Tyson Fury is expected to announce his comeback for June 9 at the Manchester Arena during a press conference on Thursday.
The former WBA-WBO-IBF world heavyweight champion will end an exile of over two-and-a-half years in what he considers his home city. During his time away, Fury has admitted to problems with alcohol and depression, failed a drugs test and had a two-year ban backdated.
Fury (25-0, 18 KOs), 29, last boxed when he pulled off a huge upset, beating Ukraine’s Wladimir Klitschko on points for three belts in Germany in November, 2015.
Fury has signed with promoter Frank Warren while he has been linked with fighting former two-time world titleholder Shannon Briggs from Brooklyn, New York in the last couple of months.
Briggs (60-6-1, 53 KOs) is 46 and last fought May 2016. The British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC) lifted Fury’s suspension in January after UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) backdated a two-year ban for testing positive for the steroid Nandrolone in 2015.
While away from the sport, Fury piled on the pounds but in recent photographs and social media video looks slimmer. Fury was training at former world champion Ricky Hatton’s gym in Hyde earlier this week.
In Fury’s absence, his English rival Anthony Joshua (21-0, 20 KOs) has established himself as world heavyweight No. 1 and now holds Fury’s old belts after adding the WBO to the WBA and IBF titles with a points win over Joseph Parker on March 31.
Fury incessantly taunts Joshua on social media, but it will be a while before they fight. The Gypsy King will want at least three fights over the course of a year before an all-British showdown with Joshua.
Joshua, 28, is currently more concerned about making a fight with American Deontay Wilder, the WBC champion, who has been offered £8.8million to agree to a clash for all four major heavyweight titles.
Joshua-Wilder would take place either at Wembley Stadium in London or the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, with the possibility of a rematch next year in the United States. Fury may have to wait for his chance to face Joshua, who is also due to face WBA mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin, of Russia, if he wants to keep all of his belts.
But there will be a lot of interest in Fury’s ring return, even if a fight with Joshua is some way off. The question is whether Fury return to the same form as his last performance or if the layoff has done irreparable damage.
Fury was sensational in ending Klitschko’s nine-and-a-half year reign with a shock points win. But following that brilliant win, Fury’s career spun out of control and, after being stripped of one of the belts, lost the other two when he claimed he was mentally unfit to face Klitschko in a rematch.
The BBBofC suspended Fury in October 2016 after he admitted to taking cocaine and drinking excessively as well as having mental health problems in a magazine interview but after serving a ban is ready for his comeback.