Tyson Fury is increasingly growing frustrated waiting on the sidelines in search of a fight.
The WBC heavyweight champion was last in the ring on February 22, 2020 scoring a resounding TKO win over Deontay Wilder to capture the then-undefeated Alabamian’s crown.
Since then, a global pandemic has rattled the sport, and the on-again, off-again trilogy with Wilder has seemingly stumbled out of the gates each time, as it is currently awaiting an arbitration hearing.
Fury announced a stay-busy fight for Dec. 5 in the UK that never came to fruition. He then switched gears and refocused his energy on a super fight with Anthony Joshua. But the earliest that bout could be staged appears to be this summer, further prolonging his inactivity.
"It was just a big mess up," Fury told ESPN in regard to the potential Wilder trilogy. "I should have boxed, because I've been so inactive. I've been out for over a year. By the time I fight again, looking at maybe June if this Joshua fight happens, that will be a year and six months out of the ring, which is not ideal preparation for any super fight.
"They've had a full year to try and make this fight happen. Since the last Wilder fight, even before the Wilder fight, they were talking about a fight potentially between me and Joshua. They've had a full year to make something happen and it hasn't happened as of yet. It is what it is. We're no further forward today than we were a year ago.
"The way [COVID-19] is at the moment, I don't think [negotiations] got much to do with the fighters. It's to do with the venue, date, place, site fees. It's to do with everything but the fight itself."
Fury (30-0-1, 21 KOs) fought three times in 2018, twice in 2019 and once in 2020 following a three-and-a-half-year hiatus from boxing as he was battling a series of issues around weight, mental health and substance abuse.
The idle indentation he’s currently facing in his career is not a welcomed one for the 32-year-old.
If Fury has it his way, he’ll fight twice this year before the calendar turns to 2022.
"If that [Joshua] fight doesn't happen this summer, it's got to happen sooner or later," Fury said. "But Top Rank has to give me two fights this year. I will fight two times on [Top Rank's network partner] ESPN. I don't care who it is. If it's not Joshua, we're looking to fight in April or early May, and the end of the year. If it is Joshua, then June and the end of the year. Bang, bang. So, 2021 is looking bright."
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com