Tyson Fury formally relinquished his license with the British Boxing Board of Control before winning the WBC heavyweight title, a decision that could effectively put him beyond the reach of any reopening of UK Anti-Doping’s investigation into him.
Fury boxed under a Nevada licence when he won the WBC title from Deontay Wilder in Las Vegas last month. He last boxed in the UK in August 2018 and is required to renew his license each year.
But Fury had not simply let his licence expire, BoxingScene.com can reveal that he wrote to the BBBoC shortly before his rematch with Wilder to formally relinquish his license.
UKAD this week wrote to Fury’s solicitors after a story in the Mail on Sunday last week saying that Martin Carefoot, a 70-year-old farmer, said he had lied when he gave a witness statement claiming he had sold wild boar meat to Fury and his cousin, Hughie, after that had both tested positive for nandrolone, a steroid, in 2015. Uncastrated boar meat is known to spike levels of nandrolone, which can occur naturally, in the system.
If it is decided that the Furys deliberately misled the hearing, they could face further doping charges, which could result in an eight-year ban.
It is a big if. Firstly, both Furys were found guilty of the doping offence, even if the backdated two-year ban they received impacted them in a minimal way - Tyson was in no mood or condition to box for his time out of the ring, while Hughie continued to box.
Secondly, it must be a question of how far UKAD want to take it. There was a fear that the Fury case would bankrupt them the first time, should they end up getting sued. To reopen the case on the word of a man saying he lied the first time, is also an obvious risk.
But, while Hughie Fury is still licensed by the BBBoC, any such hearing and potential subsequent action might have little actual effect on Tyson.
Fury’s relationship with the BBBoC has not always been the best. He was fined £3,000 for remarks made about fellow heavyweight David Price on Twitter in 2013 and £15,000 a year later for a foul-mouthed outburst at a press conference.
He was then warned about his remarks about homosexuals and women, although the Board believe to could not sanction him at that time because of his freedom of speech. Fury’s team were also furious when he was passed over in favour of Carl Frampton for Boxer of the Year in 2016.
The BBBoC are aligned with UKAD and if the BBBoC were to suspend Fury’s license, the move would be reciprocated by the four world governing bodies (the BBBoC is a member of all four) and most other licensing commissions.
However, the BBBoC could not suspend him, as he does not hold their license. Whether Nevada would have any interest would also be doubtful, as the case pre-dates him being licensed with them by more than four years.
What it would do is effectively prevent him from boxing in his homeland again, which could have consequences for any potential unification fight with Anthony Joshua. Eddie Hearn, Joshua’s promoter, had already claimed that more money would be available for such a fight overseas, but the idea of the biggest all-British fight in history taking place abroad would be a serious blow to fans.