "I feel that it is only fair and right and for the good of boxing to keep the titles active and allow the other contenders to fight for the vacant belts that I proudly won and held as the undefeated heavyweight champion of the world when I defeated the long-standing champion Wladimir Klitschko."

His erratic behaviour became clear Twitter when he addressed the rumours of cocaine use, followed by announcing his retirement and then backpedaling on the decision just hours later.

Fury and his camp have now taken the decision to voluntarily vacate the belt and focus on a medical recovery. He recently pulled out of his title defence against Wladimir Klitschko later this month, with his camp claiming he was "medically unfit" to fight.

He was previously set for the rematch - after defeating Fury to become champion last November - back in July but was forced to withdraw due to injury.

Fury recently opened up to Rolling Stone magazine about his struggles with mental illness. 

If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this piece you can contact Mental Health Ireland (01 284 1166), Aware (Freephone 1800 80 48 48 and is open seven days from 10am-10pm) or Pieta House  (01-8831000 for North Dublin and additional contact numbers can be found on their website) by following the links.

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